Archive for October, 2011

W32.Duqu: The Precursor to the Next Stuxnet

October 19, 2011

According to Symantec, Duqu is the precursor to another Stuxnet type attack. However Duqu does not contain industrial like controls. It is primarily a remote access Trojan.


On October 14, 2011, a research lab with strong international connections alerted us to a sample that appeared to be very similar to Stuxnet. They named the threat “Duqu” [dyü-kyü] because it creates files with the file name prefix “~DQ”. The research lab provided us with samples recovered from computer systems located in Europe, as well as a detailed report with their initial findings, including analysis comparing the threat to Stuxnet, which we were able to confirm. Parts of Duqu are nearly identical to Stuxnet, but with a completely different purpose.

Complete Symantec article:

More on Duqu from by Kim Zetter:


A little more than one year after the infrastructure-destroying Stuxnet worm was discovered on computer systems in Iran, a new piece of malware using some of the same techniques has been found infecting systems in Europe, according to researchers at security firm Symantec.The new malware, dubbed “Duqu” [dü-kyü], contains parts that are nearly identical to Stuxnet and appears to have been written by the same authors behind Stuxnet, or at least by someone who had direct access to the Stuxnet source code, says Liam O Murchu.


Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisory – October 2011:

October 19, 2011

Follow these steps to remove older version of Java components and update to the latest version:
Download the latest version of Java Runtime Environment [JRE].
Click the Download JRE button to the right.
Click to enable the box that says:
“Accept License Agreement”,the page will then refresh.
Click on the link to download the Windows Offline installation and save to your desktop.
Close any programs you may have running – especially your web browser.
Go to Start > Control Panel double-click on Add/Remove programs and remove all older versions of Java.
If running Win Vista/Win 7,go to Control Panel > Programs and Features.
Check any item with Java Runtime Environment (JRE or J2SE) in the name.
Click the Remove/Uninstall or Change/Remove button.
Repeat as many times as necessary to remove each Java version.
Reboot your computer once all Java components are removed.
Then from your desktop double-click on jre-7u1-windows-i586.exe to install the newest version.
If running Win Vista/Win 7,right click on jre-7u1-windows-i586.exe [jre-7u1-windows-x64.exe if running Vista/Win 7 64bit] and select Run as Administrator.

Verify your installation of Sun Java:

AMD launches FX “Bulldozer” desktop chips, Eight cores

October 12, 2011

The long-awaited day for AMD fanboys has arrived. The chip company has finally released its first Bulldozer desktop processors under the FX series name, including a flagship eight-core CPU that’s priced at just $245.

Four FX processors are launching today, including a pair of eight-core chips, a six-core one, and a quad-core one. The octo-cores include the 3.6GHz FX-8150 for $245 and the 3.1GHz FX-8120 for $205, while the hexa-core chip is the 3.3GHz FX-6100 for $165. The quad-core FX-4100 runs at 3.6GHz and is priced at just $115. Each has a Turbo mode that lets it run even faster, and all are unlocked so overclockers can goose them to even higher clock speeds. In fact, the FX-8150 recently set a world record for the highest frequency for a CPU.

But how do the new chips compare to their Intel equivalents? According to Bulldozer reviews at AnandTechHotHardware, and Tom’s Hardware, it appears that the FX-8150 is no match for the Core i7-2600K on many benchmarks, though it performs more in line with i5-2500K, which runs around $220. While the Bulldozer chip handles multi-threaded benchmarks well, it suffers compared to Sandy Bridge processors on lightly threaded apps and even on power consumption, supposedly one of its strong suits.

So it seems that AMD hasn’t delivered much of a knockout punch to Sandy Bridge, though enthusiasts will still be happy to have a more competitive alternative than the aging Phenom II processors. And real-world performance won’t exactly mirror benchmark testing, so many buyers may still be happy with the FX series. However, Intel’s Ivy Bridge chips are on the horizon, and they should reset the competitive landscape once again in a mere few months.

Apple iOS 5 is now available to download and update your devices within iTunes.

