This week Google announced that they are working on a new open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks – Google Chrome OS. That’s right. It’s a Google Chrome browser running on top of Linux kernel. Netbooks running Google Chrome OS should be available in the second half of 2010. (BTW, will European Union rule Google exclude Google Chrome browser from the default installation of a Google Chrome OS? )
They are going to completely redesign the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. As far as I understand the concept, everything should be stored and executed on the web, so traditional malware won’t work on such a OS. On the other hand, I envision criminals somehow make Chrome users subscribe to their malicious web services.
To have more things under my control I moved this blog from a shared hosting plan to a VPS (virtual private server).
However, when I imported WordPress posts to the new location, things didn’t go as expected and the structure of threaded comments got broken. When you read popular posts with active discussions, you might not be able to identify who responding to whom. In new posts, threaded comments should be working. Continue »»
Yesterday, I had been notified that my blog’s web pages sometimes contain malicious scripts. I had to shut down the blog and investigate the issue. Sorry for the inconvenience. I didn’t want to expose you to any threats.
The Unmask Parasites online service was not affected (it is hosted in a different location, and is very secure). It worked all that time. And during the investigation, my blog redirected visitors to http://www.UnmaskParasites.com
The Gumblar exploit seems to be the biggest exploit I’ve ever reviewed in my blog. About a thousand visitors come to read my article about Gumblar every day. This exploit accounts for about 80% of positives on Unmask Parasites and I still don’t see any sign of its decline.
I found some more interesting facts about this exploit in SophosLab’s and ScanSafe’s blogs and would like to share them with you.
Just checked one site that Google lists as suspicious. And here is what I discovered on the Safe Browsing diagnostic page
BadwareBusters.org is an online community for people looking for help removing viruses, spyware, and other malicious software from their computers and websites. The site is a joint effort of Consumer Reports WebWatch and the StopBadware.org project at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
I’ve been a member of this community since early alpha releases last fall. I watched the site evolving from what I called “usability disaster” to a very decent web forum with interesting discussions. Yesterday they finally removed the beta label and officially launched the site.
Something strange has happened to Google. All links in search results are marked as harmful. I checked from both Windows and Linux machine so spyware interference is very unlikely. Must be a Google’s bug. Continue »»
My name is Denis Sinegubko. I’m the developer of Unmask Parasites. It’s a free online service that scans web pages for hidden illicit content such as invisible spam links and iframes, redirects and suspicious scripts.
This service was released as an early public beta in the beginning of July and has since gone through numerous improvements. It’s still a beta, but it works well with most sites and proved to be a really useful tool for website security issues investigations. After all, Gmail is still a beta too!
To test Unmask Parasites and learn more about real life website security problems, this summer I joined the StopBadware.org discussion group. I tried to check every request and help web site owners find out why their sites were blacklisted by Google and Firefox. This was an exciting experience. Every week I learned some new tricks hackers used to exploit web sites and hide their malicious code.
Thanks to regular posts of Google Anti-Malware Team members, I gained some valuable knowledge about their automated security scanners and Safe Browsing Diagnostics reports (which may be really confusing sometimes). This helps to make decisions on what could have led to the ban and what couldn’t.
As I learned more and more, I realized how little regular website owners know about security threats, anti-hacker protection and how to find out if their sites have already been compromised.
And the worst news for site owners is it is not only between them and their visitors. Google immediately “punishes” web sites as soon as it detects malicious behavior. As a result, such sites are deprived of Google’s search traffic, AdWords campaigns are suspended and most users of Firefox 3 and Google Chrome browsers won’t be able to visit the sites.
The ones that are hurt the most are owners of small sites who usually have neither special knowledge nor budgets to prevent, detect, and withstand hacker attacks. It’s very frustrating for them to find out that Google and Firefox are trying to ruin their small business or hobby sites for no obvious reason by calling them “attack sites” and keeping web surfers away.
So I decided to start this blog and share some down-to-earth information about web site exploits. I.e. what web site exploits look like, how and why web sites are getting compromised, how to find and remove malicious code if a web site has been hacked. Of course, I’ll be also blogging about my own tools: Unmask Parasites and the ones that haven’t been released yet (stay tuned!).
To make this blog more interesting, I encourage you to ask questions and suggest topics that you want me to cover. I’ll also accept guest posts and real life stories – anything about website security and cleaning up compromised web sites. Just leave your comments or contact me directly via a web form.
Let’s unmask parasites!