Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Spyware Floods In Through BitTorrent

Filed under
Security

BitTorrent, the beloved file-sharing client and protocol that provides a way around bandwidth bottlenecks, has become the newest distribution vehicle for adware/spyware bundles.

Public peer-to-peer networks have always been associated with adware program distributions, but BitTorrent, the program created by Bram Cohen to offer a new approach to sharing digital files, has managed to avoid the stigma.

Not any more, anti-spyware advocates warn.
According to Chris Boyd, a renowned security researcher who runs the VitalSecurity.org nonprofit resource center, the warm and fuzzy world of BitTorrent has been invaded by a massive software distribution campaign linked to New York-based adware purveyor Direct Revenue LLC.

"This is the marketing campaign to end all marketing campaigns," said Boyd, the Microsoft Security MVP (most valuable professional) known throughout the security industry by the "Paperghost" moniker.

In an e-mail interview with Ziff Davis Internet News, Boyd said rogue files have popped up occasionally in BitTorrent land but those were usually just random executables. "This is the first time I've seen a definite money-making campaign with affiliates, distributors and some pretty heavy-duty adware names," he added.

Boyd said he got the first inkling that BitTorrent was a major adware distribution vehicle while searching for the source of Direct Revenue's Aurora, an adware program that includes the prevalent "nail.exe" component. Sifting through mountains of HijackThis logs posted on security forums, Boyd said the answer was staring him in the face. (HijackThis is a popular freeware spyware removal tool that keeps detailed logs of Windows PC scans).

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Why Linus is right (as usual)
    Last year, some security “hardening” code was added to the kernel to prevent a class of buffer-overflow/out-of-bounds issues. This code didn’t address any particular 0day vulnerability, but was designed to prevent a class of future potential exploits from being exploited. This is reasonable. This code had bugs, but that’s no sin. All code has bugs. The sin, from Linus’s point of view, is that when an overflow/out-of-bounds access was detected, the code would kill the user-mode process or kernel. Linus thinks it should have only generated warnings, and let the offending code continue to run.
  • Kube-Node: Let Your Kubernetes Cluster Auto-Manage Its Nodes
    As Michelle Noorali put it in her keynote address at KubeCon Europe in March of this year: the Kubernetes open source container orchestration engine is still hard for developers. In theory, developers are crazy about Kubernetes and container technologies, because they let them write their application once and then run it anywhere without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. In reality, however, they still rely on operations in many aspects, which (understandably) dampens their enthusiasm about the disruptive potential of these technologies. One major downside for developers is that Kubernetes is not able to auto-manage and auto-scale its own machines. As a consequence, operations must get involved every time a worker node is deployed or deleted. Obviously, there are many node deployment solutions, including Terraform, Chef or Puppet, that make ops live much easier. However, all of them require domain-specific knowledge; a generic approach across various platforms that would not require ops intervention does not exist.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) Shares Bought by Aperio Group LLC
  • Cloudera, Inc. (CLDR) vs. Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): Breaking Down the Data

Software: VidCutter, Super Productivity, MKVToolNix

  • VidCutter 5.0 Released With Improved UI, Frame Accurate Cutting
    A new version of VidCutter, a free video trimmer app, is available for download. VidCutter 5.0 makes it easier to cut videos to specific frames, improves the export of video clips with audio and subtitle tracks, and refreshes the default application icon. Why Vidcutter? If you want split video, trim video, or join video clips into a single montage then Vidcutter is ideal. The app lets you perform these tasks, as well as many more, quickly and easily. VidCutter is a Qt5 application that uses the open-source FFMpeg media engine.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Fedora 27, Shotwell, Corebird + More
    It’s been another busy week in the world of Linux, but we’re here to bring you up to speed with a round-up of the most notable new releases. The past 7 days have given us a new version of free software’s most popular photo management app, a new release of a leading Linux distribution, and updated one of my favourite app finds of the year.
  • Super Productivity is a Super Useful To-Do App for Linux, Mac & Windows
    Super Productivity is an open-source to-do list and time tracking app for Windows, macOS and Linux. It’s built using Electron but doesn’t require an internet connection (which is pretty neat). And it has (optional) integration with Atlassian’s Jira software.
  • MKVToolNix 18.0.0 Open-Source MKV Manipulation App Adds Performance Improvements
    A new stable release of the MKVToolNix open-source and cross-platform MKV (Matroska) manipulation software arrived this past weekend with various performance improvements and bug fixes. MKVToolNix 18.0.0 continues the monthly series of stability and reliability updates by adding performance improvements to both the AVC and HEVC ES parsers thanks to the implementation of support for copying much less memory, and enabling stack protection when building the program with Clang 3.5.0 or a new version.

OSS Leftovers

  • Reveal.js presentation hacks
    Ryan Jarvinen, a Red Hat open source advocate focusing on improving developer experience in the container community, has been using the Reveal.js presentation framework for more than five years. In his Lightning Talk at All Things Open 2017, he shares what he's learned about Reveal.js and some ways to make better use of it. Reveal.js is an open source framework for creating presentations in HTML based on HTML5 and CSS. Ryan describes Gist-reveal.it, his project that makes it easier for users to create, fork, present, and share Reveal.js slides by using GitHub's Gist service as a datastore.
  • Font licensing and use: What you need to know
    Most of us have dozens of fonts installed on our computers, and countless others are available for download, but I suspect that most people, like me, use fonts unconsciously. I just open up LibreOffice or Scribus and use the defaults. Sometimes, however, we need a font for a specific purpose, and we need to decide which one is right for our project. Graphic designers are experts in choosing fonts, but in this article I'll explore typefaces for everyone who isn't a professional designer.
  • Broader role essential for OpenStack Foundation, says Mirantis’ Renski
  • URSA Announces Name Change to Open Source Integrators to Reflect Their Full Spectrum of Open ERP Expertise
  • 2018 is Year for Open Source Software for Pentagon
    The US Pentagon is set to make a major investment in open source software, if section 886 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 is passed. The section acknowledges the use of open source software, the release of source code into public repositories, and a competition to inspire work with open source that supports the mission of the Department of Defense.
  • How startups save buckets of money on early software development
     

    Moving along, we have to segue with a short modularity lesson. More specifically, how modularity applies to software.

    Essentially, all products and services become cheaper and more plentiful when all the processes involved in production become modularised.

today's howtos