On DOST-ICTO, PH Government Websites Security and PDAF Piggyback Conspiracy Theory

I stumbled upon some announcement via Official Gazette. It’s some sort of preso from DOST-ICTO discussing compromised government websites and the need for secure web hosting (see quoted text below). As much as possible I avoid writing about politics here at menardconnect.com. But just like with the RA 10175: Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act, I will take some exception and write about it here as this topic got multiple intersecting interests of mine (haxing, infosec, security, and philippine politics). Quoting Official Gazette:

DOST-ICTO: Hacked government websites highlight need for secure web hosting

From the Department of Science and TechnologyInformation and Communications Technology Office
Published: August 26, 2013. Latest update: August 26, 2013.

The hacking of at least thirty government websites of supposedly local hacker groups sympathetic to today’s pork barrel protest action highlights the need for secure web hosting for government agencies and services.

DOST – Information and Communications Technology Office Executive Director Louis Casambre mentioned that: “This recent spate of website defacements goes to shows the serious need for the Government Web Hosting Service (GWHS ) especially since gov’t websites will more and more be leveraged to deliver public services.”

Administrative Order 39 (AO39) was enacted on 12 July 2013 mandating all national government agencies, government financial institutions, and government-owned and controlled corporations to have their websites hosted under the new GWHS which will be provided by the DOST ICT Office. “GWHS development is progressing and will be online as scheduled as per AO39.” Usec. Casambre Added.

The webpage defacements are deemed to be a protest action supporting the Million People March in Luneta. “No critical online services were affected and it seems that it wasn’t the intention of the community to cripple critical information dissemination websites and services of the government. We would like to request our hacking community not to target such sites.” said Casambre.

The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity

 

Read full text and links at

http://www.gov.ph/2013/08/26/dost-icto-hacked-government-websites-highlight-need-for-secure-web-hosting/

Now my personal comments and insights:
1. First, this is good news. Any move improving the security posture of the government (and government websites) is welcome news for me and a lot of Filipinos out there. I just hope that your agency continue this with concrete actions.

Now on to more serious stuff…
2. As The Black Eyed Peas song goes… “I’m so three thousand and eight, You so two thousand and late.” Yes, this announcement is so 2000 and late!!! As I tweeted earlier in twitter (“Huli man daw at magaling. LATE PA RIN“). Nuff said on the timing.

3. Trigger for this PR: Hacking of at least 30 government websites in relation to the recent pork barrel/PDAF protest actions.

Why single out the recent 30-ish defacements? Are you DOST-ICTO folks doing some piggyback on the popularity of pork barrel/PDAF protests and issue?

Piggyback and Pork BarrelAng galing pala ng word-combo ko kaya ilalagay ko sa title yung PDAF/Pork Barrel Piggyback Conspiracy Theory!!!
4. Quote and quote “We would like to request our hacking community not to target such sites“, said Casambre.
To Usec. Casambre, are you really sure you are requesting for this??? Official statement at request nyo po ba talaga ito? Baka kase misquoted lang.

5. RE: <DOST-ICTO> is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.
I am amazed by the keywords and buzzwords for this government office. “lead agency” + “primary thrusts” + “Cybersecurity“. But given the technical depth and logical reasoning  on this PR all I can say is “Oh my!!!”
Seriously, DOST-ICTO folks may need to rethink and re-strategize (and then synchronize the overall plan with the PR/Marketing machine). My 2 cents…

Before I end this post, some disclosure:
I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are my personal opinion and do not represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.
To know more on what I do full-time kindly visit my linkedin page and my blogs about page.
To know more about my blog’s full disclosure policy, kindly visit my blog’s disclosure page.

Power User Group Shoutout: Mac Power User and DirectPass 2.0

Are you a Mac power user?

Do you want some free Trend Micro gift items?

Do you want some Sodexo Gift Checks?

