Archive for June 2005

The dead shall rise

“U.S. scientists have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.”

“Pittsburgh’s Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject’s veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.”

from -> Slashdot, source -> news.com.au

Okay, now I’ve heard everything. Pretty damn freaky if you ask me.

Shields up, Captain!

Opposite charges attract. Like charges repel. It’s the first lesson of electromagnetism and, someday, it could save the lives of astronauts.

NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration calls for a return to the Moon as preparation for even longer journeys to Mars and beyond. But there’s a potential showstopper: radiation.

Space beyond low-Earth orbit is awash with intense radiation from the Sun and from deep galactic sources such as supernovas. Astronauts en route to the Moon and Mars are going to be exposed to this radiation, increasing their risk of getting cancer and other maladies. Finding a good shield is important.

from -> science.nasa.gov

Now wouldn’t that be something? High voltage electric fields to protect astronauts. Hope the research on this is fully worked out and implemented.

Amateur Astronomers have “Deep Impact”

“..the comet is getting star treatment of late from hundreds of people across six continents who have been tracking its movements with telescopes and feeding images of the comet to professional astronomers. The reason? On July 4, an American spacecraft will launch a projectile to slam into the comet and offer clues to what Tempel 1 is made of.”

USA Today

Solar Sail Launch Fails

“The Cosmos 1 vehicle was intended to show that a so-called solar sail can make a controlled flight. Solar sails, designed to be propelled by pressure from sunlight, are envisioned as a potential means for achieving interstellar flight, allowing such spacecraft to gradually build up great velocity and cover large distances.”

“But the Volna booster rocket failed 83 seconds after its launch from a Russian nuclear submarine in the northern Barents Sea just before midnight Tuesday in Moscow, the Russian space agency said. ”

USA Today

Latest Viral Threats

Downloader.DCM – A Trojan Horse that installs Dumador.BC (below)
on the infected machine. The Downloader.DCM code must be spread
manually and attempts to hide from firewalls and other security
applications. (Panda Software)

Dumador.BC – A remote control tool that is dropped by
Download.DCM. It also disables anti-virus applications on the
affected machine. (Panda Software)

Looxee – A hacker tool that can be used to monitor activity on
an infected machine, including e-mails, chats and other
applications. (Panda Software)

W32/Mytob-BI – A new variant of the Mytob e-mail/network share
worm. This version drops “winsys33.exe” on the infected machine
and can limit access to security Web sites by modifying the
Windows HOSTS file. The infected e-mail message looks like an
account suspended warning. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-GZ – Another Trojan that can be controlled through an
IRC connection. This Mytob variant drops “taskmr.exe” on the
infected machine. It’s e-mails look like a status report or
delivery failure message. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-BQ – Batting for a triple with Mytob, that variant
installs itself as “winxpserv.exe” on the infected machine. It
too limits access to the security Web sites by modifying the
Windows HOSTS file. (Sophos)

W32/Rbot-KX – An Rbot variant that allows backdoor access
through IRC and can be used for a number of malicious purposes,
including running proxy servers on the infected machine and
logging keystrokes. It spreads through network shares and drops
“iiexplorer.exe” in the Windows System folder. (Sophos)

W32/Rbot-AFR – This Rbot variant exploits a couple different
Windows vulnerabilities as it spreads through shared network
drives. It too can allow control through IRC and be used for a
number of malicious purposes. It installs “syspci32.exe” in the
Windows System folder. (Sophos)

W32/Sdbot-ZM – A Trojan that installs itself as “nawdll32.exe”
in the Windows System directory. It spreads through network
shares and allows backdoor access via IRC. It can act as an FTP
server and download/execute additional code. (Sophos)

W32/Sdbot-YW – Another Sdbot variant that allows control of the
infected machine via IRC. YW drops “hmusvc32.exe” in the Windows
System folder. (Sophos)

W32/Sdbot-ZO – Our third Sdbot variant today acts much the same
way as the previous two. It’s infected file is “burndl32.exe”.
(Sophos)

Troj/Bizves-B – A downloader Trojan that installs as
“popcorn.exe”. (Sophos)

W32/Randon-AN – Another Trojan horse application that attempts
to provide access to the infected host through IRC. It drops a
number of files on the target machine, including “app.exe” and
“netservup.exe”. (Sophos)
**********
NetworkWorld

Dark Knight, Good Night

I am really tired right now, not sure how I’m even still up to type this. Just wanted to say I had so much fun with my girlfriend Jarlyn today, she’s the greatest! Went out the eat and stuffed our faces ’cause we were starving, walked off our bellies in the mall and chilled back at her place for the night. 😉 A wonder day indeed.

