Zack Whittaker

Zack Whittaker is the security editor for ZDNet, covering cybersecurity, national security, policy and privacy. He is based out of the New York newsroom, and can also be found on sister sites CNET and CBS News. You can contact him with his PGP key: EB6CEEA5.

Charlie Osborne

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charlie currently works as a journalist and photographer -- with the occasional design piece -- and writes for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has particular interests in social media, IP law, social engineering and security.

Latest Posts

Hacking SCADA for terrorism and destruction

Hacking SCADA for terrorism and destruction

SCADA scares me, and I've seen enough things on the Internet to be desensitized to many things, but attacks against SCADA threaten our national security in a very real and topical way by attacking power grids, water treatment plants, nuclear plants, etc.  Hacking networks that SCADA devices reside on and using that access to interact with the SCADA system is nothing really new, it's been covered in the media quite a bit...

June 11, 2008 by in Networking

Fake ImageShack site serving malware, links distributed over IM

Fake ImageShack site serving malware, links distributed over IM

In a combination of domain typosquatting next to spoofed image files, malware authors managed to successfully impersonate ImageShack, the 5th largest image hosting website on the Internet, the result of which is a malware campaign circulating over MSN, enticing users into infecting themselves by clicking on the spammed links to fake image files.

June 10, 2008 by in Security

Proof of Concept "carpet bombing" exploit released in the wild

Proof of Concept "carpet bombing" exploit released in the wild

In what appears to be an attempt to provoke Apple to reconsider its currently passive position on the severity of the dubbed as "carpet bomb" flaw, a working Proof of Concept exploit code has been released at Liu Die Yu's security blog :Nitesh Dhanjani discovered that Safari for Windows puts downloads automatically to Desktop and argued this can potentially make a mess of Desktop, naming it the effect of "Safari Carpet Bomb".

June 10, 2008 by in Windows

What's wrong with an exploit being sexy?

What's wrong with an exploit being sexy?

First off, let me start by saying _dietrich has been following our blog for quite some time and is a consistent poster, providing good advice on how to use Linux securely, sometimes as an alternative to Windows technologies.  I wouldn't have commented about this in a blog posting, except that I took some offense to the way that Dietrich characterized my article in remarks on his blog.

June 10, 2008 by in Enterprise Software

Who's behind the GPcode ransomware?

Who's behind the GPcode ransomware?

In one of these moments when those who are supposed to know, don't know, and those who don't realize what they know aren't reaching the appropriate parties, it's time we get back to the basics - finding out who's behind GPcode, and trying to tip them on the consequences of their blackmailing actions in between collecting as much actionable intelligence as possible using OSINT (open source intelligence) and CYBERINT (cyber intelligence practices).

June 9, 2008 by in Security

Blackmail ransomware returns with 1024-bit encryption key

Blackmail ransomware returns with 1024-bit encryption key

Virus analysts at Kaspersky Lab (my employer) have intercepted a new variant of Gpcode, a malicious virus that encrypts important files on an infected desktop and demands payment for a key to recover the data.The biggest change in this variant of the ransomeware is the use of RSA encryption algorithm with a 1024-bit key, making it impossible to crack without without the author's key.

June 6, 2008 by in Security

Skype patches security policy bypassing vulnerability

Skype patches security policy bypassing vulnerability

In a security bulletin issued two days ago, Skype's latest version fixes a File URI Security Bypass Code Execution Vulnerability originally reported by Ismael Briones : Remote exploitation of a security policy bypass in Skype could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the user.The "file:" URI handler in Skype performs checks upon the URL to verify that the link does not contain certain file extensions related to executable file formats.

June 5, 2008 by in Social Enterprise

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