Security Alert News Reporter   

     March 2005               LANGHORNE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA                Volume 1, Issue 11
Help! I think we have a Virus.

Here's your "Security Alert News Reporter" for March, 2005
This Newsletter is sent out periodically 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 If you are no longer interested in up-to-date Security Alerts -
 use the link at  the end of this letter to un-register.

Thanks for being a
 Loyal Subscriber

    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 March 31, 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. You can review previous Virus Alerts in the Archive files.
  • W32/Bagle.dldr is a Medium Risk trojan.
      Due to increased prevalence, the risk assessment of this threat has been raised to MEDIUM.

    New variants of this Bagle downloader have been mass-spammed  recently. These variants are not known at present to be dropped by any mass-mailing Bagle variants, and these variants do not mass-mail themselves.


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 March 1, 2005 update

Look for the STINGER Icon


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       Privacy Theft  - - Some Alarming facts to consider  
Instant Messaging is fast becoming a major target for
          Hackers, Virus Writers and Online thieves

   Instant messaging and Chat rooms have long carried the potential for viruses and malware. Recently, the threat seems to be increasing at an alarmingly fast rate. Hackers are targeting the three main  IM sites -
Yahoo, MSN and AOL.

  These Hackers are broadening their use of instant-messaging applications to fool users into installing malicious code and revealing personal information. According to security company Websense
™, the number of combined IM- and Web-based attacks increased by 300 percent in the first quarter of 2005, compared with the last quarter of 2004.

  Since January, antivirus researchers have identified more than a dozen of the threats, which typically are Trojan horses rather than flaw-exploiting viruses.

Some recent attacks :
Kelvir.A, Date: March 8
Method: Worm sent via URL in message.
Affects: MSN Messenger

Bropia.F, Date: February 3
Method: Worm in picture of a roast
chicken with tan lines. Releases a second more dangerous worm, called Agabot.AJC.
Affects: MSN Messenger
Serflog.A, Date: March 8
Method: Attachment carries worm. IM reads: "????omg click this!"
Affects: MSN Messenger

Bropia.A, Date: January 20
Method: Worm sent via URL in message. Installs bot software.
Affects: MSN Messenger
   Many IM users are unprepared for these IM attacks. Market research company IDC™ estimates that by 2008, about 450 million people will be using an IM product. Hackers are already exploiting problems with today's IM systems: People not familiar with these new threats can easily open a new, seemingly harmless IM message that pops up on their screen. With that one errant click of their mouse, they can get infected.

                 How to protect yourself on IM

™ recommends that you take the same protective measures you now use in opening e-mail and adopt them into your IM habits.

       Use a secure browser
       Know your merchant
       Never open a link or attachment sent to you via IM until first
              making sure it is legitimate.
       Double-check sender
       Protect your PC Use firewall software to limit the kinds of data
              that can be sent to you over IM.
       Don't talk to strangers
       Stay alert Check with IM software providers to ensure that your
              applications are patched and up to date.

  Yahoo recently confirmed that its service, Yahoo Messenger
™, was being targeted by a scam. According to reports, attackers send members a message containing a link to a fake Web site. The fake site looks like an official Yahoo site and asks the user to log in by entering a Yahoo ID and password.

  The scam is convincing because the original message seems to arrive from someone on the victim's friends list. Should the recipient of the phishing message enter his details on the Web site, the attackers can gain access to any personal information stored in the victim's profile and, more important, access to the victim's contact list and IM friends list.

  Yahoo said it has already put preventative measures in place to help protect its IM users from attacks

  America Online
™ reports that it is working to add new protections to its (IM) applications

™ is employing technological measures to help fight the problem in the next version of Messenger.

   PLEASE - when you use Instant Messaging,
BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS and practice Safe Messaging Habits. Ask your Chat Room and IM Buddies to do the same so they don't infect your computer.

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Family Security   We post these  Kid Safe Sites, because like you, we care about the safety and security of our children and grandchildren

...and 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. is provided as a free public service by, 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


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

Our 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

Click to visit Site
Your Site Support
Supporting your Play Time with Kids
for Kid approved activities that grownups love
  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.

WARNING: This isn't earth-shattering news that you can't live without, but as a parent or grand parent caring for small children, it could make your life a little easier. No hype...Click to check it out.

Discover "Real" Kid Tested Crafts That Parents and Grand Parents Love, too!!! Ground breaking new ebook adjusts to your child's skill-level. The Ultimate Craft Book For Little Kids!
  This is a very inexpensive ebook. Early shoppers will get two ebooks, with the second one included at no extra cost. The 2nd book is almost 200 Pages of Paper Plate Know How Guaranteed to Show You How To Create an Infinite Number of Paper Plate Projects -- From the Very Simple To the Most Complex. Click here to get both eBooks for the price of one

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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. Our Bookshelf will will be filled with online security topics.

