A Security guide for the everyday, non-technical
internet user who just wants to be safe doing basic stuff
Alert News Reporter"
for Dcember, 2005
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, sanity, and privacy is not a simple task. We're trying to make it a bit easier for you to accomplish.
is sent out periodically to everyone who has registered for the
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 or
Safe Surfing Suggestions -
please use the
the end of this letter to un-register.
Thanks for being a
Latest Virus and Worm Threats
The Panda Report - New Trojan
Revised ALERT -Stinger Updated
Privacy Theft - Important Updates
Free Anti-virus software
Enjoy a Healthy, Happy and secure
Family Security - three new Family and
Kid Friendly Sites
Recommended - Predator Guard to Protect
●. Publications for your Family and Friends/
FREE Identity Theft
Guide /5 New Article
Resources - Many FREE! / (What
Bill Hely's ebook -My Security Bible
Reviews of the News-
really fresh news and
encouraging reports to keep you abreast of
latest Scam and Spam busting activities
Be a Cyber Secure Citizen
/ Errornuker Registry
CLICK ON ANY
TOPIC YOU'RE INTERESTED IN - OR READ THIS NEWSLETTER FROM TOP TO
The holiday Season is fast upon us. However you celebrate it,
gift giving is usually an important part of the festivities,
especially for Children.
Please Take a moment
and Consider this message about the millions of children in the United
States who will NOT have a single gift to open on Christmas Day!
be a partner with the official U.S.
Marines "Toys for Tots" program in The
5th Annual Internet Toy Drive. ... thanks ever so much, Richard
Latest Virus Threats
2005 by McAfee ,
US-CERT, Panda and other advisory services. (US-CERT is the
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
links. 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.
descriptions and Removal Advice
discovered Dec 3, 2005, Low Level Threat
Trojan Horse low threat level
that gathers sensitive information and registers a
pornographic service without notification.
From the US-CERT,
November 30, 2005 TREND report
US-CERT has received reports of a
phishing email scam that attempts to convince the
recipient that it is from the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) by using a spoofed "From" address of
If the person receiving this email clicks on the link
provided, they are taken to a fraudulent site that looks
like a legitimate U.S. government site. They are then
asked to provide personal information, such as their
social security, credit card and bank pin numbers.
The obvious advice is
1. Do not follow unsolicited web links received in email
2. Contact your financial institution immediately if you
account/and or financial information has been
Reports no Medium or High Risk Malware or Spyware at this
However, a visit to
Security Information Site
will provide more detailed information on these and other
pests currently circulating through the Cyber world.
Viruses and Worms as of Dec 4 2005
Information Items from the
Panda Report for Dec 2, 2005
BodyOnLoad is a program developed to download any
type of file (with the obvious danger that this entails
when such files are malware) hosted on certain websites
with adult content. The infection process begins when
users visit one of these pages, which redirect to a second
page containing BodyOnLoad.
BodyOnLoad has already been used to download and run a
copy of a Trojan designed to reduce the security level of
the browser; act as an entry point for other malware and
install several files belonging to PicsPlace, a program
that continually opens pages with adult content.
Another threat is AVKiller.V, which like other
Trojans cannot spread by itself and therefore depends on
others to distribute it manually (by email, Internet
downloads, FTP file transfers, or other means). The action
that this Trojan takes on the computers it infects
Deleting Windows registry entries corresponding to
security programs, to prevent them from running when
Windows starts up.
Deleting from the "Program
files" folder, all files in the MICROSOFT ANTISPYWARE
Generating a Windows registry entry to ensure it runs
whenever the system starts up.
Samony.B is a worm with backdoor characteristics
that spreads via email in a message with the subject:
"Account # 394875948JNO Wed, 28". After it installs on a
computer, Samony.B takes a series of actions including:
receive remote control
orders (download, run, copy and delete files, list
directories, etc.), which allow the infected computer to
be controlled remotely by unknown persons.
obtains passwords stored on the computer, for example in
Protected Storage, where the Outlook, Internet Explorer,
etc. passwords are kept.
It sends a copy of itself to all contacts in the Windows
Address Book and the addresses it finds in files with HTML
Up-to-date Firewalls, Anti-virus and anti-spyware
software will usually stop these pests before they cause
you any grief
Cyber Crime Trends
Identity Theft, phishing, pharming, and similar buzz words
appearing in daily TV, newspaper and radio
highlight the current major trend in security awareness.
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, located in San
Diego, more than 51 million personal identifying numbers have
been compromised by criminals since February, 2005. The
biggest breach was from Atlanta-area data broker ChoicePoint,
which reported that ID thieves made off with the personal
information of 145,000 people.