If you’re answer is YES to the questions above, then I’ve got great news for you…

My teammates at TrendLabs will be having a Mac Power User event on Saturday, August 17, 2013 1pm-4pm. They are looking for tech-savvy Mac owners who would like to participate in some intensive and exciting testing with our Mac OS security solution, DirectPass 2.0, a password management solution.

directpass_boxshot

Image Credit: www.trendmicro.com

So what is DirectPass?

Trend Micro™ DirectPass™ is Trend Micro Password Manager solution. It manages website passwords and login IDs in one secure location, so users only need to remember one password. Other DirectPass features include: keystroke encryption, secure password generation, and a secure browser.

You think you fit that criteria for Mac Geek? then register via this surveymonkey link

All qualified participants who will attend the Power User event will get a Trend Micro gift item and Sodexo GC. If you are really lucky + uber-geeky and can find some critical bug, you might also win bigger prizes.

Registration closes on Friday August 16, 2013, 12 noon (GMT+8)

Feel free to forward this blog post to your friends (online and in-real-life), family members, relatives or classmates to share this wonderful opportunity with them. If you have Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Linkedin/etc, feel free to share/tweet/+1 this blog post too so that others can know about it.

And of course the traditional disclaimer at the end of the post:
I work at Trend Micro. This blog post is _NOT_ a paid post by Trend Micro. The information contained in this post is taken from Trend Micro Beta Team members. To know more on what I do officially full-time kindly visit my about page or visit my linkedin page. To read my blog’s disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.

On Cybercrime and Interpol

I am re-posting some news release from Interpol related to Trend Micro. This is about the collaborative efforts between the two organizations to support global law enforcement programs and combat cybercrime.

24 June 2013 – Media release
INTERPOL and Trend Micro to collaborate against cybercrime

LYON, France – INTERPOL and Trend Micro Inc. have announced that the security software leader is to collaborate with the world police body to support global law enforcement programmes to combat cybercrime. The announcement is the latest in INTERPOL’s efforts to boost the global fight against cybercrime by engaging with private sector leaders.

Following talks on Friday at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters between INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Trend Micro’s Chief Executive Officer, Eva Chen, Trend Micro is set to deliver training programmes to INTERPOL, government and police agencies in various participating countries to address emerging digital crime at the national and international level.

Including expertise and best practices, training will encompass e-learning modules, classroom-based training sessions, workshops and professional certifications.

“We are honoured to have earned the trust of INTERPOL to provide our expertise to keep digital information safe while exposing illegal activities,” said Eva Chen, CEO, Trend Micro. “Our team is on the frontlines of the quickly-evolving threat landscape and we look forward to sharing our analysis and insight to support global law enforcement. Alignment between public and private organizations will play a critical role against cybercrime and it will take collaboration such as this to be successful.”

Trend Micro will also help support the development of an INTERPOL cyber alert by providing expert cyber-threat analysis at INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) when it opens in Singapore in 2014. This cyber-specific alert created by the IGCI will be used to share information on cybercrime with not only the law enforcement community but also the general public.

“Due to the complexity of the cyber-threat landscape, investigation of cybercrimes is profoundly different in nature to traditional crime, requiring high-level technical expertise and large-scale cross-jurisdictional investigations,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“It is essential that law enforcement collaborate across sectors with Internet security experts such as Trend Micro so as to develop the technical expertise, tools and infrastructure necessary to effectively combat cybercrime and enhance digital security.”

“INTERPOL’s collaboration with Trend Micro therefore marks another significant step towards forging a global alliance against cybercrime,” added Secretary General Noble.

The IGCI will act as an international hub against cyber-threats to identify trends, build capacity in cybercrime units, and facilitate international cooperation through a multi-stakeholder alliance, bringing together the respective expertise and resources from specialists in law enforcement, public institutions, the private sector and academia.

“An essential element of this strategy is the creation of strategic alliances with the information technology sector to help national law enforcement keep abreast of technology trends and develop effective countermeasures,” said IGCI Executive Director Noboru Nakatani.

