Osama Bin Laden, Mac Malware, Sony Lead Week's Security News
A recap of the past week's IT security news features Osama bin Laden-related scams, new Mac OS X malware, and continued fallout from the Sony PlayStation Network breach.The news that a United States Navy SEAL operation had killed Osama bin Laden in a fortified luxury home in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1 dominated headlines the past week. All the major search engines, Yahoo, Bing, and Google, exploded with the volume of bin Laden-related queries as people turned to the Internet for the latest information. Scammers took advantage of the intense curiosity to poison search engine results with links to malware-laden pages. Links to fake antivirus software were the most common. To tap into people's desire to see images and video, scammers put up pages promising the video of the actual operation, which pushed fake codec files. Malicious videos on Facebook also went viral. The news regarding the data breach of the PlayStation Network and Qricoity music and video service remained grim. Consumers were angry about the lack of communication and lawmakers were demanding answers. Sony executives tried to smooth over the backlash by issuing a formal apology at a press conference in Tokyo. Sony Computer Entertainment chairman Kazuo Hirai, and two other senior executives formally bowed for "causing great unease and trouble to our users."
Shortly after that apology, Sony admitted that during the course of its investigation into the PSN data breach, it discovered its gaming service, Sony Online Entertainment, had also been compromised, bringing the tally of affected customers up to 101 million. Sony also blamed hacktivist collective Anonymous for distracting its network administrators with its distributed-denial-of-service attacks, since the data breach occurred around the same time. However, a professor at Indiana's Purdue University testified at a Congressional hearing that Sony was running obsolete Web server software and had no firewall protecting PSN.