Computer Safety

Online Business Protection Series #1 with ESET: Things that Entrepreneurs Should Know about Web Security

When it comes to malware, Asia has a poor reputation, with Asian nations often pinpointed as the source of malware – but it is also Asians who are the victims. How much of this reputation is undeserved – and are Asian consumers and businesses lax in their application of security measures? With cybercrime appearing in the news more and more often (including the recent Flashback Trojan that infected MacOS machines), it seems like the threat posed by viruses and other malware continues to grow.

This is a worrying trend, given our increasing global dependence on technology, both personally and on the part of both small and large enterprises.

ESET continues to stay in the forefront of anti-malware efforts, with its constantly updated software suites offering peace of mind and protection from malicious cyber-attacks. In conjunction with the world preview of ESET’s Mobile Security for Android, ESET’s Senior Malware Researcher, Pierre-Marc Bureau, was in Singapore.

In his position, Pierre-Marc Bureau  is responsible for investigating trends in malware and finding effective techniques to counter these threats. He was part of ESET’s global research team that uncovered Win32/Georbot, a botnet that has appears to target computer users in Georgia. The botnet uses a Georgian governmental website to update its command and control (C&C) information. Win32/Georbot looks for “Remote Desktop Configuration Files” and thus enables attackers stealing these files to upload them to remote machines without exploiting any vulnerability. Fresh variants of Win32/Georbot have been found in the wild as recently as March 20, 2012, indicating that development is still on going.

This interview made possible for Entrepreneurs.my from our PR supporting partners – Rice Comm., Singapore. Many thanks to them!

The following interview is carried out between Entrepreneurs.my and Pierre-Marc Bureau, Security Intelligence Program Manager, and Ignacio Sbampato, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, for global online security company, ESET during their presence in Singapore. 

Give us a brief outlook of the online protection industry and why is it important for entrepreneurs and businesses to invest into online protection? (For example, how many times of viruses are available out there?)

 Pierre-Marc: ESET receives hundreds of thousands of new, unseen before, malware samples per day.  Each day, we estimate that almost five percent (5%) of our customers will encounter a malicious file.  If they are properly protected this file is detected and cleaned.  This shows that malicious software and cyber threats are prevalent and businesses need to take this problem seriously.

 What are some of the most severe cases of malware or virus attacks on business domains or databases that are alarming or would alerts entrepreneurs and businesses to start taking online protection measures seriously?

Pierre-Marc: There has been many significant cyber-attacks cases in the past months. One of the most serious threat to businesses are information stealing malware which, upon infection of a system, will search the hard drive for sensitive information and send it back to the attacker.  An example of such malware is the Win32/Georbot, which we recently analysed: http://blog.eset.com/wp-content/media_files/ESET_win32georbot_analysis_final.pdf

 Any tips that you can share with our readers, among entrepreneurs and business owners to properly protect their systems when they surf the internet or use their digital appliances? Any handy tips that users can make do right now, if they have not invested in a full online protection system?

Pierre-Marc: Applying updates for *all* installed software components is crucial for protecting systems.  We also strongly recommend using strong passwords and using an up to date security protection software.

Interview to be continued on 16th May, Wednesday, 2012 — Part 2