The Firewalls-and-Virus-Protection.com
   Security Alert News Reporter   

         November 2004               LANGHORNE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA                Volume 1, Issue 07
Help! I think we have a Virus.

Thanks for being a Loyal Subscriber
This Newsletter is sent out periodically, but only to those people who have registered for the Security Alert and Report Alert Services from one or more of the websites published and maintained by www.RichardPresents.com. If you are no longer interested in up-to-date Security Alerts, use the link at  the end of this letter to un-register.
Here's your "Security Alert News Reporter" for November,  2004
    The "NewsReporter" is published to keep you up-to-date on the latest
     information we gather for avoiding and surviving the hectic hacker attacks
     on your computer security and personal identity that take place constantly
     on the internet. Many of our comments are based on personal experiences.
            Protecting your safety, security, and privacy is not a simple task.
                We are trying to make it a bit easier for you to accomplish.

                        _______________________
Latest Virus Threats  reported November 28, 2004 by McAfee:

Full descriptions including virus characteristics, symptoms, aliases and removal instructions are available by clicking on the link. This virus alert is in addition to those posted in previous month's
News Reporter issues.
 
In addition to the 70,000 some viruses on the internet, there are presently over 10,000 spyware programs reported to be lurking there, too. They can view your passwords, account numbers, instant messaging logs, emails and more.
Don't let them destroy the pleasures of the Internet for you and your Family during  the coming holidays.

Sharing messages and holiday pictures will be one of the major fun uses
of the internet during, and after the coming season.

It's also a 'fun' time for the malcontents and malicious people who will have
an even greater opportunity to flood our email boxes with virus laden spam
messages, spoofing and phishing threats.

Why is this a greater opportunity for them?

Consider the increased use of the internet by family members who will be testing their new digital cameras and new computers, scanners (if they don't use a digital cameras), and a host of other new digital toys and devices.

The hackers, crackers and internet thieves will be ecstatic, For Sure! Many of their targeted computers will be unprotected, subject to intrusion by viruses, trojan horses, spyware and malware.

     Yes, nearly everyone is now aware that having Firewalls and virus
           protection is an absolute necessity.

     And Yes, their computers probably have these tools because they are
           often included with the software that comes with new computers.

But, have they been updated regularly, even recently?

How about your protective programs? When did you update last?

Updating must be done for Operating Systems as well as firewalls, anti-virus
programs and spyware scanning programs. It's general knowledge that
some browser services are targeted by the hackers (Internet Explorer for
one). Actually, viruses and spyware can intrude into your system through
others, as well.

Think of all of the unwary and inexperienced people who enjoy surfing the internet and communicating with family and friends. Their computers are among the prime targets.

How to help them, make them aware, and protect them from the potential
loss of private and personal information, files, important data, and even their
identity is the Goal of many organizations, software providers, and even
some individual webmasters, is the theme of our publications.

You can be a part of our "Computer Virus Awareness Campaign" and direct your family and friends to these helpful websites, such as ours, at
http://www.firewalls-and-virus-protection.com ,and suggest they subscribe to this newsletter.


Our message for this holiday season is to "Gift the people you care about" by helping them learn how to protect themselves and their families.
 
The Firewalls and Virus Protection website contains the information they
really need, it's easy to read and understand, and it wont cost you a cent.

Happy Holidays to all.
Richard
                                     
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Late Breaking Virus Threat - Beware PC Virus in an eMail Text Link

When you're reading your e-mail  be careful about the embedded links that may appear in those messages. CNN/Money reports on a new version of the Mydoom virus that will infect your computer if you click on the link in the text of the e-mail. Typically, you must download and open the attachment to be infected with a virus. Not with this one.

According to anti-virus software manufacturer McAfee Inc., this virulent version of Mydoom instructs users to click on the link, which takes them to an infected machine, which in turn places the infection on the victim's computer.

The messages containing this virus vary, but some appear to be from PayPal, eBay's online payment system.
The e-mail text reads:

"Congratulations! PayPal has successfully charged $175 to your credit card. Your order tracking number is A866DEC0, and your item will be shipped within three business days. To see details please click this link."

 If you click on that link, your computer will become infected with the Mydoom virus.

If you don't recognize the source on an email, be extremely Cautious


Here's our usual reminder that you can download a free virus checking and removal tool at the Firewalls and Virus Protection site. STINGER checks and removes viruses already in your computer.

The program fits neatly on a floppy disc - a perfect way to clean up your computer if a worm or other 'rogueware' has disabled your ability to use your computer to get back on the Internet to update your security ware.
 