Also, I saw Batman Begins. What a great movie that turned out to be. Call me crazy, but I like it better than Star Wars 3. I think the overall story and acting was better than SW3. Don’t get me wrong, I like Star Wars, I just expected more, maybe over hyped? And the acting in SW, mostly between Anakin and Padme, was just plain corny at times. I certianly wasn’t buying the whole love drama. I was also hoping for some Vader decked out in is black suit action, but no. Christen Bale I think played the best Batman ever, like the true character leapt right from the comic books onto the screen. This is a darker, more real Bruce Wayne compared to the other more spoofy films. Never a dull moment, I highly recommend.

‘Bout to pass out, need sleep… nite night.
-Al the Astronomical

Critical IE Bugs Patched

Microsoft released 10 security patches, including three deemed “critical,” for bugs in a variety of the company’s products. Released Tuesday as part of the company’s monthly updates, the critical patches repair flaws in Windows and Internet Explorer that could allow attackers to take complete control of a computer, Microsoft said.

NetworkWorld Security

Today’s Viral Forecast

Troj/Banker-HC – Another information stealing worm that targets
Brazilian banking Web sites. It uses a random filename as its
infection point. (Sophos)

Troj/Banker-DV – This variant of the Banker worm family installs
itself as “winlogin.exe”. (Sophos)

Troj/Banker-DB – Another banker variant. This one attempts to
mail stolen info to a predefined e-mail address. (Sophos)

W32/Chode-C – A worm that spreads through MS Messenger with a
message “hey, is this you?” followed by a link to the virus
itself. If executed, the virus will display a fake error
message. It can be used for a number of malicious applications
such as sending e-mail, participating in DoS attacks and steal
passwords. (Sophos)

W32/Rbot-AEJ – A new Rbot variant that spreads by exploiting a
number of known Windows vulnerabilities. It can be used for
malicious function such as HTTP proxying, downloading code,
stealing local information and participating in DoS attacks. It
installs itself as “system.exe”. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-BD – A new Mytob mass-mailing and backdoor Trojan that
drops “test2.exe” on the infected machine. The malicious e-mail
looks like an account validation or system warning message. It
prevents access to security-related sites by modifying Windows
HOSTS file. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-U – This Mytob variant is similar to its predecessors
in the way it spreads. It drops “LienVdK.exe” on the infected
machine. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-AO – A Mytob variant that exploits the Windows LSASS
flaw to infect the machine. It installs “taskgm.exe” on the
host. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-AP – This variant spreads through an attachment with a
double extension or as a ZIP. It can provide backdoor access
through IRC and limit access to certain Web sites by modifying
the Windows HOSTS file. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-AQ – This variant is similar to the others. It drops
“Lien Vande Kelder.exe” on the infected machine. (Sophos)

W32/Tirbot-G – A network worm that exploits the Windows LSASS
vulnerability to infect a machine. It installs “mssvp.exe” on
the host and can be used to download additional malicious code.
(Sophos)

Troj/Lineage-O – A password stealing Trojan that targets the
game “Lineage”. It copies two files to the infected machine:
“explorer.exe” and “htdll.dll”. (Sophos)

W32/Francette-S – A Windows worm that exploits the RPC-DCOM
vulnerability in infect a machine. It provides backdoor access
via IRC and modifies the HOSTS file to prevent access to certain
sites. (Sophos)

Troj/Puppet-A – Another IRC backdoor worm that spreads through
network shares. This one drops “boot.exe” on the infected
machine. (Sophos)

W32/Kelvir-AE – A Windows Messenger worm that spreads through a
message “ahahhaa :p” followed by a URL. (Sophos)

Smitfraud – A new Spyware application that infects system files.
The application installs an anti-spyware program, then tries to
get users to pay for it when it finds an “infection.” (Panda
Software)

Skulls.L – A Trojan that infects Symbian phones. What makes it
different than most of the previous variants is that it pretends
to be an F-Secure anti-virus update. (F-Secure)
**********
NetworkWorld

Is there a dentist in the house?

