Trojan horse installs antivirus program

October 25, 2006 at 5:26 am (technews)

In addition to setting up a compromised computer to relay spam, one example of malicious software also installs Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus program to get rid of competing malicious software.

The culprit is a Trojan horse sometimes called “SpamThru,” according to a write-up by Joe Stewart, a researcher with SecureWorks. “SpamThru is a money-making operation, and the author takes great care to make sure that detection by the major vendors is avoided by frequently updating the code,” Stewart wrote last week.

When it first gets onto a PC, SpamThru connects to a control server and subsequently installs a pirated copy of Kaspersky AntiVirus, Stewart wrote. The system then starts a scan for malicious software, skipping files that it detects are part of its own installation, he wrote.

“SpamThru takes the game to a new level, actually using an antivirus engine against potential rivals,” Stewart wrote. “Any other malware found on the system is then set up to be deleted by Windows at the next reboot.”

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10,000 Fedora downloads in five hours

October 25, 2006 at 5:24 am (Linux)

If you’re curious what the appetite is for Fedora Core 6, Red Hat’s newest version of Linux for hobbyists, the company has an answer: 10,000 downloads in five hours.

Doing the math, that works out to one download every 1.8 seconds. And considering that the minimum size of Fedora Core 6 is 3.4GB, it’s no surprise Red Hat’s servers fell to their knees after the release Tuesday.

Although not all the downloads taxed the servers. The 10,000 statistic includes downloads through BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing service that doesn’t tax central download servers as much as direct downloads.

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Time’s Up: Internet Explorer 7 Coming This Month – oct 2006

October 25, 2006 at 4:53 am (IE, Web Design)

Microsoft has announced that the final version of the browser will be released before the end of this month—that’s less than two weeks away, people!

In the weeks following this initial release, Microsoft will deploy the browser to all Windows XP users via Automatic Updates. Although the installation of IE7 will not be forced as it was for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (users will be able to postpone or cancel the update if they so desire), a message will appear recommending that users proceed with the installation, which most of them undoubtedly will.

Chris Wilson, group Program Manager of the Internet Explorer Platform team at Microsoft, spoke at the Fundamentos Web 2006 conference and implored the developers there to test their sites with IE7 and fix any issues that appeared. There are a number of people on the IE7 team that have put their jobs on the line by implementing the standards compliance fixes and CSS features that we have been demanding for years, in some cases breaking compatibility with sites that were designed for the browser’s previous nonstandard behaviour.

As the dominant browser, Internet Explorer has the potential to effectively break the Web if the sites that everyday users rely upon do not work correctly in this new version. Despite this, Microsoft has taken an enormous leap of faith by sacrificing compatibility in the name of standards compliance. It’s up to us as developers to ensure that this leap of faith pays off, so that we can continue to see improvements to standards compliance in future releases of Internet Explorer.

You’re not on your own, here. Microsoft has produced an impressive array of tools and documentation to help developers migrate their sites to IE7

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How an Ugly, Mistake-Ridden Web Site Outperformed a ‘Better’ Site

October 25, 2006 at 4:47 am (Web Design)

We recently  redeveloped a web site for a client who sells a service at $5,000 a pop. Our redeveloped site replaced a site that he’d designed himself, which had been up for 6 months. It was an ugly, ugly site.

Yet, during its first couple of weeks online, the new site came nowhere near achieving the sales levels of the old, ugly site. Why? The answer reveals a fascinating insight into how some web sites work.

The old ugly site was mistake-ridden. It offered very little information. In no way did it present the client’s services in a positive way. But it still outperformed the new site by a long way, for one simple reason.

As there was no information on the web site, people phoned up my client. He’s great on the phone and made sales to 80% of these callers. He even made a $5,000 sale to a visitor who rang him to tell him about a typo on his web site!

My new (and better?) web site answered many of the prospects’ frequently asked questions, offered a 3-part email autoresponder course, and provided a lot of great information that was useful to visitors trying to make a buying decision.

In fact, there was so much great information that prospects didn’t need to call. So they didn’t. They made their buying decisions based on the information that was provided on the web site and the sales dropped like a stone!

The lesson to be learned here is that success is not about having the best-looking web site, the one with the most information, or the site with the highest traffic levels. It’s about what works.

I’d better go. I’m off to remove a whole lot of useful content and add a phone number to a homepage!

We represents a Group of Web Developers …

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