If you don't have an online anti-virus program yet, I suggest you use STINGER until you do....Richard
              

MyDoom, Bagel and Netsky variations are becoming more difficult to avoid.  Try the FREE scanning and removal tools available on the Firewalls and Virus Protection website at STINGER. It finds and removes about 45 other active viruses and worms. Download the November 19,2004 update.

Look for the STINGER Icon



 

               

More about Web Browsers.

In the last issue, we commented on our experience with a variety of web browsers. After our IE hijacking experience, we looked at a few other browsers that might be less targeted by hackers and crackers.

Many of the Internet Editorialists and Pundits were promoting a switch over to FireFox from Internet Explorer, so we tried the Beta version. We just upgraded that earlier version to Firefox1 and are still exploring the many features available, some of which were not a part of the IE browsers.

We also upgraded the AOL Service on another of our computers with the new AOL 9.0 Security Edition. If you upgrade an existing AOL setup on your computers, you should expect a big surprise.

The program works great and has a bunch of new features. Primary among them is the anti-virus feature. You'll still need a strong firewall.
You'll also need to spend some time reading how to make the best use of this version, and locating and resetting many of the things that are changed to AOL's new default settings.

We're still 'personalizing' both the Firefox1 and AOL 9.0  Security Editions to suit our preferences.

Our experience to date with these two upgrades is quite satisfactory.

But, we have to admit that after years of using, and becoming very familiar with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and the Netscape browsers, we are spending a lot of time just making the new ones work the way we expect they should.

We are still being very cautious about making a complete, no return change from IE and suggest the same approach for our friends. That choice will be made after we gain more experience with the other upgrades.

                                               .............Richard

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Privacy Theft  - -    

Be on the alert for even more major phishing expeditions!

There is a continuing increase in the activity of online thieves to use the practice of phishing and spoofing to steal the identity, passwords, credit card and banking information of internet users.

During the month of November, we were 'phished' at least once or twice a week for our bank account information, as well as our earthlink.net account details, including credit card numbers, banking details, and personal information like birthdates.

The frightening part of all of this is that the requests were so well done that it was nearly impossible to tell them from official inquiries.

Refresh your knowledge on Phishing and Spoofing at the Articles and Reports
pages of our website; Firewalls and Virus Protection



                        Help for the Hijacked !

In our last few issues, we reported on the unpleasant experience we had with the CWS (Cool Web Search) hijacking worm. It hijacked our Internet Explorer browser and planted unwanted pages with some trojan horses containing the most insidious virus we have ever experienced -- the CWS worm. (You can read more of the details and our efforts in removing the CWS.mrhop worm in the archived Issues).

If you are experiencing any of these nasty problems, you computer could have one of the CWS hijacking variants hidden in it. See Issue 6 of the
"NewsReporter" for symptoms of hijacking.

     Even if you have only a few of these symptoms, scanning your computer for hidden CWS variants is a good move. Let CWSShredder find and remove these potential browser hijacking parasites, and check out the Xsoftpy program. It's one of the few virus scanners that actually finds and removes CWS.mrhop. Download XoftSpy and Scan Your PC for Free!

 
REPEATED from last issue, because it's so important

Download it here for Free
CWShredder™ Version 2.0
 Released: October 2004

What's New With CWShredder?

Originally developed by Merijn Bellekom of the Netherlands, CWShredder™ is now owned and maintained by InterMute.

CWShredder has been updated to find and remove new CoolWebSearch variants. CWShredder™ Version 2.0 is the latest defense against the new CoolWebSearch variants, and it is included in SpySubtract PRO.
Download a free trial and enjoy the best spyware protection available today.
                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We learned about this program from the extraordinary website and forums built and maintained by James Healan, webmaster of SpywareInfo.com.


We encourage you to visit SpywareInfo.com/ It's loaded with powerful information and helpful advice that zeros in on the hijacking problem. If you are experiencing any similar problems, be sure to follow the link to their forum. There are literally thousands of postings from which you will learn and possibly find the advice that will help you resolve your own issues.

You can download HijackThis from the Software link on the SpywareInfo website. Be sure to read and follow their instructions to the letter if you want good results.

We receive no compensation from SpywareInfo, but we do support their completely Free website, newsletter and software with a small financial contribution so that they can continue to provide this outstanding service to their thousands of appreciative followers, like us. If you have occasion to use it, would you consider doing the same?
 
