BitDefender's 2007 Top 10 List

David Letterman has his Top 10 list once a week (writers' strike notwithstanding), and the awards season is coming up with the Golden Globes, People's Choice and more Hollywood galas than you can count. So, naturally, it's the perfect time for BitDefender to announce the top 10 "winners" in its annual malware and spam listings.

BitDefender's 2007 top 10 malware list includes (drumroll please, and some envelope-fumbling by a second-rate celebrity):

  1. Trojan.Peed.Gen
  2. BehavesLike:Trojan.Downloader
  3. [email protected]
  4. Trojan.Peed.A
  5. [email protected]
  6. Win32.Sality.M
  7. [email protected]
  8. Win32.Virtob.2.Gen
  9. [email protected]
  10. Trojan.Peed.P

"BitDefender's top 10 for 2007 reflects a re-emergence of file infectors as a credible threat, primarily because of widespread P2P sharing," said Viorel Canja, head of BitDefender's Antivirus Lab.

This list was devised by number of detections. Let's hope you never see any of these "famous" faces.

BitDefender also released its top 10 in spam categories, always a popular event. Political spam made a big splash, which is expected to continue as the next presidential race narrows down and heats up. BitDefender's 2007 top 10 spam list includes:

  1. Penny stocks
  2. Drugs (fake prescriptions)
  3. Pornography
  4. Replica watches
  5. Loans
  6. Phishing
  7. Pirated software
  8. Fake job ads
  9. Dating sites
  10. Fake diplomas

To read more about malware and spam frolicking in its natural environment, check out BitDefender's Defense Portal site.

That list explains why I never got that spiffy Rolex I ordered. (Just kidding.) What types of spam have you seen? How does your company defend against the onslaught of spam and other Web-borne nasties? Let me know at [email protected].

Ever Googled Yourself?
Apparently, more people are "Googling" themselves, their friends, family, co-workers -- you name it. The Pew Internet and American Life Project just released a report revealing 47 percent of the Internet users surveyed have run their names through Google or another search engine. That number is more than twice the 22 percent rate of "self-Googlers" found in the last survey conducted in 2002.

The survey, conducted over the phone with more than 1,600 Internet users, also revealed that nearly 60 percent of the survey participants weren't bothered by the extent of the information available about themselves online. Internet users who are younger than 50, more highly educated and in higher income brackets were more likely to look themselves up with Google. Also, 53 percent of the respondents said they've checked Google to look up someone else (not including celebrities).

So, it may be a personal question -- and one that sounds vaguely obscene -- but have you ever Googled yourself? I just did, and found a zillion tech articles and stuff about my campground book. Are you troubled by how much information about you is online? Search me out at [email protected] and let me know.

Track Your BlackBerry-isms
BlackBerrys have heralded a new era of productivity and connectivity. From lawyers on chairlifts to IT guys deep in the trenches of their server farms, BlackBerry traffic is at an all-time high. But what if you need to find one of those errant text messages you sent a couple of days ago?

Security software vendor Gwava will soon roll out a utility called Retain for BlackBerry, which can be used to track and find text messages and phone calls BlackBerry users have either sent or received. This should help not only for finding that message you thought was lost for good, but also for companies needing to track employee communication for compliance purposes.

The BlackBerry Enterprise Server already logs data about Short Message Service (SMS) text messages and e-mail traffic. However, that data is output on an Excel spreadsheet. With Retain, you can see a list of BlackBerry users and all their e-mails, text messages and phone calls, as well as the senders and recipients.

In other BlackBerry news, Research in Motion will be locating its U.S. headquarters in Irving, Texas. It plans to employ more than 1,000 people at the new 10,000-square-foot facility.

Are you a BlackBerry user? For everyone I've known that uses one, they seem to live up to their "CrackBerry" nickname. Would you use a message search tool like this? Fire off a CrackBerry message and let me know at [email protected].

Mailbag: Opera vs. Internet Explorer, More
Opera made headlines this week when it filed a suit with the EU against Microsoft's practice of bundling IE with Windows. Doug doesn't have a problem with IE -- but what do you think? Should Microsoft stop including IE? Your answers, for the most part, are a resounding "no":

Absolutely not! IE belongs with Windows like Velcro belongs with, what was I saying? Anyway, browsers are a matter of choice. I want to have at least one available at all times, including right after booting up a new system. I like IE (Firefox is too hard to use and I find it to be slow) but if I wanted another, it's not that hard to add one. Since they're all free, why the whining? It's not like MS is profiting from anything but the advertising -- wait, don't all browsers and most Web pages profit from ads? I'm so confused...

I don't understand what the big deal is about Internet Explorer being bundled with Windows. Opera is free, IE is free, Netscape is free, as are all other browsers. Which one I choose is up to me. Even though one is bundled, doesn't mean that I will choose that browser over the other. All of these programs will go on being free, so where is the big moneymaker in being a browser vendor? How do these people get paid?

I use Firefox almost exclusively, but do use IE as a fallback. I have trouble understanding arguments like the current one from Opera -- especially when it seems that the software companies that complain the most are freely available via download, anyway. It would be different if you had to go out and buy the software. I mean, who buys browser software, media players and the like?