As a research and development facility for the identification of crimes and criminals, the state-of-the-art IGCI will provide innovative training and operational support for each of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries.

Maybe I will post some additional personal commentaries here at menardconnect.com in the next few days. But for now let me just congratulate Trend Micro and INTERPOL for these wonderful collaborative efforts.

Related Stories:
Interpol Press Release
Trend Micro Press Release

Lastly some disclosure:

I work at Trend Micro. My posts here in menardconnect.com are my own personal views and does not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions. To know more about me, kindly visit my about page. To know about this blog’s disclosure policy kindly visit my disclosure page.

Security Intelligence Blog: RSA Conference 2013: On Security Awareness, Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally

As mentioned in my previous post, I recently attended a security conference in San Francisco. As a result of that trip I was able to collect some insights and posted an article for TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog. I am reposting that article here at menardconnect.com:

RSA Conference 2013: On Security Awareness, Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally
by Menard Osena (Solutions Product Manager)

Two weeks ago, I attended RSA 2013 Conference in San Francisco and was impressed by the number of participating security vendors. The addition of the Human Element and Breaking Research in the technical track sessions also provided a refreshing stroke to this year’s presentations.

Below are some of my experiences and insights on some noteworthy discussions involving security awareness, hacking back, and going offensive legally.

The 7 Highly Effective Habits of a Security Awareness Program

Samantha Manke and Ira Winkler of Secure Mentem discussed their views on the difference between security training and security awareness. They highlighted the importance of a security culture in companies in enabling employees to apply best computing practices on a daily basis, resulting to long-term security awareness within the organization.

They presented the results of their recent study conducted among Fortune 500 companies in the Health, Manufacturing, Food, Financial and Retail sectors. This study focuses on security awareness campaigns that companies implemented and how effective these were. They came up with key findings that lead them to create their 7 Highly Effective Habits of a Security Awareness Program, which are:

  1. Create a Strong Foundation
  2. (Have) Organizational Buy-in
  3. (Encourage) Participative Learning
  4. (Have) More Creative Endeavors
  5. Gather Metrics
  6. Partner with Key Departments
  7. Be the Department of HOW

My key takeaway for this session is of course the last part.  We, the information security professionals, should be the “Department of HOW” and not the “Department of NO”. We must focus on how to allow users to do what they want safely, not simply saying no to our own customers and further locking down systems.

While I understand the need to establish dos and don’ts in company security policies, we should raise the bar and let security be a key part of solving business challenges, not an obstacle to it.

On Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally

During the conference, I attended several sessions discussing intriguing concepts like hacking back and going offensive legally. One of the sessions was Highway to the Danger Zone…Going Offensive…Legally presented by George Kurtz and Steven Chabinsky of  CrowdStrike. The discussion focused on the idea of active defense as a form of offense against targeted attacks affecting companies. They clearly differentiated this concept from hacktivism and online vigilantism. However, Steven Chabinsky, being a lawyer, also expounded on its complexities like the differences of laws and legislation in different countries, making the concept difficult to define as of the moment.

Another session that covered very similar ground was Is it Whack to Hack Back a Persistent Attack?. Trend Micro’s Dave Asprey moderated this session. He was joined by Davi Ottenheimer of EMC Corporation, David Willson of Titan Info Security Group and again  George Kurtz from CrowdStrike. The panelists discussed the active defense/ hacking back phenomenon and its legal, ethical and business liabilities and complexities when practiced over the Internet.

Conclusion

My personal key takeaway from these sessions is the active defense concept entails risks and complications that may spur more problems instead of solving the situation. Instead, organizations, in particular security administrators, should have the correct mindset when it comes to targeted attacks and deploying an inside-out protection.

For now, I would stick with law enforcement agencies and private sector partnership as the best (and safest) path to combat targeted attack, exemplified by the Rove Digital Takedown last year.