 
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Family Security 

We post these links to help parents, grandparents and guardians guide today's young internet surfers to safe sites. There are many other website creators who feel the same concerns and responsibility. These are just a few of their sites that we have personally reviewed and tested as safe for our Grandchildren. Check them out and share them with the young people you care about.

  Please note the 'AMBER ALERT" scrolling at the bottom of this table
Reviews of Family Safe Sites


CRAYOLA
 

The Crayola website goes beyond being just for Kids with its sections for Parents and Educators, too. We wouldn't hesitate to send our children and grandchildren here for entertainment and education. Here's the LINK


PBS Kids is a respected and trusted site. We would not hesitate to send our children and grandchildren there for entertainment and education, either. Their Privacy Policy is very assuring. Families visiting the site can feel safe regarding potential threats to family privacy and their children's welfare. Jump to it from HERE http://pbskids.org/

Our Firewalls-and-virus-protection.com website has been Certified 'Family Safe' by the Institute of Family Safe Businesses.



Ask Jeeves for Kids

Enter your question here:
Ask Jeeves is a trademark of Ask Jeeves, Inc., Copyright 1996-2000 Ask Jeeves, Inc.
Ask Jeeves for Kids has great Study Tools, Fun and Games and News Resources, all Safe. Visit Ask Jeeves for Kids Home page Here

Check out the Kid Friendly pages HERE and the Parent Friendly Links HERE
  We receive no compensation for displaying these links and you will be under No Obligation when you visit them. They are here because we care about the safety of everyone who uses the internet, especially our Kids.

 See more family related links on the Personal Privacy and IdentityTheft page at the Firewalls-and-virus-protection website if you are at all concerned for your own security
and that of your family.

                    Join The GetNetWise Initiative

GetNetWise: You're One Click Away   GetNetWise is a public service brought to you by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences. The GetNetWise coalition wants Internet users to be just "one click away" from the resources they need to make informed decisions about their and their family's use of the Internet. More information is available. GetNetWise is a project of the Internet Education Foundation.

             Here are A few more helpful resources

                
"Keep Your Private Information PRIVATE"

Lock away all of your Passwords, Images, Documents, Video and Audio into one Encrypted database for your eyes only.

Enigma enables you to Encrypt and store almost anything so that only you can access the files through a master password chosen by you. Of course, all or any of your Encrypted files can be restored to their original state any time you choose.

You can even backup and restore the entire database to and from CDs to ensure that you lose nothing even if your hard disk dies.            

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Publications  Use these Free Reports to help your family and friends:

 Many people using the internet wonder if their firewalls and virus protection are good enough to keep them safe. For those of you who have visited our Firewalls site, you know that the information there is directed toward keeping you safe from hacker and cracker attacks.

Because it isn't always convenient to share your computer with family and friends, we have excerpted some important chapters from our Firewalls site and created small downloadable reports that can easily be printed and distributed to the people you'd like to help avoid 'virus grief'.





Bookshelf and Special Report Alerts
 
   Is Your Firewalls and Virus Protection Safe Enough?
This FREE report will help you identify viruses, prepare for attacks and infections and guide you in their removal. It's a 9 page, easy reading guide that covers the threats we all face in our daily use of the internet. It's a basic education in understanding and Avoiding Virus Grief

Down load it from this link (it's in PDF format):
http://www.RichardPresents.com/safefirewall.zip
The download includes a ReadMe page with instructions for unzipping and using your Acrobat Reader, and even a link to the Adobe website where you can get your own free Acrobat Reader if you don't already have one




 

                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  
  Is a Keystroke Logger Being Used To Spy On You?
Many of the tools and tricks in use today to spy on your internet activities are exposed in this 7 page report. This look into spyware will alert you to the ease in which your identity could be compromised, or stolen.

Open the FREE report in a new webpage by clicking
Are Keystroke Loggers Spying On You?
(No downloading necessary, and you can print it right from your browser window.)
 



 

                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  How Much Money would it cost you to regain the use of your computer after a serious virus infection?
It cost one of our friends a whole lot of money, much aggravation and lost time, lost records, and a major inconvenience to recover from the havoc caused by the worms and viruses that had infiltrated their computer over a period of many months.

In case you missed this FREE report on the Firewalls-and-Virus-Protection website, you can read it here. Our friends have recovered full use of their computer and now encourage everyone to learn from their experiences. Please print the report and share it with your family, friends and associates.
 
 Visit the  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website with its many publications relating to protecting the security of your family, both on the internet and off. They are FREE. You can go to their pages covering Consumer (family) protection HERE.

