Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Skype Trojan Horse on the loose, but removal’s easy

Russel Shaw reports:
Yesterday Websense Security Labs reported that there was a potential Worm propagating via Skype (see:
http://www.websense.com/securitylabs/blog/blog.php?BlogID=101). After investigation we have discovered that this is not a self propagating worm and is actually a Trojan Horse.

After discussions with the very helpful Skype security team, the behavior of this Trojan using the Skype API is as per the specifications of the API. The end-user who is running Skype does get notified that a program is attempting to access it and must acknowledge it.
*there is no vulnerability in Skype at this time that has been uncovered*
For more details on the Skype API see
https://developer.skype.com/Docs/ApiDoc/Overview_of_the_Skype_API

At the time of this alert the websites that were used to download the Skype API code and the site that is used to download new copies of the Trojan were both down.
Websense says the original infections appear to be occuring in the Asia Pacific region, especially Korea.


According to Symantec, here's what happens when this piece o' crap launches executes:

1) Searches the registry for the location of the Skype application.


2) Displays the following message and then exits if it cannot find the registry: Error!I could not find Skype !


3) Executes the Skype application and displays the following message if it finds the registry:Warning!Allow this program in skype!

4) Queries Skype for random users every 3 minutes.


5) Starts the Skype application and sends the following message to the users:Check this! [http://]marx2.altervista.org/surpr[REMOVED]

All that said, this appears to be some pretty weak malware. Symantec says so.
Removal via Symantec's daily virus definition update fixes this…

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Job done

I am back. Back in my “new” office (no pictures available yet), with all equipment up and running full time.
Back at Skype’s Forum. Also back to reality.

The past week has been very hectic. I wanted to finish all building and decorating jobs at least a week before Christmas. And I reached my goal by working long hours. Sometimes even till 1.30 AM.
Mad? Crazy, Stupid? Yes, probably but I looked forward to getting the house back in order.
Spending Christmas in between half finished jobs wasn’t a nice idea.

I forwarded all incoming calls to my mobiles and carried those upstairs to work on my new room at the attic.
Most of the time it worked well but sometimes I had to wipe my painty fingers to a cloth before answering.
Bluetooth? Yes of course I have Bluetooth but unfortunately I only have two ears….


The inner wall was a lot of work. Nothing is straight at my attic and I had to saw most of the laths by hand.
It was around 3 PM on Friday that I fitted the last lath. After a quick dinner, I cleared everything from equipment, pieces of laths and saw dust and cleaned the bedroom. (Still the decorating laths but this is a job for next year.)
Apart of the chest of drawers, I put everything else in place, made the bed and fell into a deep sleep in the middle of the night. My first night in my
new room.

On Friday, my old bed moved from my bedroom to that of my neighbour who swapped it for his chicken pen. A very good deal as I needed to get rid of the bed (although it was a very nice one) where the neighbour's bed was close to giving up and neighbour needed to get rid of his chicken pen where mine wasn’t going to survive another year.

Saturday my brother and his family visited Mum. They live in Germany and are not always around when you need a pair of extra hands. Another reason why I wanted to finish the new room on Friday. Now brother and nephew could carry the chest of drawers to the attic. I manage a lot on my own but they are too heavy to carry them upstairs.
Brother also drilled a big hole for the Internet cables from the living room to the new office.

Enjoying seeing my family I spent the rest of the day with them and my Mother but moved my wardrobe upstairs during the evening.

On Sunday I dismounted the office desk, and moved it together with all printers, phones, adapters, scanners (and cables……… metres of cables……) etc. etc. to the old bedroom.
It took many hours before everything was in place and it was a relief when I switched on the laptops, to find everything working in good order. Including the WLAN connection.

Next my living room, still a huge mess with everything out of place. I planned this for the Monday but received a request for a telephone job for Monday and Tuesday so worked a bit harder to have everything in order before Monday morning.

It was not before 11 PM that the Christmas tree was up. Usually it is up right after our
Sinterklaas avondwhich is on the 5th of December. Tree stayed in my car for a few days and was happy to be released and decorated.

I also installed my fire place and by the time everything was finished it was 1) too late and 2) I was too tired to enjoy it.

Monday was a nice day for getting the rest of the house back in order because I was around my laptops again. So many little jobs like dusting, hovering, mopping, dishwashing. Things I didn’t do for a few days.

It was not until yesterday evening I was ready to relax.
I lighted the fire and the candle sticks, played a CD with Classical music, got a book and set down on my settee. My cats on my lap, my dog at my feet. And of course it didn’t take long before I dozed off.

Life is good to me. Happy holidays to all of you……

Skype Worm Breaks Out in APAC

Symantec and Websense have warned Skype users of a new worm that spreads itself via Skype text messages.

Dubbed Chatosky by Symantec, the cycle starts with a Skype user receiving a message offering a file called sp.exe. According to Websense's preliminary analysis, when that file is run it installs a password-stealing Trojan and propagates itself via Skype.

The malware also tries to connect to a now-disabled remote server to collect additional code.
Websense says the original infections appear to be in the Asia Pacific region, especially Korea.
CA's, Sophos' and McAfee's security sites had no information about this worm at the time of writing.


Source: Itwire

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How many muscles does one have?

Far more then you can think of. And much more then you usually notice when sitting behind the computer, navigating your mouse, clicking buttons in Skype, talking on Skype or typing chats, documents. Or vacuum cleaning, mopping, dish washing etc. Also more then when walking the dog!