Original article RSA Conference 2013: On Security Awareness, Hacking Back and Going Offensive Legally from : Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog – by Trend Micro.

My special thanks to Jonathan, Gelo and Badette for their assistance with the article. Special mentions to my RSA 2013 session buddies (Benj, Cathy, Paul) their ideas and encouragement (they really kept me awake and sane during the RSA week)!!!

I miss my free six series so I will post more SF and RSA stuff here in menardconnect.com soon…

#RSAC: To San Francisco Now

I’m off to San Francisco for the RSA 2013 Conference. For the uninitiated, RSA Conference is one of the biggest information security conference held annually in the US (San Francisco), Europe and Asia. RSA 2013 will kick off tomorrow February 25 and will be held until Friday March 1 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, USA.

RSA2013

As described in the official conference website:

RSA Conference continually evolves program offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of our delegates in the dynamic infosec industry. This year we will be debuting:

  • 275+ sessions across 22 tracks – including seven newly created tracks
  • 20-minute and 60-minute sessions are offered so you can acquire more knowledge and maximize your Conference experience.
  • An additional Expo space to accommodate even more industry-leading vendors!
  • And more…

I’ve been in several RSA conference and it feels great to be back again. I have previously share my RSA experiences here, here, here, here and here.

This year’s theme is “Security in knowledge, Mastering Data. Securing the world”. The conference website also detailed the this year’ theme 2013: Security in knowledge- RSA Conference 2013 theme

The Gutenberg Printing Press

Data by itself is nothing but a collection of facts and figures, letters and numbers. However, when ignited by understanding and context, data can become so much more. In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith by profession, completed his invention of the printing press, which sparked a revolution in the way people see and describe the world they live in. This collection of wooden and metal letters, regarded as one of the most influential inventions of the second millennium, led to the mass distribution of information and a wave of enlightenment that modernized and transformed culture. Today, we live in a digital age where the printed page is becoming obsolete. But we find ourselves amidst our own information revolution. Data has grown big and gets bigger with every digital transaction we make. It also is more accessible than ever, which leads to the questions, “how do we use, secure and share the information that surrounds us?” As we stand in the midst of the change we look back to the time of Gutenberg to find inspiration for the future of security. Knowledge has always been power. Knowledge has always kept us one step ahead of security threats. We’ve found security in knowledge. And just as Gutenberg’s wooden and metal letters sparked the evolution of culture, at RSA Conference 2013, we bring our security insights and perspectives together to ignite the mass of information that surrounds us.

OK I am starting to sound too geeky now 🙂 Sorry, kinda excited 😀

I will do my best to post something related to RSA and other #security #infosec related here in my blog soon…

On Ransomware and Reveton

Ransomware is a tricky problem in the #infosec world. These type of malware “kidnaps” the users files and/or system and demands money in exchange for the file /or systems “freedom”.

According to Wikipedia, Ransomware comprises a class of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed. Some forms of ransomware encrypt files on the system’s hard drive, while some may simply lock the system and display messages intended to coax the user into paying.

Some good news about ransomware that is worth sharing here at menardconnect.com

Key Figure in Police Ransomware Activity Nabbed

by Trend Micro Advanced Threats Researchers

Ransomware is a nasty scam that infiltrates your computer and tricks you into thinking that you’ve done something wrong. Police ransomware in particular informs users that they need to pay their local police a fine.

reveton
We have written detailed reports about these attacks in the past, including multiple blog posts as part of our investigations into this ongoing threat.

Trend Micro threat researchers have been studying this scam throughout 2012 and have collaborated very closely with law enforcement authorities  in several European countries, especially in Spain. Today, we are very happy to report that the Spanish Police has put the information to good use, and they have just announced in a press conference the arrest of one of the head members of the cybercriminal gang that produces the Ransomware strain known as REVETON.