You're spot on with your take on the bundling. I don't mind that IE is there. I, too, only use it when Firefox doesn't display something properly. And just like you, I think it's fine for there to be a common browser out there for the developers.

Unless Europeans are becoming as litigation-happy as Americans, the EU ought to throw Opera's case right out of court. After all, it's not like the whole case against Microsoft was kept secret. Love Microsoft or hate it, unless Opera can prove that Microsoft is working around the rulings in the earlier cases, it appears to me that this is simply a case of someone suddenly realizing it can't compete and trying to find a way to blame its problems on someone else.

I strongly disagree with the removal of IE from the operating system. It's just not practical to shell out as much as we do for an OS only to find that you don't have the means to do something as basic as browsing the Internet. If anything, maybe Opera should argue to have its software included as an option, much like Google search and others for the desktop search option. Removing it altogether is stupid -- perhaps unfair for Opera, but not practical at all. Is there an OS that exists without a bundled browser? I didn't think so.

I think companies should just stop whining and focus on building a superior and stable product. Mozilla has done this with great success in spite of IE's inclusion on Windows and completely dominates the open source arena. What's Opera's excuse?

I find it interesting that they [Opera, etc.] can't do a good enough job to simply win over users; they have to whine like children. IE is part of Windows in order to "explore" Windows. Beyond that point, anyone can use any browser they want. I feel, since Windows is coded for Windows, they have a RIGHT to have IE as "default" -- and "default" is all IE is.

Don't get me wrong -- I think any form of competition is great. However, I don't use *x simply because I haven't the time to waste to install from the "free" standpoint, and I don't feel there's enough lacking in Windows to justify spending money (and time) on something which will "auto install" and may not work with my peripherals. For those who just have to buck the system, I'd applaud you if you'd keep it to yourself! Don't try to ram down our throats new items which require a learning curve beyond what we already have to endure with Windows, and then may not work with everything. Not to mention that we'd then need to keep track of even more software for bugs. We simply don't have the time. STOP with the lawsuits which force prices up -- whether it's additional Windows costs or having to go to some Internet entity and pay money for something to install "auto," especially when not all things work on it.

Should Microsoft be forced to yank IE? Of course not. Those at Opera Software who are responsible for this ridiculous and shameful attempt are nothing more than disgraceful opportunists hoping to benefit from the undeniable anti-Microsoft sentiment common among EU members, a sentiment that's quite simply just another facet of the anti-Americanism rampant in Europe. There's nothing Europeans dislike more, seemingly, than American exceptionalism and the continued success of free enterprise, of which Microsoft is a glittering and bright success story -- especially when viewed in stark, stark contrast to the degree to which socialism and dangerous immigration policies continue to wreak havoc on the social and economic fabric of one European nation after another.

One can only ask: To what degree and for how long does the EU even matter? I expect that the Microsoft juggernaut will take Opera's attempts and conflict with the EU all in stride, categorizing it simply as the noise it represents, and march unhindered into continued future success. Though I don't even work for them, I do respect a winner and admire all that Microsoft continues to achieve.

Have you been brainwashed by the Microsoft intelligentsia? Not at all.

But a few readers think having IE built-in gives developers too much leeway:

One comment you made in your bit about Opera suing Microsoft is off the mark, in my opinion. You stated that 'having IE there gives software developers a broader canvas on which to paint -- they can assume that everyone has this browser.' It actually allows developers to be lazy and make false assumptions that everyone can view a page as long as it works correctly in IE. What about Mac users? What about desktop Linux users? I know that those are both small portions of the desktop market, but Macs in particular appear to be gaining ground again. Microsoft discontinued IE for Mac OS at version 5.5, and doesn't even make it available to download any more.

I am not a Mac evangelist. I am a believer in interoperability, particularly in the arena of network resources like Web sites. Not even is completely accessible on all platforms -- Mac users cannot take part in the polls using either Safari or Firefox. I don't mind having IE installed on my Windows boxes, and it was my preferred browser for quite some time. For interoperability's sake, however, I don't like developers making the assumption that their users (viewers) all have access to IE and ignoring issues that their sites have in other browsers.

Just read your article on Opera complaining about IE being part of the default install and I had to make one short comment. I don't really care if Microsuck makes it part of the install; I just wish that every developer would code their Web page so that Firefox would be able to open it up. I use Windows at work (not by choice) and have been an avid user of Debian and Kubuntu both and have noticed several sites that will not display correctly within Firefox and it absolutely irritates the H-E-double hockey sticks out of me. Even typing this e-mail makes my ears burn when I start thinking about it.

And finally, just for the heck of it, George shares his disapproval -- to put it mildly -- of the Office 2007 ribbon interface:

The only response I have is WHY? It's like putting the steering wheel on the right side of the car -- just for the fun of it.

More letters are coming your way in tomorrow's Redmond Report! In the meantime, let us know what you think about anything we've covered today by leaving a comment below, or sending an e-mail to [email protected].


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