Normally you do not notice ‘muscles for daily use’. Some are in the automatic gear, you do not even think about using them. At least I don’t. I don’t tell them “start moving” when I want to use them.
Well…. I didn’t up till now.....

Over the weekend I have been the female equivalent of Bob the Builder.
On Saturday I finished painting what needed to be painted at the attic and set up the work-bench and sawing machines.
I measured all the laths for the slope roof to which I will fit the boards and started sawing, some by hand and some with the machine. Soon they were ready and I drilled little holes for the screws of which I fitted some already in fore. This makes it easier to handle the screw-auger when holding the lath against the roof at the same time.

My cousins from Noord Holland, visiting Mum, also came to watch my building activities and offered me help moving furniture when I wouldn’t reach my goal; sleeping in my new bedroom before Christmas.
I thankfully accepted their great offer but still want to move in time (there is also an office to move before Christmas).

I finished just in time for dinner with Mum who baked pan-cakes. Gosh, was she tired but she enjoyed it so much and the pan-cakes were delicious.
Home again I left the attic for what it was and spent a quiet evening with a book and film.

The real building job started on Sunday. Up early, I started fastening the laths. Some needed to be altered as the roof of my little house is extremely oblique, nothing with the same size fits at once.
I started with the top section and slowly worked downwards. A few extra around the window and early afternoon this job was finished.

Then I set up the laths for the side boards which was more work. I made little pieces of wood to fit the laths on the floor and used firm screws to fit them to the beams. Again I was working mostly upside down in the narrow area of the roof.
Around 4.30 PM, nearly finished, I felt so tired that I asked myself what on earth I had started. All of a sudden the electric wires entangled my feet, made me stumble, tools dropped from work-benches without a reason and little pieces of laths and beams popped out of the floor right where my knees were. Just to pester me….. But then again I could see the end result, got myself together and finished the sawing and fitting.

After clearing away all the machines and tools, I looked at the result and was quite happy with what I saw. Again less on my long “things to do” list.
I walked the dog, had a light dinner with Mum and felt less tired. So, when home again, I painted the door in the first layer of the final white paint and the doorpost in the last layer.

Sitting at my comfortable settee around 9 PM, I wondered what I was doing by trying hard to keep my eyes open and it didn’t take long before I was in bed for a long night of sleep.

Yesterday was a busy day at the office but even though I managed to continue working on my attic during the evening and finished one side of the door and put up insulation material between the laths for the side boards.

Today the boards arrive from which I have to make fitting boards. I hope I can start sawing tonight already and hope to paint them white for the first time before the weekend.
A friend is coming on Sunday to help me fitting the boards in the ridge of the attic. I don’t think it is safe to do that on my own: pushing against the boards, I will also push away my stairs. And I don’t want to hurt more muscles.

Right now I already have to tell them what to do: “Will you please move in the right direction so I can put my arm in my sleeve?” Or: “Can you do something to make my knees bend when I want to sit down? Please….???”

Friday, December 01, 2006

No Skype in the attic (no cash either!)

I am way behind with my work on my top floor (attic). I had such wonderful plans of taking one laptop with me to receive calls whilst decorating. Possible because of my Wireless Internet Connection.

But it was too busy. As soon as I logged on in the mornings, there was work to do and it glued me to my office chair for most of the day. Even the evenings were not free for building and decorating.
Shame as the paint definitely cleared my nose and head and I hardly noticed the cold.

Thinking I got rid of the cold or anything to do with it, was a dream. On Wednesday my body told me I had to calm down a bit. Gosh, did I feel sick! No fever but all other signs of what could have been called a flu. Though I never have a flu (and I keep denying this was one :-))

Too sick to do anything but taking incoming calls. I snuggled up on my comfy settee and got company from my two cosy cats who thought it was a treat to have me there all day.
I lost 3 kilo’s of weight (good start as I want to loose much more!) and felt a bit shaky at the end of the day.
In between calls I slept an awful lot which did me a world of good and yesterday I felt as healthy as one can be. Even the cold was completely gone.

What a day sleep can do, I should remember that….

Lots and lots of paperwork, telephone meetings and back on the Forum. My Avatar said: “DO NOT DISTURB disturbed already”. It is still up today but almost ready to be changed for a more friendly one.

I managed to finish my work at 7 PM, walked the dog, had a cupper with Mum who’s Heart is playing nasty tricks again (she looks terrible but says she is reasonable ok. Never complaining she is, my Mum), changed clothing and disappeared to my top floor, trying to do as much work as possible.

My wall paint arrived on Tuesday and it is of extremely good quality. Good paint is a joy to work with and in no time the miserable grey concrete wall changed into a shiny white one. I plan to do the next coat tonight after food shopping.

Then I painted all the beams in their first definite yellow. What a change already, imagine how nice it will be after the second and last coat: a little bit of sunshine in the attic.

I started late and of course finished late. My dog, too old to climb the stairs (something she was very good in, loved climbing rocks during our stay in Sweden), told me twice with a short “woof” that it was time to call it a day. No doubt she was getting hungry for her last meal of the day and of course needed a walk.

It was not before 0.30 AM I finished the last beam and felt like a dwarf in a kitchen cupboard being curled up painting the lowest beams of the slope roof for an hour or so.

The dog walk in a silent village with loads of fresh air, did me good and I fell asleep as soon as I sniffed my pillow.

Waking up though, was a different story!! Id did not even hear the alarm clock!
Still, I am behind my laptop, taking calls, sent my invoices to my client s and now feel like a light meal.
And as of tonight, two duty free decorating days, yeah!!

Enjoy your weekend!