The apparent arrest of this cybercriminal of Russian origin occured in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The law enforcement authorities are working to extradite him to Spain for prosecution. Along with his arrest, the operation included the arrests of 10 other individuals tied to the money laundering component of the gang’s operations, which managed the monetization of the PaySafeCard/UKash vouchers received as payment in the scam. The gang apparently had a branch in Spain that exchanged these vouchers and converted them into actual money, which would then be transferred to the leaders of the gang in Russia.

Trend Micro is very proud that our involvement in this shared intelligence effort produced such good results. We also want to thank the Spanish Police for being proactive in this case and being able to collaborate so closely with us. We hope there will be many more victories against cybercrime like this, and will continue to work very closely with international law enforcement authorities on similar investigations.  You can access the Spanish Police press release here.

For more information on Police Ransomware, read the following blog posts:

  • New Police Ransomware Claims Fake Treaty Among AV Vendors and Police
  • Latest on Police Ransomware – It Speaks!
  • Police Ransomware Bears Fake Digital Signature
  • Police Ransomware: Evolving At a Tremendous Pace
  • New Ransomware Plays Its Victims an Audio File, Over and Over and Over…

Original Post from Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog – Key Figure in Police Ransomware Activity Nabbed .
Image Credits: TrendLabs Security Intel Blog

Congratulations to the Spanish Police and all the LE agencies involved. Kudos to Trend Micro Advanced Threats Research Team 🙂

For more details on Reveton and this police ransomware, kindly visit:

Some disclosure:
I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions. To know more about me (work and other stuff), kindly visit my about page. To know more about my blogs full disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.

Download Free Temple Run 2 For Android… NOT

Since I have promised in my Temple Run 2 Download for iPad post that I will give updates whenever I already have Free Temple Run 2 For Android download links, I am constantly looking out for that Temple Run 2 for Android in Google Play Store.

Around 11:35 PM (GMT+8) of January 19, I found these apps in Google Play Store

Temple-Run-2-Android-Screenshot-01

Wow! got 2 hits for Temple Run 2 HD and they are using the new Temple Run 2 logo, really they have it in Android and its in HD (another wow!) am I lucky that day?

Looking closely at the first app I discovered something fishy.

Temple-Run-2-Android-Screenshot-02

Because original developers of the Temple Run is Imangi Studios and _NOT_ IMANGHI (take note of the H). 5900+ ratings. I looked further at the description of the app and its the same cut and paste description text found in the iTunes:

Description
The sequel to the smash hit phenomenon that took the world by storm!

With over 170 million downloads, Temple Run redefined mobile gaming. Now get more of the exhilarating running, jumping, turning and sliding you love in Temple Run 2!

Looking at the second suspicious Temple Run 2 HD for Android app

Temple-Run-2-Android-Screenshot-03
the descriptionIS the same text description found in iTunes. Lazy Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V

Researching further, I looked at the reviews and this KSGBLUEAPPS version already have 122 5-stars. Wow!
Reading the full description of the apps and some of the user reviews I confirmed my suspicions: users are already complaining that these apps are just a puzzle/wallpaper apps, they are _NOT_ the legit Temple Run 2 app and they come with a big twist, with lots of Ads/Advertisement links (and by the sound of the 1-star reviewers comment, loads of Ad/Advertisement-related links for your mobile phone). This is very PREDICTABLE if you will ask me, as Ad/Adverts will bring in cash (kaching-kaching) and that is where the money is 🙂

What I find really amazing is “they” ARE FAST. In less than 2 days after the legit version Temple Run 2 for iOS was released, suspicious Temple Run 2 Android apps already made it in the Google Play Store.