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 Free Resources  There is really no reason for anyone not to have the latest Firewall, anti-virus, spam blocking, and spyware removal software installed on their computers. You can download all of these programs, and more, mostly for FREE, from our Firewalls-and-Virus-Protection website.
 
   
They're there for the taking. If you need to block Spam, check the links on the 'Spam and Spyware' page. Same thing for Cookie Crumbling tools, Spyware protection, etc.

  Most of them have a purchasable Up Grade option, and by trying the free versions, you can upgrade the ones that worked best for you.

    Start at the Firewalls page and check out each page, downloading what you need as you go through the whole site.

    The 'Articles and Reports' section has some recent interesting and helpful additions. We encourage you to visit it, too.

    Same thing for protective software. We add it whenever we find tools that will benefit our site visitors. It would be a good idea to bookmark and check back regularly so that you don't miss newly added items.


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Reviews (encouraging news about controlling SPAM and Spyware ).

Phishing could be punishable under a new law

In October of this year, The Federal Trade Commission announced an aggressive new strategy in taking on alleged purveyors of "spyware".

November 4, 2004 Headline
         
 Spammer Jeremy Jaynes Convicted in Spam Case


A jury in Virginia recommended a nine-year prison term for the first U.S. felony conviction of a spammer. Jeremy Jaynes of Raleigh, N.C., was convicted on three counts of using deceptive routing information in sending bulk commercial e-mail.

According to the evidence presented at the trial, Jaynes, 30, and his sister, Jessica DeGroot, grossed more than $24 million in various e-mail scams.
The volume of the mailings triggered the criminal provisions of the Virginia law. The indictment, which covers a 30-day period in the summer of 2003, charged that Jaynes and his associates sent more than 10,000 pieces of spam a day and more than 100,000 for the period.

They are expected to appeal the convictions (duh?)
                                
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"User Education"
is the focus of our Firewalls and Virus Protection website and this "
Security Alert News Reporter". Please help us to help your family, friends, and associates enjoy a safer and less frustrating internet experience. We encourage you to share this information with them.

All of us, too, need to act, by educating ourselves and by making sure we obtain the necessary programs to protect our computers. Those programs include installing a firewall; installing and updating anti-virus software; using anti-spyware software that can identify and delete programs that have migrated to our computers; using spam filters to protect e-mail; and downloading patches that update software.

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Our Children and Grandchildren have been the joys of our lives. We have been fortunate to be able to provide for their needs, their education, their mentoring and the little niceties, like gifts, that are a part of a child's growing up experiences..

There are many kids who have not been so fortunate, so
we have partnered with the Official U.S. Marines  Toys for Tots Program again this year, to make sure every child has at least one present (and hopefully) more from SANTA under their tree.. Will you join us in helping make their holiday memorable ?
 

 
 Just CLICK on the image above to find out how easily you can put a BIG smile on the face of a needy child in your community this Christmas. Thank you for your generosity...
Richard
                         
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 NewsReporter Reader's Questions  ??????????
 
       Send in your questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Some people are bashful about asking, but there are always many others who share the same question, and will benefit from the answers to yours.
 
                         email your questions to us at
                 
Questions@Firewalls-and-Virus-protection
 
 With your permission, we'll publish your questions and answers in forthcoming issues of the
 NewsReporter.
                               
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Sharing ?
If you had the opportunity to help family members, associates, or friends by sharing any of the information in this News Reporter, please suggest that they subscribe for their own personal copy.

  They can subscribe here and we'll never share their information with third parties.
                                       

                              Read our Privacy Policy

                     
                                        
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As promised in our first issue, we aren't going to stuff your mail box with un-ending mailings every day, week, or whenever. When there's important news about the topics we've noted, we'll let you know, usually monthly.
 
To avoid unwanted and unnecessary filtering of our messages, we will send a very brief text email to you. It will have a link to this News Reporter and an un-subscribe link

The email subject line will identify the contents as "Latest Security Alert News Reporter - Issue ##" and the email "FROM" address will be "
richard@richardpresents.com
"

Thank you again, for your interest and trust. We'll do our best to honor it.

                                                                                                ....Richard
              Richard@Firewalls-and-virus-protection.com

                                  
       
Take part in our Computer Virus Awareness Campaign by Sharing this with a friend 

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Check Out the
 Bookshelf
 and
Special Reports
Latest Virus threats
Privacy theft
Family security
Publications
Free resources  
Reviews
Reader's Questions
      Archives
Volume 1, Issue 01
Volume 1, Issue 02

Volume 1, Issue 03
Volume 1, Issue 04
Volume 1, Issue 05
Volume 1, Issue 06
 



 

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