Archive for August, 2008

Computer viruses make it to orbit !

A computer virus is alive and well on the International Space Station (ISS).

Nasa has confirmed that laptops carried to the ISS in July were infected with a virus known as Gammima.AG.

The worm was first detected on earth in August 2007 and lurks on infected machines waiting to steal login names for popular online games.

Nasa said it was not the first time computer viruses had travelled into space and it was investigating how the machines were infected.

Orbital outbreak

Space news website SpaceRef broke the story about the virus on the laptops that astronauts took to the ISS.

Nasa told SpaceRef that no command or control systems of the ISS were at risk from the malicious program.

The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth.

The laptops carried by astronauts reportedly do not have any anti-virus software on them to prevent infection.

Once it has scooped up passwords and login names the Gammima.AG worm virus tries to send them back to a central server. It targets a total of 10 games most of which are popular in the Far East such as Maple Story, HuangYi Online and Talesweaver.

Nasa is working with partners on the ISS to find out how the virus got on to the laptop in the first place.

The ISS has no direct net connection and all data traffic travelling from the ground to the spacecraft is scanned before being transmitted.

It is thought that the virus might have travelled via a flash or USB drive owned by an astronaut and taken into space.

The space agency also plans to put in place security systems to stop such incidents happening in the future.

Nasa told Wired News that viruses had infected laptops taken to the ISS on several occasions but the outbreaks always only been a “nuisance”.

ESET Secures Record-Breaking 50th Virus Bulletin Award

ESET Secures Record-Breaking 50th Virus Bulletin Award for Security Excellence

Detects 100 Percent of Viruses, Worms and Bots with Zero False Positives

San Diego, June 4, 2008 – ESET®, the leader in proactive threat protection, today announced it has captured a record 50th VB100 award from Virus Bulletin, a widely-respected independent comparative testing group. ESET is the first company to reach the 50-award milestone.

Virus Bulletin introduced its first VB100 award in 1998, and conducts several comparatives every year, rotating its platforms between Linux, Windows, Windows servers and Novell Netware. In order to display the VB100 logo, an antivirus product must meet two criteria: (1) Demonstrate it detects all “In-the-Wild” viruses during both on-demand and on-access scanning; and, (2) Generate no false positives when scanning a set of clean files. Since the inception of VB100 awards in 1998, ESET’s antivirus products boast a success rate of over 96 percent — the industry’s highest. Most antivirus vendors have success ratios in the 50 – 75 percent range.

“With excellent detection and no false positive issues, ESET has stormed its way to a record 50th VB100 award,” said John Hawes of Virus Bulletin. “The ESET installation process proved fast and efficient, and the command line scanner was a joy to operate.”

“No other company can claim 50 VB100 awards, and we are very pleased to be the first,” said Anton Zajac, CEO of ESET, LLC. “I want to personally thank our employees, and notably the research and development teams that continue to produce security software’s most proactive, precise, lightweight and fast product.”

ESET File Security for Linux — the subject of this month’s testing — is powered by ThreatSense® technology, an advanced heuristics engine that enables proactive detection of malware not covered by even the most frequently updated signature-based products. Unlike traditional approaches, ESET solutions decode and analyze executable code in real-time, using an emulated environment. By allowing malware to execute in a secure virtual world, ESET is able to clearly differentiate between benign files and even the most sophisticated and cleverly-disguised malware.