A Breach in your personal privacy protection could easily lead
to online and offline Hackers and thieves stealing your
To help you avoid such a catastrophe, I've prepared a quick
reading 5 page guide covering the more important issues of
Identity Theft avoidance.
It's FREE and can be downloaded from the Regular Features Supplement
to this month's newsletter.
(A bit more about the
Be aware that we are all targets.
Caution and Diligence should be the watch words
of the day.
Updating my recent alert about Stinger
you can get the Free
updated virus checking and removal STINGER tool at the
Firewalls and Virus Protection site.
STINGER, (compliments of McAfee's Anti-virus and
Vulnerability Emergency Response Team -
updated on November 22, 2005 to detect and remove more than 50
current viruses including Sober.
It's a great
little program that still 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 get back on the Internet to update your
Whenever updated versions become available,
a notice here, on the Firewalls and Virus
Protection website and
in the Security Alert Blog.
Be on the alert for the latest spyware and Scams, sources of
malware and Zombie (hijacking)
programs that often lead to stolen personal and financial information
and Identity Theft.
Usually, it's very difficult to repair the damage
they cause, however, there
are some really
and very effective
Programs available to Home and Small
users to improve online security and minimize adware, Trojan horse/Zombie and
general malware threats. You'll need
at least two or three.
|Among the many reputable online security resources that I monitor,
Warrior" website is one that does an outstanding job of not only
reviewing and recommending the best and latest anti-spyware software, but advises how best
to use it.
It has my Highest Recommendation.
Warrior website is owned, operated and © Copyright 2005 by Eric
The following recommended anti-spyware programs appeared most often
during November, on
the top rated research and anti-spyware reporting websites , including Spyware
Webroot Spy Sweeper
for Free trial),
Spybot Search and Destroy -
is currently available as a
FREE Download, but you can't use it
Windows 95 or 98. I use it on my windows 2000 and Windows XP PC's,
have it set for automatic updates and daily scans. Like
(Download) it's designed to monitor in Real Time.
Keep in mind that you must also have up-to-date anti-virus software(*)
strong firewall, plus the latest updates for your browser (Internet
Firefox, Netscape, Opera... whichever one you use).
(*) Here's the best link to
Free anti virus software, in case you missed it in recent issues of
When you arrive at the Grisoft webpage, scroll to the bottom
and click on the link in the table under the FILE heading.
It'll look something like this:
avg70free344a618.exe -- Select Save in the
Download dialog box that opens.
Saving it to your desktop will make it easier to find the
Install icon placed there as part of the installation process.
Click on the icon and follow the instructions to complete your
installation. Spend a few minutes becoming familiar with the
AVG Anti-Virus Control Center.
Be sure to check for updates, get them and then do a complete
I set my AVG program for automatic updates once every day...
makes me feel more secure, and I also use two anti-virus
programs on each of my computers.
However, I use only one
firewall software program on each computer... Richard
Enjoy a Healthy, Happy and Secure
During the exciting and
busy days of the Holiday Season, we might be
inclined to overlook, or forget the importance of keeping the
security features and protective software up to date on our
Many hackers and criminals are counting on this so that they can
ply their nefarious trade of infiltrating our computers with
After the gifts are exchanged and your brand new computers are
set-up and ready to explore the Internet, these same criminals
know that the security software that comes with nearly all of
today's new computers may not be updated first. They'll be
Most new home computers will arrive with some security software.
They'll probably have a version of Windows XP, which includes a
BUT, it has to be activated by the user first,
before going on line!
Then, the included anti-virus
and anti-spyware programs must also be updated. This
is extremely important. Review the instruction for updating and
connect to the websites of the safeware providers to download
their latest information before you do your fun surfing.
everyone a Happy
Holiday Season and a
Rewarding New Year. Thank you for being a
Family Security and Caring
|I posted three
new items for this important topic last month. There are so many
wonderfully safe resources available for Kids, their parents and
grandparents that it would be nearly impossible to post them
At the top of the list of results at a Google search was "FirstGov for
Kids", the U.S.
government interagency Kids' Portal. It's a great site.
And the KidsGrid directory of safe sites for kids
contained hundreds of links to resources the whole family can
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has many
great publications. I put a
download link for their "Personal
Safety for Children -
A guide for Parents" in the Features Supplement.
them out in the new Features Supplement by
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.
Help for Parents and Grandparents.
