Feb. 15, 2007 -- I get tons of press releases about this-or-that brand new security threat. Most of them aren't nearly as scary as they're hyped to be, and the solution is almost invariably "buy our product!"
But today I heard about a new threat discovered by Symantec and Indiana University that could be a real doozy. It's especially pernicious in that normal security software doesn't detect it. But you don't have to buy anything to protect yourself. That's doubly unusual.
The attack is based on pharming, which, like phishing, is a way bad guys trick you into visiting fake web sites. Where phishing fools you-the-user, pharming fools your computer. It does this by compromising your system's access to the DNS (Domain Name Server) system. When you type www.mybank.com, DNS translates that into the correct IP address.