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

       January 2005               LANGHORNE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA                Volume 1, Issue 09
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 January, 2005
    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 January 27, 2005 by McAfee
and US-CERT. (
US-CERT is the operational arm of the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) at the Department of Homeland Security)

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.
 
  •  * Virus Advisory W32/Bagle.bj@MM is a Medium Risk virus.
    Due to increased prevalence the risk assessment of this threat has been raised to medium. This mass-mailing worm harvests email addresses from the victim's machine. Things to look for --
          
    the From: address of messages is spoofed
          
    contains a remote access Trojan (notification is sent to hacker)
          
    copies itself to folders that have the phrase shar in the name such
              as common peer-to-peer applications; KaZaa, Bearshare, Limewire, etc
US-CERT Current Activity includes this information as of Jan 26, 2005
W32/Sober.j@MM
(also known as  Sober.H@mm, Trojan.Win32.VB.qa, W32.Sober.I@mm, and Worm_Sober.
Type: Internet Worm, Sub-type: E-mail, Threat level Medium

Virus Characteristics -- This is a new variant of this mass-mailer, which sends itself to harvested mail addresses found on an infected machine.


When a user double clicks on an infected attachment, the worm will display a fake error message which must be completely ignored. Clicking anywhere on the message will load the worm!
                                       ~~~~~~~~~~~

W32/MyDoom Revisited

added July 26 | updated November 22 US-CERT continues to see new variants appearing and many variants (new and old) continuing to spread. Many variants of W32/MyDoom are known to open a backdoor and use their own SMTP engine to spread through email. This virus has also been identified as W32/Bofra by some vendors. Read how to remove MyDoom variants HERE

With these, and hundreds of other threats, just about everyone can use help to keep the Hackers from loading their PCs with viruses, worms and other pests.

The theme of our publications is "How to help everyday internet users become aware, and protect them from the potential loss of private and personal information, files, important data, and even their identity"

This is also is the Goal of many organizations, software providers, and even some individual webmasters, like us.

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.

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.

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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 and update your security ware.
 
If you don't have an online anti-virus program yet, I suggest you use STINGER until you do....Richard
 
 
Download this FREE scanning and removal tool from the Firewalls and Virus Protection website at STINGER. It finds and removes about 46 other active viruses and worms. Download the January 27, 2005 update

Look for the STINGER Icon



 

Ever wonder How you can really Keep hackers, Worms and Germs out of your PC? We feel that we discovered the Mother LODE of information on protecting ourselves from continuing attacks by Hackers. It's an eBook  by the 20 plus year veteran of internet security consulting ...Mr Bill Hely.

           We found "The Hacker's Nightmare"!            
There's so much valuable information and just plain common sense  contained in this eBook, that we could fill this and future issues of our News Reporter for the next few months just talking about it.

Every single user of an Internet-connected Windows computer NEEDS the kind of information contained in
The Hacker's Nightmare™. Even so, until now only experts had this knowledge. Now this essential information is yours --- in a language you can understand and in a format you can easily implement for yourself.

Just one of the treasures we found is the Free Anti-Virus program by
GRISOFT, highly recommended by Mr. Hely and available to all of our readers. We downloaded and are using it now. Get your Free download HERE

And how about building your own Rock Solid Firewall from an old PC?

Bill Hely has designed a webpage that describes many of the security tricks and tools that will help keep that nasty stuff out of your computer. Review The Hacker's Nightmare Story HERE. Some sample (Free) chapters are available to early visitors.

Don't think that this is is just for Professionals and Small Business Operators. Much of Bill Hely's information can easily be applied to keeping even the less experienced internet user out of the deep and murky depths of despair resulting from Hacker attacks, virus grief and spyware intrusions.
 Visit now and Learn the Truths About Computer & Internet Security
 
I'm confident that this will be a rewarding experience for you. ... Richard

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Privacy Theft  - -    
                               Help for the Hijacked !

How can you tell if your Browser has been Hijacked?

It has happened to you if your browser suddenly has a new Start page and even a new Search page, neither of which you selected. You might even end up at some very strange sites that you did not seek.

(We ended up at some nasty Porno sites when our Internet Explorer browser was hijacked, and we had nearly un-ending pop ups that we couldn't stop without going off line)

We tried to fix this by revising the Internet Options setting, but that had been disabled by the Hijacking worm.

We tried various spyware removal tools, Spyware Search and Destroy, SpySweeper, and AdAware, all of which found and removed lots of bugs, but didn't find the real culprit, which turned out to be CWS.mrhop.

