The morning after the night before at Virus Bulletin

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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@gcluley

Virus Bulletin 2009 conference
The second day of the Virus Bulletin conference kicked off nice and early at 9am here in Geneva.

This was possibly bad news for those attendees who created a splinter faction last night and decided to drink on the terrace rather than submit themselves to the ear-splitting yodelling. (Fact fans may be interested to know that Bjorg Olafsdottir – also known as Mrs F-Prot – won that competition, as you can see in the following video).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiRrF9pMZb0&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]

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First up (for the talks I mean, not the yodelling) were Raoul Chiesa of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Insititute (UNICRI) who has been profiling hackers, and AV-Test.org who discussed the limitations of relying on in-the-cloud security solutions.

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Carole is going to write a guest blog in the coming days about Raoul’s talk, and Chet has covered the topic of whether cloud security is ready for the mass-market on his blog.

There were also some interesting presentations this morning from the guys at Trend and Kaspersky on the subject of the social network-aware Koobface worm and the growing problem of malicious attacks on Twitter.

Some of the facts that we discovered were that anti-virus firms are scanning approximately half a million new unique URLs on Twitter every day in their hunt for malicious code. In the last two months, the most commonly spammed link on Twitter was to a website called “Get it on” which offered to help you “find your sexual match”. (Don’t go looking for those links now, Twitter has wiped them off).

2009 has seen an explosion in attacks affecting social networks. It would be brave man who would place any money on the problem not getting even worse during 2010.

There are some interesting talks scheduled for this afternoon, including an examination of threats on Mac OS X.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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