So I did NOT download it and I forgot about it already (Either I’m getting old or I’m a very busy guy yah know :p)

Fast forward to January 22 around 4PM (GMT+8), a teammate send me an email asking about some malicious Android app related to Temple Run 2. So I checked their concern and remembered my weekend ad-friendly apps. I also searched for them, yup the previous Temple Run 2 HD for Android apps by Imanghi and KSGBlueApps from Google Play. Alas! both apps are already _NOT_ available via Google Play. I have several (conspiracy) theories on why they were removed but I will keep them to myself. What is important now is that Trend Micro already detects the said apps as ANDROIDOS_FAKETEMPLRUN.A, a Malware Blog post is already publicly available:

Fake Versions of Temple Run 2 Sprint Their Way to Users via Trend Micro Security Intelligence Blog.

and the said malicious apps are already kicked out in Google Play Store 🙂

Some questions remain:

  • Are the apps (I screen captured) exact copies of those apps that my teammates analyzed for the Malware Blog post: Maybe. If we will base it from company name, description and related strings, most probably its the same.
  • Am I sure about this? Not 100%. Sorry I do not have the exact APK file to compare it byte per byte to come up with a conclusion.
  • Why did Google removed them from Google Play? I don’t know. You better ask them not me :p
  • Do you see where these questions are leading you? (hehe conspiracy theorist = menard)

Lesson learned. Back to basic security tip: Be cautious of what you search, download and install to your mobile phone (this also applies to desktop/PCs). Be careful also with other unofficial Android Markets and websites offering free apps.

Better be safe than sorry OK?

AI: Do a blog post as an awareness campaign. Check!

Again be careful: malicious Temple Run 2 Android apps are out there in the wild.

Lastly some disclosure:
I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.
To know more about me (work and other stuff), kindly visit my about page.
To know more about my blogs full disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.

ScreenCapture Credits: Me and Gorehowldroid

Update: 2013.01.26

Legit Temple Run 2 For Android available now via Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.imangi.templerun2

Yahoo Messenger and Microsoft Windows Live Messenger Breakup

I’ve read via the Yahoo Messenger announcement that YM and MS Windows Live Messenger will no longer be interoperable starting December 14, 2012.


I am a fan of instant messaging apps. I remember those good ol days when I still have ICQ and AOL IM (together with YM and MSN/hotmail) and Trillian was my pop tool to manage all the IMs. So don’t be surprised if this YM and MSN messenger interoperability is a sad news for me. Honestly I have loved their inter-connectivity for a long time and I got a lot of MSN/Hotmail contacts in my YM account.

Quoting the YM Blog:

Yahoo! Messenger interoperability with Microsoft Windows Live Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger will no longer be interoperable with Microsoft Windows Live Messenger as of December 14, 2012. Microsoft buddies will still appear on your Messenger contact list, but they will be greyed out, and if you try to send instant messages to them, the messages will not be delivered.

This is just one of the several EOS’es that Yahoo announced last November 30. Yahoo! Messenger Public Chat Rooms, Yahoo! Messenger Pingbox and Yahoo! Voice Phone In and Phone Out are the other features that will not be continued.

I don’t have other info about the YM and MS Messenger breakup but maybe both instant messenger projects are low priority in both tech companies so it’s very easy to say it will be not be functioning altogether. Maybe the revenue is not good or maybe this interconnection is too costly to maintain. Maybe the Skype acquisition and current MSFT integration or the direction to move to the outlook.com model played a key role coming up with the stop interoperability decision.

Read more about this story the Yahoo Messenger Blog post.

Are you a Yahoo Messenger user too? Or maybe a Microsoft Windows Live Messenger user? Or maybe BOTH? What are your thoughts on this breakup? Feel free to leave your comments at the end of this blog post.

Bad Piggies Download: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I really love the Bad Piggies. This is the reason why i posted the Pigs Are Awesome, Birds Stink post. I also supported #JoinTeamGreen in twitter

But I guess news about Bad Piggies and Bad Piggies Download is not all good (reminiscing the “its all good” quote from the Angry Birds). Bad Piggies Download can go bad and ugly too 🙂

The Good

Bad Piggies reached the top spot in the iTunes App Store Download list just three hours after the September 27, 2012 launch.

