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EnCrypt Lock and Buy It

A recent strain of malware called Cryptolocker (technical description from BleepingComputer) has been infecting computers across the Internet. It's of the Ransomware (wiki) genre of attack, and searches a computer's drive for critical files by browsing their extensions (for example, focusing on word processing documents, images and music) and encrypts them with its own key that you can then buy back from the hacker for a fee of $100 to $300 dollars payable in Bitcoins. More information about the virus and how to avoid it is available at Krebs On Security, and the Malwarebytes Blog, with more recent developments on Naked Security.
posted by codacorolla on Nov 7, 2013 - 177 comments

The First Botnet, 25 Years Ago Today

How a grad student trying to build the first botnet brought the Internet to its knees. via
posted by nevercalm on Nov 3, 2013 - 7 comments

For Safer Food, Just Add Viruses

In March 2012, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture uncovered a problem in Elgin, Texas. Beef sausage from a small family-run meat processor appeared to have been contaminated with a nasty bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. The bug can make people sick and, in rare cases, be deadly. The processor had to recall more than a ton of sausage. It’s the kind of story that strikes terror in the hearts of other sausage peddlers, including Mike Satzow, so he uses phages to keep his small company's sausages safe to eat.
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 1, 2013 - 58 comments

ILOVEYOU & other trips down viral memory lane

Relive techno fears of yore ... malware aficionado Daniel White collects vintage computer viruses, infects his machines and records the results. See more examples at his YouTube channel.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 30, 2013 - 22 comments

The Viable Zombie

“[...] it took more than a dozen calls to work out the details of her zombie contagion. “After about the 17th time,” says McGuire, “I called and said, ‘If I did this, this, this, this, this, this and this, could I raise the dead?’ And got, ‘Don’t … don’t do that.’ And at that point, I knew I had a viable virus.”
posted by batmonkey on Jun 27, 2012 - 70 comments

Stux to be you

In-depth pieces in Vanity Fair and Wired detail the structure and impact of the Stuxnet worm, and what it means for the future of cybersecurity. (Previously)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 11, 2011 - 43 comments

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it

Could the three established domains of life - eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea - be joined by a fourth?
posted by Artw on Mar 25, 2011 - 53 comments

Cancer Causing Viruses

Paul Ewald, an evolutionary biologist at University of Louisville in Kentucky states his conviction, in one interview with Discover Magazine that, that by 2050 the human species will have found that between 80% and as high as 95% of cancers are caused by viruses. [more inside]
posted by mdpatrick on Sep 30, 2009 - 19 comments

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em / And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

All cancers are parasitical, but most cancers aren't contagious. But some evolve to be. Most viruses parasite cells, but some then make their own "cells", and othr viruses evolve to parasite those. Evolution is stupidly clevererer. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Aug 6, 2008 - 19 comments

Finally: government surveillance that we can be thankful for!

Curious about what creepy crawlies your kids might be bringing home? Follow the real-time trends for all of the best respiratory and enteric (GI) viruses! [more inside]
posted by scblackman on Dec 17, 2007 - 11 comments

zaptastic

A widget of mass destruction (warning: clicking this link will install a widget) may be the answer to all those who have been fervently wishing or imagining that Mac users will soon experience the joys of viruses and worms... if, that is, you have taken the leap of faith to upgrade to OS X Tiger and can't get enough of Dashboard (last 2 are Quicktime video links). Konfabulator was the precursor -- there is a Windows version available (shareware).
posted by indices on May 8, 2005 - 49 comments

Mac OS X viruses

Putting his money where his mouth is regarding the recent Symantec (Norton Utilities, Anti-Virus etc.) Mac OS X virus claims...? Seems not to be, but the fellow who was sponsoring the $25,000 reward has a, shall we say, checkered past. Mac users are still waiting for the first real attack. I could live without it, but this particular religious war (however insane and inane it can get) does liven up our computing experience. If the pop-unders at MacDailyNews get around your browser's pop-up blocker, go here.
posted by indices on Mar 26, 2005 - 14 comments

Spyware hitting blogs

I often say that blogs are currently where the web was in 1998, with history repeating itself only this time with blogs. The latest sign: spyware and viruses are now being transmitted via blogs, specifically, random blogs on blogspot.com, found via the "Next Blog" button. Remember, just because a delightful purple gorilla wants to read blog entries to you doesn't mean you should click on him.
posted by mathowie on Feb 21, 2005 - 29 comments

Microsoft's newest version of Windows....

Microsoft's newest version of Windows.... billed as the most secure ever, contains several serious flaws that allow hackers to steal or destroy a victim's data files across the Internet or implant rogue computer software. The company released a free fix Thursday.

A Microsoft official acknowledged that the risk to consumers was unprecedented because the glitches allow hackers to seize control of all Windows XP operating system software without requiring a computer user to do anything except connect to the Internet.
posted by bkdelong on Dec 20, 2001 - 60 comments

W32/Vote@MM

W32/Vote@MM - -is being called "low risk" according to McAfee
posted by scotty on Sep 24, 2001 - 8 comments

Latest Internet/Email Worm

Latest Internet/Email Worm found by anti-virus company, Central Command, whom then sent out the press release announcing the worm along with information on how to purchase their anti-virus software. Is it just me, or does this cry, "Let's create a worm and then announce it along with links to buy our software!"
posted by physics on Aug 30, 2001 - 4 comments

New Microsoft Bug Found

New Microsoft Bug Found This one's pretty serious. Because it affects the whole world.
posted by PaperCut on May 20, 2000 - 13 comments

What with HTML mail

What with HTML mail having the ability to do evil things to you, it was beginning to look like the "Good Times" virus wasn't so much of a hoax after all. But now, it turns out you can get something a lot worse in your email.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Mar 24, 2000 - 0 comments

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