October 12, 2011

iOS 5 Software Update

This update contains over 200 new features, including the following:

  • Notifications
    • Swipe from the top of any screen to view notifications in one place with Notification Center
    • New notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen
    • View notifications from lock screen
    • Slide the notification app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app
  • iMessage
    • Send and receive unlimited text, photo, and video messages with other iOS 5 users
    • Track messages with delivery and read receipts
    • Group messaging and secure encryption
    • Works over cellular network and Wi-Fi*
  • Newsstand
    • Automatically organizes magazine and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen
    • Displays the cover of the latest issue
    • Background downloads of new issues
  • Reminders for managing to do lists
    • Syncs with iCloud, iCal and Outlook
    • Location-based reminders when you leave or arrive at a location for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
  • Built-in support for Twitter
    • Sign-in once in Settings and tweet directly from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari and YouTube
    • Add location to any tweet
    • View twitter profile pictures and usernames in Contacts
  • Camera improvements for devices with cameras
    • Double click the home button when device is asleep to bring up a camera shortcut on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
    • Volume Up button to take a picture
    • Optional grid lines to line up shots
    • Pinch to zoom in the preview screen
    • Swipe to camera roll from preview screen
    • Tap and hold to lock focus and exposure, iPad 2 and iPod touch (4th generation) only support exposure lock
  • Photo improvements for devices with cameras
    • Crop and rotate
    • Red eye removal
    • One tap enhance
    • Organize photos into albums
  • Mail improvements
    • Format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts
    • Indentation control
    • Drag to rearrange names in address fields
    • Flag messages
    • Mass mark messages as flagged, read or unread
    • Customize mail alert sounds
    • S/MIME
  • Calendar improvements
    • Year view on iPad and new Week view for iPhone and iPod touch
    • Tap to create an event
    • View and add event attachments
  • Game Center improvements
    • Use personal photos for your Game Center account
    • Compare your overall achievement scores with your friends
    • Find new Game Center friends with friend recommendations and friends of friends
    • Discover new games with custom game recommendations
  • AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S
  • Multitasking Gestures for iPad
    • Use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen
    • Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar
    • Swipe left or right to switch between apps
  • On-device setup, activation and configuration with Setup Assistant
  • Software updates available over the air without tethering
  • iCloud support
    • iTunes in the Cloud
    • Photo Stream
    • Documents in the Cloud
    • Apps and Books automatic download and purchase history
    • Backup
    • Contacts, Calendar, and Mail
    • Find My iPhone
  • Redesigned Music app for iPad
  • Hourly weather forecast
  • Real-time stock quotes
  • Wireless sync to iTunes
  • Keyboard improvements
    • Split keyboard for iPad
    • Improved autocorrection accuracy
    • Improved Chinese and Japanese input
    • New Emoji keyboard
    • Personal dictionary for autocorrection
    • Optionally create keyboard short cuts for frequently used words
  • Accessibility improvements
    • Option to light LED flash on incoming calls and alerts for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
    • Custom vibration patterns for incoming calls on iPhone
    • New interface for using iOS with mobility-impairment input devices
    • Option to speak a selection of text
    • Custom element labeling for VoiceOver
  • Exchange ActiveSync improvements
    • Wirelessly sync tasks
    • Mark messages as flagged, read or unread
    • Improved offline support
    • Save a new contact from a GAL service
  • More than 1,500 new developer APIs
  • Bug fixes

Products compatible with this software update:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)


Some timely info on iTunes

October 11, 2011

Ahead of tomorrow’s release of iOS 5 and iCloud, Apple has released an update for iTunes.

iTunes 10.5 contains the following improvements:

  • iTunes in the Cloud.
  • iTunes now stores your music and TV purchases in iCloud and makes them available on your devices anywhere, any time, at no additional cost.
  • Automatic Downloads.
  • Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.
  • Download Previous Purchases.
  • Download your past music, TV, app, and book purchases again, at no additional cost. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.
  • Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5.
  • Wi-Fi Syncing.
  • Automatically sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes any time they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network.

Sad Day!!!

October 6, 2011

Today Apple has announced that Steve Jobs, one of the co-founders of the company, passed away on October 5th after a long battle with Pancreatic cancer.