Shoot. I was eating thick juicy steak for dinner and I lost a chunk of my tooth, believe that? Luckily it doesn’t hurt, I’m surprised. It was a cavity that has been forming between a couple of teeth and now most of the inner section is gone and along the side. It’s in between, so it’s not noticable when I smile, but man! I can sure feel what seems to be a sizable gap where there was once tooth. Odd as it feels I am just so relieved it doesn’t hurt, and strangely I didn’t even notice when it actually happened. Just swiped my tongue across my teeth checking for food and felt the sharp edged opening which was quite disturbing. No sign of that peice of missing tooth either, must have swallowed it.. *gulp* Although it didn’t keep me from finishing my steak covered in mouth watering sauce and sauteed onions. 😉 It also definately shouldn’t keep me from seeking dental care soon.

The Heat Is On

Another muggy day today. I spent the the day with my Grandfather to do some yard work for him, he’s getting to old to do it all himself. I cleaned up the leftover dirt from a previous planting of bushes I did and used some peices of grass I dug up to fill in some dry dirt patches in the backyard. I also dumped around 6 or 7 bags of red cedar mulch for a flower bed along the side fence at the rear of the house. Although I sweated my brains out, I didn’t mind at all. I enjoy actually spending some time under the warmth of our star, as opposed to being couped up inside most of my time.

I tell ya though, it sure went from cold to warm in a hurry a week or so ago, and humidly hot ever since. Almost as if it went right from winter to summer. We also pretty much got all our April showers in May… May showers, crazy. I wonder if the whacky weather lately, not just New England, but globally, is related to Global Warming. I’m betting it is. Although people can’t seem to agree on how big a problem global warming is, and exactly how much it’s influenced by civilization. There’s scientists and plenty of corncerned people who are already well aware of how severe it is, even establishing the Kyoto Protocol, where many nations are signed on to reign in their greenhouse gases. I believe all but Australia and the U.S. are taking part. Pres. Bush and his administration declined to take part, I think because they believe it’ll hurt the economy, although I think their reasons lie much deeper than that.

Michio Kaku is a scientist I like to listen to on this and various other subjects in his Exploration radio show. He knows his facts and delivers intriqing information that’s clearly spoken and easy to understand. I highly recommend anyone who’s interested in world issues and science in general to listen in, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Virus Threats – June 9

Troj/Codebase-K – A virus that exploits the Internet Explorer
CODEBASE vulnerability to execute a malicious file on the
infected machine. It spreads through an HTML page/file with an
embedded object. (Sophos)

Win32.Small.axr – An e-mail virus that tells the user to turn on
their TV to see that Osama Bin Laden has been captured. An
attachment called pics.scr supposedly contains images of the
capture, but is really a virus. (F-Secure)

W32/Mytob-BE – A MyTob variant that exploits the Windows LSASS
vulnerability and allows backdoor access through IRC. It spreads
through an e-mail message that looks like an account or system
warning. The infected attachment will end with the extension
BAT, CMD, PIF, SCR, EXE or ZIP. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-AJ – A basic MyTob variant that installs itself as
“taskgmr.exe” and limits access to security-related Web sites.
(Sophos)

W32/Mytob-CP – This MyTob variant drops “Lien Van de
Kelder.exe.” on the infected machine. It too can limit access to
security sites and disable security applications running on the
host. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-CV – A similar MyTob variant that drops “We Love Lien
Van de Kelder.exe”. (Sophos)

W32/Mytob-BF – Yet another MyTob e-mail variant. This one too
looks like a system warning message and will have a file with a
final extension of PIF, SCR or EXE. It installs “Van de Kelder
Lien.exe” on the host machine. (Sophos)

Troj/Banker-HH – A Trojan that attempts to steal information
entered into banking Web sites. It drops “ieharv.exe” on the
infected machine. (Sophos)

W32/Kalel-B – A mass-mailer/P2P worm that spreads through a
message that looks like an e-mail account suspension message. It
claims the attachment is virus free. It can allow backdoor
access through IRC. (Sophos)

W32/Agobot-AAG – A network worm that spreads by exploiting a
number of known Windows vulnerabilities. It can be used to
download additional malicious code, participate in
denial-of-service attacks and disable anti-virus software. It
installs itself as “wmp9.exe”. (Sophos)
**********

Blog Negligence

*Gasp!* I have not been posting nearly as often as I hoped I would be, but don’t worry. I still plan on using this blog more. I’ve just been a bit busy with things and side-tracked with others, and then at other times plain old laziness sets in. I’m pretty tired right now since I’ve been sweating out in the hot sun all day planting lilac and rose bushes for my aunt. Also set up one of those gazebo patio tents. When my brain isn’t mush and I can formulate some better thoughts after some rest, I’ll come back and post again.. assuming I don’t forget of course. 😛