Risk
12/20/2007
08:11 AM
50%
50%

New Malware Steals Legitimate Ads

Anti-virus software supplier BitDefender discovered a new Trojan , which hijacks Google text advertisements and replaces them with ads from a different provider. The malware, which BitDefender dubbed Trojan.Qhost.WU, modifies a computers' Hosts file (a local storage for domain name /IP address mappings, which is consulted before

Anti-virus software supplier BitDefender discovered a new Trojan , which hijacks Google text advertisements and replaces them with ads from a different provider. The malware, which BitDefender dubbed Trojan.Qhost.WU, modifies a computers' Hosts file (a local storage for domain name /IP address mappings, which is consulted before domain name servers and is considered authoritative). The modified file contains a line that redirects the computer from the legitimate source to an illegitimate one.The new malware underscores how the mindset of hackers has been changing. Whereas they once were pimply face adolescents trying to wreak havoc on the adult world, many are now savvy young businesspersons who view creating malware as a more attractive career path than working for a Fortune 500 company. The largest producers of spam and malware are now criminals who often pocket six and seven figure incomes from their deeds.

The new malware hurts businesses, such as Google, who are counting on ads to increase their coffers. Companies placing Internet advertisements also suffer because their work is not viewed as widely as it could be. Small and medium corporations that are interested in certain products lose out because they are diverted away from primary sources to secondary ones, some of which may not be legitimate. Also, monitoring malware becomes more difficult because these companies now have to ensure that the advertisements users are viewing are legitimate. Who would ever think about worrying about that?

BitDefender has a cure for this Trojan but there is no doubt that others will arise. The lure of easy money is too tempting for this new generation of hackers to ignore.

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.