Archive for March, 2009

Computer Virus Update:

If you have not heard tomorrow the net could be hit by a major virus / worm that could compromise your security by taking over your machine and make you part of an evil BOTNET – The security experts over at EEYE have written this about the potential issues and given some nice ways to prevent and or detect if you are infected:

Conficker Worm Overview


The Conficker worm is a very formidable threat to modern-day networks. The worm uses multiple methods to infect remote systems, and utilizes a very advanced P2P architecture in order to communicate with other infected systems. Furthermore, it has shown signs of an advanced update mechanism that would allow infected systems to rapidly received updates in order to evade detection or to be used in some malicious manner.

Below is a visualization of the propagation and communication mechanisms currently seen within Conficker infections.

As depicted above, Conficker is a very powerful threat utilizing a blend of exploits and functionality issues within the Microsoft Windows Operating System, while also utilizing human propagation means via thumb-drive sharing. The worm has been identified on millions of workstations, servers, and laptops throughout the world.

Suggested Actions

Administrators are strongly urged to utilize the Free Conficker / MS08-067 Detection Utility available for download here:

This utility allows network administrators to rapidly assess their networks in order to find hosts that are infected by Conficker, or are missing the most critical patch necessary to blocking Conficker network propagation attacks.

Free Protection Utility

Users are also urged to use a powerful host-based protection suite with anti-virus, such as eEye’s Blink Personal or Professional. In addition to the detection of the Conficker worm, eEye Digital Security’s Blink Endpoint Protection Platform can effectively protect hosts, even if they are not patched, from the propagation of this worm. Using protocol based IPS analyzers, Blink can detect and stop the malicious traffic associated with MS08-067 and block the worm from self propagating. For installations that are already infected, Blink’s multi layer antivirus engine will remove the Conficker worm and provide protection until a permanent remediation is performed on the host. Free trials are available for Blink Professional here, and a free version of Blink is available for personal use here.

Maintain Microsoft Updates

Users and administrators are strongly urged to maintain all of the latest patches from Microsoft and all other software vendors with applications on endpoint systems. This can be easily maintained by using eEye’s Retina Network Security Scanner to identify all vulnerabilities on a network. Windows users can also enjoy the benefits of this vulnerability assessment by using eEye Digital Security’s Blink Endpoint Protection Platform to perform a vulnerability assessment of the host system on which it is installed.

References The HoneyNet Project:
Felix Leder and Tillmann Werner Analysis:
Microsoft Advisory – 967940
Microsoft Malware Protection Center:
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067:
SANS – Internet Storm Center:
Shadowserver Foundation:

Pittsburg officers, family recall daring fire rescue of young girl


By Robert Salonga
Contra Costa Times

Posted: 03/29/2009 02:49:59 PM PDT

PITTSBURG — As smoke overtook the rear bedroom, Officer Mark Mays remembers that he had his arms through a window opening, hoisting a young girl who had been cornered by the fast-moving fire.

The girl was trying to do her part, supporting herself on the post of a bunk bed. Officer Ryan Wilkie was using his baton to shatter the window to help free the child.

Mays says what happened after that is fuzzy to him. He just knows that they got the girl out of the burning house.

"All I remember was her going over my head," he recalled.

Seconds later, the room exploded into flames.



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Tips to avoid injury due to Brandishing

Tips to avoid injury due to Brandishing:

· First, NEVER brandish someone with a weapon, whether out of anger, rage, etc., unless it is in justifiable self-defense (which will be covered in another topic)

· If someone brandishes a weapon at you, whether out of anger, intimidation, or even during a robbery attempt, think about the consequences. A weapon is a weapon. Usually the person brandishing a weapon will back off or leave if not confronted. If the person is confronted, the weapon is already there and will probably be used.

· Brandishing occur frequently during robberies. From a Car-jacking to a Bank robbery, if a weapon is displayed, it won’t take much for it to be used. Just try to be a good witness and relay the information to police. DON’T BE A HERO!

· Don’t make the wrong decision of trying to take a weapon away from someone else. Chances are it will result in the weapon being used against you. Innocent children have been shot because of 2 adults wrestling over a gun, and the gun gets fired. I know you’ve seen that one in the movies. Unfortunately it’s an all too real “deadly mistake”.

· Remember that brandishing is an arrestable offense! If it does happen to you, report it to the police and try to provide as detailed description of the weapon as possible.

· Was it a knife?

· What color was the handle?

· How long was the blade?

· Sharp on both blade ends like a switchblade or serrated (jagged) on one side like a survival knife?

· Was there a noticeable design on the handle?

· Which hand was the Suspect holding the knife with?

· Was it a Handgun?

· What color was the gun barrel? Blued steel, Nickel-Plated, Chrome?

· Was it a Revolver or a Semi-Automatic Pistol? Do you know the difference?

· First thing to remember. No matter HOW MUCH your car is worth, or HOW NICE your car is, is it really worth your life? I can’t think of a car made that is worth more than a human life. But you read about it everyday. Man killed during car jacking, Woman hurt during car jacking attempt, Woman’s children taken along with car during robbery……….

· Most of the time, a carjacker just wants a quick escape to get away from a crime he’s already committed. Your car will turn up a day or two later, probably undamaged. Most of the time, a carjacker does not want the extra liability of having you, or child involved. Most know that by taking you or your children in the commission of a carjacking, now makes the crime a kidnapping. A crime with much more harsh and severe consequences in Court. In fact most carjacking suspects would rather just take your car and have nothing to do with you.

· Most will not hurt you unless they encounter a struggle or resistance from you. In some cases, people do get hurt for no reason but those are rare if the victim just gives up their car willingly.

· Is it worth the risk of injury, or even death, to protect a material item? If someone steals your car to strip or sell it, they are not going to steal it with you in it. You are a witness. They will steal it when no one is around. That is not a car jacking. That is vehicle theft.