Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas themed malwares.

Christmas is here and it is also time for Christmas themed malwares. Users unwrapping these unsolicited gifts are bound to have a PC that can be kept wrapped forever.

There are three now making the rounds according to the F-secure weblog. One is the Christmas.exe malware. This is a IRC bot variant and once executed this one downloads malicious executables from web servers at and

This is what it looks like when opened and what works in the background is not as pretty as what you see here:
The other two are the backdoor called Christmas_Puzzle.exe, and a powerpoint file called Powerpoint file called Christmas+Blessing-4.ppt.

The Christmas_Puzzle.exe is a backdoor and is a rootkit. And this is more dangerous since rootkits are hard to detect by ordinary Anti-Virus tools. Once opened it displays a christmas themed Jigsaw puzzle on the screen just to trick the user into believing that this is a friendly software.

The Power point based malware, Christmas+Blessing-4.ppt. opens up a slide slow while it the background it drops and execute two embedded programs.

Screenshot of Christmas+Blessing-4.ppt. from the F-secure blog:

The two word vulnerabilities are not yet patched and so is the Firefox 2 password manager security flaw. And also news is that the vista exploits are being sold in the underground market for $50,000 a pop. It seems the hackers are having a busy Christmas season but at least with this christmas themed malwares I am glad that they at least realised that it is Christmas time.

Related reading:
What are Rootkits and free Rootkit detecting softwares.
27steps to prevent Viruses.
Everything about trojans and Anti-Trojans.
About spywares and Anti-spywares.
Mozilla fixe s 8 security flaws in FF2.
A look at the top 10 security threats for the coming year.

Digitize your Audio Cassettes.

First method:

Today I came across an Article in the Lifehacker blog, written by Rick Broida. In that article he gives some tips about how to digitize the audio cassettes and there are basically three things you need viz:- a stereo patch code, a cassette player and Audacity, an open-source, cross-platform program that makes simple work of recording and editing audio. Check out the article and also some of the comments because there you can find some alternative methods for doing this stuff.

Second method:

There is a gadget I came to know about a while ago which can be used for coverting not just audio cassettes but vinyl records too. It is called the ION usb turntable. It coverts vinyl records into WAV, WMV and MP3s. And you can plug a tape deck into an auxiliary port and convert your old cassettes. But unlike the above method this will cost you a cool $200, since that is how much this gadget costs.

One of the best things about digitilazing audio cassettes is that you can get a lot of audio cassettes for a very low price especially rare items (not just music but audio books and stuff) that would cost you a lot on CD at bargain stores or online stores like ebay etc:-