Articles about security

De 3 wetten der computers

Wie is de eigenaar van je computer?  Het lijkt een simpele vraag maar denk er even over na voor je antwoord.

De meeste mensen antwoorden onmiddelijk "ik" en logisch gezien zou dat ook zo moeten zijn.  Maar de werkelijkheid is een stuk complexer.

Waarom Anti Virus technologie niet werkt

Dit is een vertaling van mijn oorspronkelijk artikel uit 2007, het origineel (Engelstalig) vind je hier.

Het klinkt bijna als heiligschennis om dit te zeggen omdat de meeste mensen geloven dat anti-virussoftware de belangrijkste en zelfs enige oplossing voor het probleem is (ik zie zelfs steeds vaker de vraag naar AV software op Linux opduiken terwijl er bijna geen Linux virussen bestaan).

Why Anti-virus is not a (good) solution to fighting malware

It almost sounds like sacrilege to make this statement and most people today seem to accept anti-viral software as the first and only solution the the problem (I even see an increasing demand for AV sofware on Linux where almost no virusses exist).

Every bit that travels through the internet is scanned and scanned again. A mail is often scanned at the sending computer, then at the mailserver of the sender, again at the mailserver of the recipient and one last time at the receiving computer. Yet, despite this over-agressive approach, virusses continue to infect and damage computers worldwide.


Virusmaker Sony gets a break

I wrote about Sony infecting numerous computers by selling CD's that had deliberatly been infected with malware (a rootkit) to protect the CD's against copying here.

To recap, Sony put a rootkit on about 40 CD titles that infected your PC as soon as you tried to play the disc in it. The infection hid itself from the user and made the computer vulnerable to outside attacks.

To make things worse, it later turned out that the bundled player on the discs contained GPL code that was stolen from a free project.

So, what kind of punishment do you expect Sony got?


The upcoming local election in Belgium and unsafe electronic voting machines

This morning, the radio news that was playing in my car reported that a group had found that the electronic voting machines that will be used in this weekends local elections are highly vulnerable to exploit.

Why this newsonly comes so close to the elections is beyond me, because it is something that most of us in the security field have known for years.


Sony still doesn't get it

Both Sony and the mainstream media are doing their best to prove that they just don't get the problem.
When I first published my articles on the Rootkit that Sony CD's installed on consumer PC's, I hoped that the big media would pick up on the issue behind it.

Although Sony received a huge amount of bad press about this, very little of it cuts to the hart of the real issue.

As the story unfolds, it seems that the rootkit was initially discovered by a PC repair shop that reported it to F-Secure for analysis at the end of September 2005.


Sony cripples computers to protect it's music

On October 31, it was revealed by researcher Mark Russinovich that Sony's audio CD's contained a form of spy/malware called a rootkit.

I wasn't going to write about this intially because most of it has been rehashed in the popular press already. But the events have taken such a turn for the worst after the response of Sony to the mess they created that I cannot be silent.
Sony admitted that most CD's it sold over the recent years contain software to prevent them from being copied on Windows-based PC's (reports from consumers list arround 40 infected titles).


Response to the thread of a car bomb in Brussels

Yesterday, the capital of my country (Belgium) was shaken by the thread of terrorist activity near the buildings of the European commision in Brussels. I just visited this area a day before on business.

After the initial announcements in the press that something was happening, some government departments responded with fake explanations of what was happening, I can only imagine that they did this to avoid panic.
The Belgian authorities where warned by the Spanish Intelligence service that there was a thread of a car bomb near the European Commision yesterday.


SECURITY vulnerability in ECS-K7S5A(L) boards

SECURITY vulnerability in ECS-K7S5A(L) boards

The administrator-password set in the BIOS of the K7S5A(L) locks out BIOS-access
from the console. However, it does not disable access to the boot-menu. Eventhough
the system is configured to boot from harddrive only, and has an admin-password set,
someone with physical access to the system can still boot from floppy or CD using
the boot-menu.


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