Shruggle targets 64-bit XP for AMD processors

This issue's topics: Introduction: * NSS library fix; AMD64 virus; MD5, SHA somewhat broken; e-jihad hype Virus News: * Shruggle targets 64-bit XP for AMD processors Security News: * Internet melt-down yesterday due to Islamic terrorists * SSL fix for Netscape, SunOne/iPlanet web servers * MD5 and SHA cryptographic hashes broken? * US authorities cracking down on spammers, phishing

This issue's topics:

Introduction:

* NSS library fix; AMD64 virus; MD5, SHA somewhat broken; e-jihad hype

Virus News:

* Shruggle targets 64-bit XP for AMD processors

Security News:

* Internet melt-down yesterday due to Islamic terrorists

* SSL fix for Netscape, SunOne/iPlanet web servers

* MD5 and SHA cryptographic hashes broken?

* US authorities cracking down on spammers, phishing

Introduction:

Another fairly quiet week really, albeit with a splash of over-hyped e-jihad threatened for the wise to smirk at...

Virus News:

* Shruggle targets 64-bit XP for AMD processors

Earlier in the year we mentioned that the first 64-bit Windows virus, Rugrat, had been discovered. Rugrat was noteworthy for only one thing - being the first virus designed to target a 64-bit Windows platform, specifically that for Intel's Itanium (IA64) processors.

Shruggle is very similar to Rugrat, and again really only noteworthy for one thing - it is the first virus to target the (yet to be released) Windows XP 64-bit edition for non-Itanium processors. This version of Windows has been promised since AMD announced its 64-bit Athlon and Opteron processors. Although it has been available in beta releases to software developers preparing 64-bit versions of their own products for the new platform's eventual release, it really is still a 'non-existent' operating system. Shruggle specifically targets 64-bit Windows executables for AMD64 processors.

Computer Associates Virus Information Center

Network Associates Virus Information Library

Symantec Security Response

Trend Micro Virus Information Center

Security News:

* Internet melt-down yesterday due to Islamic terrorists

What do you mean you didn't notice?

The Internet died yesterday... Well, it was supposed to if you were to believe the nutty ramblings of a few journalists earlier in the week. It seems a few people took some misquoted 'worst case scenario' comments from a Russian antivirus researcher out of context (and possibly somewhat mangled in translation from Russian to English!) and ran stories predicting, again, TEOTIAWKI ('the end of the Internet as we know it').

Long-time hoax and hype buster Rob Rosenberger was one of the saner voices through the duration. We've linked to his coverage in case the Internet is still working for you and you're now intrigued as to what the heck I may be talking about...

Islamic cyber-terror attack predicted for 26 August - vmyths.com

* SSL fix for Netscape, SunOne/iPlanet web servers

Security researchers at ISS have discovered a remotely exploitable vulnerability in some of the SSL routines in Netscape Network Security Services (NSS) library. As well as being used by Netscape's Enterprise Server, Personalization Engine, Directory Server and Certificate Management Server products, and Sun One/iPlanet, several third-party products integrate the NSS library and will also be vulnerable if they support SSLv2 ciphers. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit a buffer overflow in NSS' SSLv2 routines to run code of their choice on a server running a vulnerable version of NSS.

Netscape has released an updated NSS library, as detailed in the ISS security advisory linked below.

Netscape NSS Library Remote Compromise - iss.net

* MD5 and SHA cryptographic hashes broken?

Last week there was a great deal of excitement among cryptographers at rumours and breaking news that several cryptanalysts had partially or fully 'cracked' various critical cryptographic hashing algorithms. In reality, it appears that the current level of compromise is not earth-shattering, but the fact that weaknesses in generating what are known as hash collisions have been found at all suggest significant effort should now be put into devising and testing even stronger cryptographic hashes for future use.

Cryptography and cryptanalysis (the study of its algorithms) are not the sorts of topics that light everybody's intellectual fires, but if the introduction above piques your interest, a good place to start for an overview of what has been discovered and its implications is Bruce Schneier's op-ed piece for ComputerWorld, linked below.

Cryptanalysis of MD5 and SHA: Time for a new standard - computerworld.com

* US authorities cracking down on spammers, phishing

The New York Times reports that US state and federal law enforcement agencies have recently been cracking down on spammers, those running phishing scams and related, computer-assisted identity theft crimes. This concerted effort has been largely unheralded to date, and has involved a cooperative effort between the law enforcement teams involved and a Pittsburgh non-profit, the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance. Operation Slam Spam, as this effort is known, has been substantially funded by the Direct Marketing Association; a trade group keen to promote the reputed legitimate side of e-mail marketing.

Regardless of the success of these moves though, it seems major spammers in other countries will be prepared to step up to the plate should many of the large US-based spammers be put out of business.

Note that the New York Times website requires free registration to read the linked article.

Dozens Charged in Push Against Spam and Scams - nytimes.com

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