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Kelhios: The Vampire of Botnets

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A botnet, a network of unwillingly controlled computers, is sometimes called a Zombie network. That’s because, like “real zombies” the computer owners aren’t aware of what has happened to them. In the case of the Kelihos botnet, a better term might be a Vampire network.

The network has been “killed” several times, but always manages to rise from the dead! Like Vampires of lore, Kelhios is a predator that attacks computer users, usually for schemes related to financial fraud.

When first discovered in December 2010, the Kelihos botnet consisted of at least 45,000 computers that were be used to spew email spam and conduct Denial of Service attacks. While the number of computers in the network was particularly large, there have been botnets in the millions; Kelihos was capable of generating up to 3 billion spam messages per day.

In September 2012, Microsoft announced that they had been able to pull the plug on Kelihos. This was no small feat. Unlike other botnets, Kelihos is a pear to pear network with no command and control servers. In the case of Waledac botnet, Microsoft was able to get a court order to seize the networks servers.

Bringing down Kelihos involved shutting down all of the domains that were spreading the malware that infected computers and made them part of the network., plus “infecting” the zombie computers with a reverse engineered version of the malware that seizes control of the computer from the Kelihos operators. The process is known as “sinkholing”, where the bots are disconnected from the botnet and controlled by friendly computers.

It was a unique and dramatic success, but the story does not end there.

An even larger botnet, estimated at 110,000, computers was discovered in January 2012 that was based on the same code as Kelihos, also known as Version 2. There were not the same controlled computers, but it was a slightly modified version of the controlling software. The ability to steal bitcoins was added for the first time to the network. A bitcoin is a digital currency that can be exchanged for real money.

A key change in version 2 was the ability to spread via removable drives such as USB sticks. It was also determined that the malware was being spread from domains in Russia instead of Europe, making it more difficult to diagnose and shut down.

The second version of the botnet itself was shut down by it in March 2012 by several privately owned firms who used the same approach pioneered by Microsoft. Evidently, it was far from a silver stake through Kelihos’s heart. Evidence of a reappearance of the botnet first was reporting the next month.

It was not until February 2013 that the third iteration of Kelihos became widely known. However, according the security firm CrowdStrike Version 3 of Kelihos was being implemented within 20 minutes of the Version 2 takedown. The Kelihos operators apparently had contingency plans with software improvements already in place to get the botnet back up and make it more difficult to take down in the future.

In one of the more dramatic events in Internet Security history, CrowdStrike conducted a live takedown of Kelihos Version 3 at the February 2013 RSA convention on Internet Security. The convention audience could watch a global map as thousands of Kelihos bots went from being in the botnet to being sinkholed and controlled by friendlies.

CrowdStrike had determined that bots regularly “checked in” to proxy servers and were updated with a list of what, to them, were friendly bots in the network that they could connect to. CrowdStrike’s new method of sinkholing involves spreading a substitute list of computers that take the bots offline when connected to.

Brilliant and a real crowd pleaser at the RSA Convention. But is Kelihos really dead? It doesn’t appear to be. Recent reports indicate that it is very much alive. There is way too much money in the spam and financial fraud that such a botnet can commit to expect the creators to go quietly into the good night. New botnets are being reported on a regular basis and the peer-to-peer design pioneered by Kelihos has become popular botnet creators.

What should I do about botnets?

The most important things to do are the basics. Make sure you have the latest versions of the best antivirus and personal firewall software on all of your computers.

And you need to be vigilant. When you visit a web site, check for an EV SSL certificate before ever downloading software or providing personal information. If you are protecting a network, in addition to the obvious the best advice is to simply not give most users admin rights to install software. Users hate that restriction, I know I do. It is the best way, however, to ensure a drive by download can’t kick off and install malware before the virus scanner can catch it.

TEST YOUR EMAIL SECURITY GET YOUR INSTANT SECURITY SCORECARD FOR FREE Source: https://blog.comodo.com/it-security/kelhios-the-vampire-of-botnets/

Cyber Security

What’s an IP location CDN?

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If you are a business leader or a website owner who is determined to take on newer heights for your business, you need to make an effort to study the digital world and everything it encompasses. For example, the phrase that has been typed a lot in search engines is ‘IP location CDN.’

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Do you have an idea why?

We are talking about the CDN IP location for this article, how they are both different entities, why the search phrase begins to be ranked, and what components you can take into consideration when shopping for CDN providers.

Let’s get started!

IP location CDN: what is it?

It is essential to understand that the CDN IP location is not an actual piece of technology. They are two separate entities. The IP location is one thing, while the CDNs, short for Content Delivery Networks, are another. A quick definition of an IP address, also known as an IP address, is a network address for your device so that the internet is informed as to where the data, emails, or pictures of dogs and beaches can be transmitted.

Every gadget has now it. Whether it’s a personal computer or a tablet, there are IP addresses in every device that can access the internet. Hundreds of IP address tracker devices are available online, so you can simply turn to these automated resources to find out what the answer is if you curry where any users are.