Fortunately, we ran across the SpywareInfo.com website where we learned about two great tools, HiJackThis and CWSShredder.

Even if you have only a few of hijacked browser symptoms we've mentioned, scanning your computer for hidden CWS variants is a good move. Let CWSShredder (it's included with SpySubtract PRO  where you can Download a free trial) find and remove these potential browser hijacking parasites, and then check out the Xsoftpy program. It's one of the few virus scanners we've found that actually finds and removes CWS.mrhop. Download XoftSpy and Scan Your PC for Free!

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.

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?
 
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 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.

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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.

We added the Code Amber Scrolling Alert to the "News Reporter" in November, 2004, because, like it's founder, we are acutely aware of the dangers our grandchildren face.

Bryant Harper is the founder and President of BigHits.com, Inc. and the proud Grandfather of two adorable girls ages 3 and 4. Here's his message:

"In August 2002 I was horrified by the viciousness of what seems like an epidemic of child abductions around the United States and recently in the UK. In response to these crimes we developed the Code Amber Alert Ticker to provide every web site owner with the ability to display Amber Alerts on their site by adding our Alert Ticker.

As of September 2004 the Code Amber Ticker is on over 175,000 web sites and desktops. We have delivered over 500,000,000 tickers to date and we expect to deliver over 500,000,000 more over the next year. If you have your own website, Please help by adding the Ticker to your site today. Together we can make a difference. "

CodeAmber.org is provided as a free public service by BigHits.com, Inc. If you would like to help support the Code Amber project, please click here.

  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
Kid Safe Site from
Yahooligans! A really cool Index to the Web for net Surfers ages 8 - 14. Parents will love this one, too.

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.

                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  You can easily have the latest Firewall, anti-virus, spam blocking, and spyware removal software installed on your computers. 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. (You did check out last month's free download of the AVG virus protection program, Didn't you?). 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 (some encouraging news about controlling SPAM and Spyware and Fraud).

Phishing could be punishable under a new law

 
International Telemarketing Network Defendants Banned from Telemarketing

Federal Trade Commission Successes

Defendants Sold Bogus Advance-Fee Credit Card Packages; $106 Million Judgment Entered Against Lead Defendant; Associate Who Helped Hide Proceeds Incarcerated

Officers of a company that directed an international telemarketing network that defrauded hundreds of thousands of consumers through the deceptive telemarketing of bogus advance-fee credit cards are banned from telemarketing for life as part of federal court orders settling Federal Trade Commission charges. Another alleged leader of this massive scam, who has a prior history involving telemarketing fraud, also agreed to a lifetime telemarketing ban.

(Sounds to us like another win for the Good Guys)                              
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"User Education"
is the focus of our Firewalls and Virus Protection website, this "
Security Alert News Reporter" and our new "Security Alert Blog". Our recent Blog entries include these helpful and timely posts:

           PC Security and Housekeeping Basics
          
Students used keylogger to steal test answers from Teacher
          
How often should Passwords be Changed?
          
Help your Children practice safe surfing habits
          
How not to be a part of the Internet Problems
          
Making the most of your new PC

Another dozen or more are available in the December 2004 Blog Archives.
Read our Blog Posts HERE. I urge you to Comment, Challenge and add your own opinions.

 Please help us 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.

Keep in mind that these programs are only as good as their latest updates!
                                       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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 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.
                                       

If they are hesitant or uncertain about the benefits of visiting with us,
suggest that they review the help that's readily available at this one page summary of the Online Security Consideration and Protective Tactics that are designed to keep them be safe on the Internet. They Can Check out these Considerations and Tactics HERE.


And finally for this issue,
we hope you can take our one minute mini- survey and visit our new Blog Pages, read our postings and contact us with your comments and opinions. Everything you have to offer will help us do a better job of helping you. Thank you. ...Richard


                             
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 

                          CLICK HERE to be removed from this mailing list, or
                                 Click to send Un-subscribe email request

 

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
Volume 1, Issue 07
Volume 1,Issue_08
 



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Get the latest News
Take a look at our Security Alert Blog HERE.

A Blog (web log) is a quick and easy way to share timely information (nearly daily updated news, trends, developments), answer questions, express opinions and exchange views.
 

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 No. 1 Use of the Internet?

Please take this one minute Mini-Survey. Tell us how we can best serve your primary   interests while avoiding
Hacker attacks and spyware intrusions.
Thank You.
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