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

Announcing a
FREE eReport

To Be Released
Mid April, 2005

Watch your email for availability date

Bookshelf and Special Report Alerts

You Should Consider when Maintaining
Your Computer Security and Protecting
 Your Personal Safety"

FREE Downloadable eReport for ALL Subscribers
 to the
Security Alert News Reporter

If you take your laptop computer with you on your travels, this interview with the Author of "Travel Cheap-Travel Well" contains tips and advice to help maintain your
 Online Security while Traveling in the United States and Abroad.

The author, Victor K Pryles, discusses computer security and offers first hand advice on maintaining personal safety while on the road, high seas and in the air.

Click to read it here or Down Load it from this link and share this 10 page report with the travelers you care about. (It's in eBook format and takes less than a minute to download and zip open) DOWNLOAD HERE

      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):
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 pages.
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.       
   One of the outstanding sources for information about browser hijackers and tools to remove these predators is available on the website.

      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 learned about this program from the extraordinary website and forums built and maintained by James Healan, webmaster of

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.


   Ever since I found the eBook, "The Hacker's Nightmare" that tells how to really Keep Hackers, Worms and Germs out of my PCs, it has received my highest recommendation to family and friends.

This is an eBook by the 20 plus year veteran of internet security consulting ...Mr Bill Hely.

   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. Here are a few more things we found:

   In addition to the Free Anti-Virus program by GRISOFT,  we mentioned in last month's News Reporter(*), we learned that having just these three anti-spyware programs will build a strong fortress against Trojan Horses:
   Spybot-Search & Destroy, AdAware and  SpywareBlaster.

   Spybot S&D and AdAware
scan and remove spyware from your computer. SpywareBlaster keeps spyware from being installed.

   And how about building your own Rock Solid Firewall from an old PC? Learn the difference between Hardware and Software Firewalls by reading the "Firewalls-Defined" article by Mr. Hely. Jump to the Articles and Reports page of the web site and read article No. 23...

  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.

   The Hacker's Nightmare eBook isn't 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

P.S. here's the link to Grisoft's AVG anti virus software, in case you
      missed it last month                                      
... R

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Reviews of the News (some encouraging news about controlling SPAM,  pornography, and Consumer Personal Information)

Phishing could be punishable under a new law

Internet Service Provider Settles FTC Charges

Federal Trade Commission Successes

Released by the FTC on March 10, 2005

Company Disclosed Personal Information of Nearly One Million Consumers

  An Internet company(*) that provides shopping cart software to online merchants has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it rented personal information about merchants’ customers to marketers, knowing that such disclosure contradicted merchant privacy policies. The settlement will bar use of the personal data the company has already collected, as well as future misrepresentations about the collection, use, or disclosure of personally identifiable information.

  (*)Vision I Properties, LLC, doing business as CartManager International, provides shopping cart software and related services to thousands of online merchants.

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

                ...and a few more Heartening Headline briefs
    Microsoft has filed 117 lawsuits against people with charges they
       created Phishing Web sites designed to look like actual Microsoft
       web pages

   U.S. Senator Diannne Feinstein just recently called for more government
        protection against identity theft after a laptop computer storing
        nearly 100,000 Social Security numbers was stolen from
        UCLA, Berkley, CA.
The U.S. Dept of Justice announced convictions against three men who
       pleaded guilty to distributing pirated copies of computer and video
       games. The offenders each face from 5 to 10 years in prison.



"User Education" is the focus of our Firewalls and Virus Protection website and the "Security Alert News Reporter". This month's important focus is on the increasing Hacker attacks on Instant Messaging.
  Interestingly, the major players in the Instant Messaging field all feel that getting the word out to "IM'ers" about the threats could have the biggest effect in alleviating the problem.
  Microsoft believes that educating IM users could have a bigger impact than building better safeguards into IM applications.
  How many of your IM and Chat Room Buddies are alert to these growing threats? How about being a participant in spreading the word to them.
  Share the brief
Instant Messaging article at the beginning of this newsletter. In the long run, it'll help you, too.
  As a P.S. to the above comment, encourage your friends to check out our new "Security Alert Blog". The most recent Blog entries include these helpful and timely posts:
  Computer Security Apathy and Spyware Hysteria
  Avoiding the False sense of Security
  Are anti-spyware programs staying ahead of the spys?
 ▪  Which Browser should you have?
  There are dozens more posts available in the Blog Archives. Read our Blog Posts HERE. I urge you to Comment, Challenge and add your own opinions to ours.                             

Are you campaigning with us? (Computer Virus Awareness Campaign)
  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 or suggest they subscribe to the news letter below.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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
  With your permission, we'll publish your questions and answers in future issues of the
  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
Click Button - Get a FREE report  "23 Critical Security Alerts"
                                                     from the subscription  signup page

  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 ""

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

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

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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
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Volume 1,Issue_10

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