On the other hand, CDNs are a bunch of servers scattered around the world. This is how global internet users can use media from the internet much faster and easier wherever they are. Unknown to the large majority, CDNs run half the internet. These cloud content delivery platforms distribute data more effectively to users worldwide. Without the help of a CDN, visitors to websites must collect data from the host of the origin of a site, which means that the host responsible for keeping the website and its content alive. While nothing is wrong here, the host origins are not made to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people at once.

That means that if your website is not backed up by CDN and you all visit your website from your ocean of users, it will more likely crash because your visitors will request data from the host of origin. This host of origin is also situated in one region of the globe. This means that users of your site who are seas other than origin will notice a significant delay in loading the web page. In the meantime, your users who live near the origin will not experience the same browsing encounter. CDNs are therefore helpful: because they reduce latency, and several servers around the globe help to relay your web data much faster.

Why are people looking this up?

Understandably, a lot of CDN IP positions have been searched for. If you’re shopping for CDNs, you’d like to find out where the location of your CDN providers is. It is because you would like to make sure that their positions are close to where your primary markets are located. You may be a company based in Atlanta, for example, but your website has an extensive follow-up in Sweden and Japan. In that particular case, you would like to make sure that the CDN providers you find have locations in those areas as well.

You can turn to an IP address tracker for support if you are not certain where your site visitors are. These kinds of digital tools help you find out where your digital markets are. Of course, your web host should have this information ready, but if you want to single out a single user or visitor, and you want to know where they come from, the IP address tracker should be enough. Look around online, and you’re going to find a lot of them.

How to choose CDN providers

As stated earlier, the number one thing you would like to ask CDN providers is where they are located. They might have the most advanced equipment and prices, but if their presence points are far from where your web site needs to be strongest, it may be pointless to sign up. Please note that the very essence of why you first sign up with a provider is that your sets can be loaded quickly. Check out where our locations are on this link.

Customer service is something you can’t overlook. If you entrust your Web data to CDN providers, you would want a trustworthy team to be responsible if anything goes wrong. It’s also extremely helpful to be able to turn to a talented pool of trusted professionals, particularly when you run an e-commerce business.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/whats-an-ip-location-cdn/

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Cyber Security

Facebook Announced Rewards for Vulnerabilities in Hermes and Spark AR

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On Friday, Facebook revealed it is providing substantial incentives for vulnerabilities found in Hermes and Spark AR through its bug bounty programme.

Hermes is a JavaScript engine which was released a year ago by Facebook as an open source. Hermes is used for Android and other applications by the social media giant’s React Native apps, including Spark AR, an augmented reality tool used to create effects on Facebook , Instagram, and even on Facebook’s Portal smart displays.

Its bug bounty program has covered vulnerabilities found in native Facebook code, but the company says it wants to encourage security researchers to analyze Hermes and Spark AR, which is why bug bounties have increased significantly.

For example, if a white hat hacker discovers a vulnerability or an exploit chain that allows remote execution of code while running a Spark AR effect, they will receive $25,000. The exploit can either directly target the Spark AR platform, or the Hermes JavaScript VM.

“May adjust the amount depending on the particular bug and exploit. For instance, an exploit chain that lacks an ASLR bypass will result in a slightly lower payout. Likewise, an out-of-bound writing where the route to RCE is not clear would receive a lower payout, “explained Facebook.

On average, a vulnerability that allows an attacker to read user data might be worth $15,000. Denial-of – service (DoS) flaws resulting from out-of-bound read or write bugs will yield between $500 and $3,000 to researchers.

They can also receive a bonus of up to $15,000 if they provide a complete proof-of – concept (PoC) exploit, meaning they might get $40,000 for a flaw in remote code execution.

Last year, Facebook paid out more than $2.2 million through its bug bounty program, and a total of almost $10 million since its program was launched in 2011.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/facebook-announced-rewards-for-vulnerabilities-in-hermes-and-spark-ar/

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Cyber Security

Google Announced New Policy Updates to Reject Ads for Spyware

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Google announced this week that it will effectively reject ads for surveillance technology starting next month, by updating its policy.

The revised Google Advertising Promoting Unethical Behavior Policy, which would “prohibit the promotion of goods or services that are advertised or targeted for the express purpose of tracking or controlling another person or their activities without their authorisation,” will be implemented beginning August 11, 2020, the Internet giant announced.

Google must enforce the policy internationally in an attempt to combat spyware ads and other forms of surveillance.

Such technology, explains the company, involves using spyware, malware, and other means to monitor a person’s messages, phone calls, or browsing habits, or keep an eye on their whereabouts using GPS trackers.

In addition, Google’s revised policy would also strike the sale of surveillance devices such as audio recorders, cameras, dash cams and nanny cams that are “marketed for the purpose of clear spying.”

“It does not include (a) private investigative services or (b) products or services designed to track or control parents’ underage children,” explains the company.

If any violations of the new policy are found, Google will initially issue a alert, and delete offending accounts within 7 days.

Advertisers are told, before August 11, to delete any advertisements that might result in a policy breach.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/google-announced-new-policy-updates-to-reject-ads-for-spyware/

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