Archive for April, 2015

The Batman Approach Part III: The Only Way Forward Against Malware

by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on

Batman's approach: illegal, yes-- but effective?Twenty years of the current defensive antivirus model described previously has proven to be insufficient in the battle against malware. Antivirus companies spend millions of dollars to lead the public to believe that this is the only way. The entire point of this series is to show that it is not the only way, and that we would be shooting ourselves in the foot, so to speak, to keep insisting that it is. Only relying on antivirus would be like only relying on only the body’s immune system for all types of diseases: without modern medicine, even the most mysophobic person would die by his or her sixties. It’s just not a smart idea, but many antivirus companies don’t want anyone believing that.[Read further…]

The Batman Approach Part II: Current Malware Defenses & Their Downfalls

by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on

Security ShieldWe in the digital world have not been left utterly desolate in our crusade in defending against the classlessness of the common virus maker. Countless tools exist that help the common user defend against the innumerable threats viruses present, mainly in the forms of antimalware suites (I only ever recommend Malwarebytes as nothing else I’ve seen works half as well) and firewalls.  These two types of tools are the main defenses of operating systems against viruses and hackers. Another important layer of defense is for operating system developers such as Microsoft, Apple, and the Linux communities to create rock-solid code and preemptively patch holes and bugs before they are discovered and subverted for malevolent purposes. The question, however, is are these defenses working, and are they enough?

[Read further…]

Don’t Pee in People’s Yards– They Might Have Security Cameras

by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on

Dear Fellow Who Peed in Our Yard,

We currently live on a semi-busy street down a little ways from a gas station and an Autozone. People puffing on cigarettes or carrying sacks of beer often make the trek down the sidewalk in front of our house each night to the gas station to get more cigarettes or beer or occasionally a Redbox movie. Sometimes when I take the cans to the curb one of them will ask me for a cigarette as if it were the 50s all over again, and I tell him that I have none. He goes on his way.

You, however, have trumped all cigarette-puffing, beer-toting strangers and creepers. You didn’t seem drunk, but maybe you were on your way to the gas station in order to become such. Just like when you were a little fellow, you did not heed mommy’s warning to go potty before leaving the house. Will you ever learn?  You looked at your environment around you and noticed a behind-the-garage area up a long driveway away from the street. This would be preferable to relieving your waters into the puddle at 7-11 and risk being seen. Even before you rounded the corner behind the garage, you already had your belt unbuckled, just to be ready. Oh, look– there’s snow– let’s make a fun design.

Upon finishing up, you took one last proud look at your work before heading back out to the street. What class. What gallantry. Nobody will know your secret act of darkness. Well, hopefully the snow melts before anyone notices, anyway. Why is it snowing in April in the first place? Whatever. Time to grab an eight-pack and get inebriated. 7-11 is so close.

You have cemented our decision to move to a cul-de-sac. Thank you, Fellow Who Peed in Our Yard. We couldn’t have made this decision without you.

With love,

–Jordan & Lisa

The Batman Approach Part I: Historical & Modern Malware/Antimalware

by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on

Blaster Virus Hex Dump

One of the modern world’s most dynamic and prolific concerns is that of computer and network security. Nearly since the dawn of computer technology, viruses and security flaws have plagued client and server machines alike as well as the networks that integrate them. No operating system is immune, though some appear to be more secure than others by nature. Often—but not always—users and administrators are partially to blame for security breaches. In all, these ever-present security flaws are combatted often in a reactionary way and always in a defensive manner, costing industries billions of dollars in damages and technical disaster cleanup every year, not to mention the billions in preventative maintenance. It would be worth the research, investment, and development for the IT departments of every industry spending millions of dollars on defensive security warfare to invest some of that time and money to take a new approach to computer security—that is, to offensively and automatically attack the attackers using tools fashioned after the very weapons attackers have used for decades. In other words, we need groups of people who have the knowledge, skills, and means to fight back against malware to fight fire with fire.[Read further…]