Four short links: 24 November 2009

Pwned by English, Scammy Christmas, TechCrunch Design, Facebook Numbers

  1. English Shellcode (PDF) — paper presented at ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, showing how to encode arbitrary x86 shell code (the payload in a malware or other attack that elevates privileges and pwns your machine) as something that looks, at first glance, to be English text. Impressive piece of work. (via Slashdot)
  2. The Twelve Scams of Christmas (McAfee) — a press release, but one to send to all your civilian (non-computer-professional) friends. Scam IV: The Dangers of Holiday E-Cards. Cyber thieves cash in on consumers who send holiday e-cards in an effort to be environmentally conscious. Last holiday season, McAfee Labs discovered a worm masked as Hallmark e-cards and McDonald’s and Coca-Cola holiday promotions. Holiday-themed PowerPoint e-mail attachments are also popular among cybercriminals. Be careful what you click on.
  3. TechCrunch Deconstructed — analysis of TechCrunch’s design, talking about what works and what might be problematic. Boxing in the ad around a piece of content helps increase click-through. The logo however doesn’t offer much in terms of actions and is likely to reduce the click-through. (via Brady)
  4. Bebo to Shut Down in Australia — I don’t care about Bebo, but this astonished me. “It’s just phenomenal,” said Nielsen Online’s director of analytics, Mark Higginson. “Every time I run those numbers I have to double check. Australians are spending nearly a third of all their time browsing the internet on Facebook alone.”
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