Showing posts with the label virus

McAfee On Access-Scan Disabled

I noticed this morning that my McAfee On Access-Scan was disabled. (The shield in the system tray had a red-crossed circle.) When I opened McAfee, it was performing a scan, so it wasn't clear what was occurring. After some research, I found that the settings may have become corrupt. Here's the steps to correct: Go to VirusScan Console >> Help >> Repair Installation. Check the fist check-box to reset to the default settings. Click OK. This should do the trick.

Free Anti-virus Software

I hope you're all using anti-virus software, and are having it self-update. I want to give a plug to Avast! Free Antivirus . I've been a user of Avast! for years, and have never gotten a virus on any of my computers. There has been the occassional trapping of a virus, but Avast! has stopped them all. If you're looking for a good, reliable, and free anti-virus software, I would recommend Avast!.

Another Internet Explorer vulnerability has experts recommending you switch browsers

The BBC and other news outlets reported yesterday on the latest security vulnerabilities within Microsoft's Internet Explorer. What makes this report different than a lot of others is that we finally are hearing recommendations to actually switch browsers. Right now it sounds worse than it is, but nevertheless, the risk is there. Experts claim that 10,000 websites have been exploited but that is only 0.02% of all Internet sites. The typical warning is to stay away from potentially nefarious sites such as bit torrent indexes and pornography, but as you may recall we have seen threats show up on more popular social sites such as Facebook and MySpace (see Worm virus from Facebook and MySpace ). Bottom line, no browser is completely safe all the time, but you can reduce your own risk by choosing your websites carefully, and by using a more secure browser such as Firefox or Opera . Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari are also options, though I don't believe they are as

Microsoft reports a new vulnerability in WordPad Text Converter for Word 97

I suspect this will only impact a very few people, but the threat is real . If you are viewing Word 97 documents using WordPad, because you do not have Word installed and you use one of the following OSs, then you're at risk. Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Windows XP Service Pack 2 Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Unfortunately, unless you get a Word file in the new .docx, I don't know how you easily tell different Word versions apart. If you fit into this category of having a vulnerable system, I would suggest not opening any Word documents sent to you, unless you know very specifically what the user has sent. If you are unsure of the source, but you still want to open it, at least go through the extra work to make sure it was not created in Word 97. To do this: Right-click the Word file Click Properties Click the Summary tab Scroll down to the Application Name and make sure it does NOT read Microsoft Word 8.0 If you really must open it, find

Worm virus from Facebook and MySpace

05-Dec-08 update: Webware posted an article describing the Koobface virus coming from Facebook. I just received an email from our corporate IT department, as they are temporarily blocking Facebook and MySpace due to a worm infected file. The method of infection is: There is a prompt to update your flash player when visiting one of these sites . This executes a worm that infects explorer.exe and other critical operating system files. To date there is no easy method to clean an infected system. The IT staff is working to clean the 20 odd systems that have been affected to date. I'm not sure how real it is, but it serves as a good reminder to make sure updates are coming from known URLs.

Is Your Windows XP Computer Internet Safe?

It is extremely easy to have your computer compromised if it is not setup to protect you before going on the Internet. Here are the steps to validate against your own Windows XP computer to make sure it is secured. Install a router. Even if you only have one machine connected to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the router provides incoming firewall protection. Install a software firewall. Use this to protect your machine from having applications access the Internet without your permission. It can be a bit of a pain at first, because you will be prompted to approve applications that you do want to access the Internet, but it is worth it in the long run. I recommend ZoneAlarm (get the pro version if you want more information on messages, otherwise the free version is fine). The firewall that came with Windows XP does not protect you for outgoing traffic, so it doesn't give you any more benefit than your router. The software firewall will also protect you from incoming request

You are keeping your security tools up-to-date, aren't you?

Apparently if you are a user of Symantec's security software, and have not kept your software and virus definitions up-to-date, you have been vulnerable to Spybot -- malware that will use your computer in malicious ways. In November of 2006 , Spybot (a varient of the original Spybot from 2003 ) started showing up on machines with Symantec security products; and a fix had been available since May . Clearly there is an issue with folks not keeping their security software up-to-date. Unfortunately if you are a Windows user, your machine is much more likely to be under attack -- hackers looking for vulnerabilities. And the general user population just want to use a computer, not be a technology geek, which seems to be the requirement. I think it is worse than owning a car. With a car, the buy-in cost is much higher, so in general terms, there is more recognition that maintenance is required. Further, there is an infrastructure in place to make it easy to keep up on basic maintenance.

I ran across a site, , led by Harvard Law School and Oxford University, with sponsorship from Google, Sun, and Lenovo, that is trying "to become a focal point for developing collaborative, community-minded approaches to stopping badware." "...shares information with the public in the form of reports, including in-depth and short form reports. The in-depth reports highlight particularly prominent or particularly bad applications, and shorter quick reports describe websites that host or distribute badware." has a complete set of guidelines on what constitutes badware. Software and/or websites can be categorized as either badware or caution . From the guidelines, an application is badware in one of two cases: If the application acts deceptively or irreversibly. If the application engages in potentially objectionable behavior without: First, prominently disclosing to the user that it will engage in such behavio

Spam Increases 67% Since August 2006

Barracuda Networks reported November 15th that they have seen an increase in spam of 67% since August of this year. I learned this fact while reading about spam linked to Russian gang from eWeek , "...authorities have traced the operation to a well-organized hacking gang controlling a 70,000-strong peer-to-peer botnet..." This hacking gang is using the trojan tool that removes other viruses before setting-up shop on breached computers, which I reported in October . The most common compromised machine is XP with service pack 2 at 47% . Another 37% is XP with no service pack or service pack 1. This I do not understand at all -- if you are going to use your computer on the Internet, you absolutely must keep it up-to-date with patches and fixes. Over 12,500 of the compromised machines are in the US . Finally, this group push two messages, "pump-and-dump" and penis enlargements. The "pump-and-dump" is penny stocks. It is believe the reason must be that these tw

Trojan Virus Removes Other Viruses

EWeek reports a new trojan virus that removes other viruses from your computer. The creators of the trojan virus want to use your computer to send spam email, and do not want to share your computer with other malware programs. This is accomplished through downloading Kaspersky AntiVirus for WinGate and modifying it to skip over itself.

Windows Virus on iPods

Apple reported today that some versions of iPods (and here ) manufactured on September 12th inadvertently went out with a Windows virus. From the sounds of it, you should be fine if your virus definition files are up-to-date.