Rovio had several great releases for 2012.  The Angry Birds Space and Amazing Alex games also topped the iTunes App Store Download Charts. But Bad Piggies games broke previous Rovio records with its 3-hour surge to the top of the download charts.

Bad Piggies continues to get great reviews from gaming and news websites like all IGN, Kotaku, Wired, Gamezebo and Touch Arcade.

The Bad
My Android phone is not compatible with the Bad Piggies game. I will try the Bad Piggies PC version over the weekend and see if I will like the gameplay . For more info on the Bad Piggies game play kindly view the Bad Piggies game play courtesy of youtube and Rovio.

But I guess this is just as bad (and sad) news for me (and not for other Piggie fanatics out there). But I am still hopeful (that I can buy a new phone just to play Bad Piggies 🙂 *woot*

The Ugly
Malicious and Fake Bad Piggies app are in the wild and users should be wary of downloading Bad Piggies apps that are NOT from official sources (Google Play, Apple Store, official Rovio sources).  Trend Micro warns about the ANDROIDOS_FAKEINST.A malware that can be downloaded from some Russian websites.

Quoting Trendlabs Security intelligence Blog

The said (Russian) site offers the said app on different platforms. Instead of the actual Bad Piggies app, users instead download a malicious .APK file detected as ANDROIDOS_FAKEINST.A. Once installed, it creates a shortcut on the device’s homepage and sends SMS messages to specific numbers. As mentioned, these messages are sent without user consent and may cost users to pay extra for something they didn’t authorize.


To all Bad Piggies fans out there: BE careful OK?

I will post some Bad Piggies review soon (and maybe some Bad Piggies cheats and tips too)

On Libel and Viruses: My Notes on RA 10175, Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

I posted the full text for RA 10175 Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and I promised that I will post an update here at menardconnect.com but I was occupied with lots of official stuff for the last two weeks. And since today is Blog Action Day, I am posting my notes on RA 10175  Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Aside from the lack of technical depth of RA 10175 with regards to actual cyber crime happening globally, I am  writing about two points that in my opinion is worth looking into. Again, this is coming from my experience as a infosec (information security) practitioner and blogger.

That Libel Clause

That libel clause is really the root of all clamor against this bill. When the Senate announced the bill (link to Senate announcement/PR here and PDF link here), there is really _NO_ libel clause. I am just surprised that in its final form (signed RA) this clause:

(4) Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.

was added.

Netizens will really have doubts and may even theorize that this insertion has something to do with the Comedian Senator snafu (sorry he is NOT fit to be mentioned in the post).

I hope they can modify this part (Sorry I don’t know the correct legal term, is it repeal or amend or ?).

That Viruses Reference

RA 10175 mentions something about computer viruses. Specifically:

(3) Data Interference. — The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

(4) System Interference. — The intentional alteration or reckless hindering or interference with the functioning of a computer or computer network by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data or program, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right or authority, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

My opinion is that the legislators should the use the word malware instead of the word viruses. Malware (yes its plural without the “s”) is the correct technical term so that we can include the other malicious stuff that is also prevalent with global cyber crime.

Quoting Wikipedia (so that there will be NO selosan which AV/Security Vendor’s definition I will use)

Malware, short for malicious software, is software used or created to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software. ‘Malware’ is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.

Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other malicious programs. In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, as in the legal codes of several U.S. states.

Let’s not alienate the trojans, worms, backdoors and malicious scripts from the law and coverage because they are equally used in cyber crime.

That’s all for now!

(I’m still thinking if I can safely post my experience about lawyers + blogging + social media fail that happened to me and my blog some years ago.)

Some useful links/defs on malware, viruses, and libel.

As a support to the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance, I am posting their link here, kindly visit their site, (I’m still assessing the scripts prior to deployment).

Before I end this post, some disclosure:

I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are my personal opinion and do not represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.
To know more on what I do full-time, kindly visit my about page.
To know more about my blog’s full disclosure policy, kindly visit my disclosure page.