Keep the Children and Grandchildren safe when they're using your
Predator Guard provides real-time protection for
children in chat rooms, instant messaging, and e-mail
The Home Edition Features:
in Instant Messaging, Chat Rooms, E-mail and Attachments
E-mail notification to parents
Reviews both outgoing and incoming data
User defined library to prevent distribution of personal
Detects, captures, logs and reports violations
Works as a stand-alone application or with existing site
blocking programs (AOL Parental Controls, Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny,
Guard provides real-time protection for children in chat
rooms, instant messaging, e-mail and attachments from online
predators and pedophiles. In addition,
Predator Guard can prevent all outgoing personal
information, such as a child's home address, phone number and
school information, or other information that is essential for a
predator to make contact with a child.
Inexpensive Protection Now
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO SUBMITTED SUGGESTIONS
► Suggestions were in response to this question:
splitting the newsletter into two separate sections, and issuing
them two weeks apart make it easier for you to keep up with all
tips, and useful content?"
Some suggestions were to present important current security
alerts and advice in each issue of the News Reporter and
make the regular features available as a Supplement
that could be accessed by clicking a link,
... and that's what we did again for
this issue. How did you like it?
Your opinions will be very helpful. Please
CLICK HERE to open a
contact form where you can tell me what you think.
Publications - Use these Reports to help your
family and friends:
those of you who have visited our Firewalls website and Security Alert Blog, you know that the information there is directed toward keeping
you safe from hacker and cracker attacks. Additions to our bookshelf
are selected with the same purpose - and we encourage you to share our
miss the NEWest
- many Free. It's
easy to install the latest Firewall, anti-virus(*), spam blocking, and spyware removal software on
your computers. Download all of these programs, and more, mostly for FREE, from our
Firewalls-and-Virus-Protection website pages.
Check them out. If you need to
block Spam, find the links on the 'Spam and Spyware' page. Same thing for Cookie
Crumbling tools, Spyware protection, etc. Most of them have a purchasable Upgrade option, and by trying the
free versions, you can upgrade the ones that work best for you.
Browser Hijacking is still
a major problem. One of the outstanding
sources for information about browser hijackers and tools
to remove these predators is still available on the
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 SpywareInfo.com.
DOWNLOAD latest cws shredder
which is now a part of Trend Micro
It'll find and remove
those nasty Cool Web Search trojan horses.
Here's a powerful, inexpensive, and helpful resource
to help you maintain your Internet Security and Personal
Did you know
that popular, everyday gadget items like MP3 music players
(Apple iPod for example) and digital cameras can "walk"
your precious data and records off your premises, right
under your unsuspecting nose?
Hacker's Nightmare the danger is fully explained and
an inexpensive, easily-implemented solution offered.
You'll learn the dangers and the means of prevention.
...and Did you know that your home garbage bin and your
office dumpster are gold mines of information to the
hacker and the identity thief?
Hacker's Nightmare a retired FBI Special Agent will
tell you exactly what he or anyone else who knows the
tricks can do with your refuse.
Hackers, virus and
spyware writers and other unethical persons are
becoming more and more sophisticated every day. Their
attacks and the undesirable and often dangerous stuff they
sneak into our computers slow them down, and threaten our
personal lives with increasing severity.
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.
It's my Computer Security Bible.
Hely, 20 plus year veteran of internet security consulting. has loaded
it with valuable information and plain common
sense. We could fill this and future issues of our News
Reporter for the next few months just talking about them.
I've included some of Bill's outstanding, informative, and
helpful articles in the Articles and Reports pages of the
Firewalls and Virus Protection website. Please visit and
check them out.
Bill 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.
Among the testimonials
Bill received recently--
chapter solved a severe problem for this reader:
"... loved it, it's
the first computer related thing I've read that
makes sense to me as an IT illiterate can't wait
to read the whole book!"
Lucy Fisher - Exec. Director
Private Hospitals' Assoc. (Qld)
And here's another --:
can't tell you how much time and money I've wasted
trying to clean up and protect my computer. Most
solutions people sell have been a complete waste.
"Your course, your assistance, YOU Bill, have been
the complete opposite. You offer a solution that's
simple to understand, enlightening to know, and
"If everyone with a computer had The Hackers
Nightmare, those dead-beats would have to find a new
job! Thanks for everything."
- Alan Saltz - President
- New York City NY USA
and here's My Favorite Resource
i-Cop is a resource I'm
proud to be a part of.
You have probably noticed the
various references to it throughout this newsletter,
the Firewalls and Virus Protection website
and my Blog.
International Council of Online Professionals,
i-Cop for short. I
believe anyone actively using the internet to
provide information, services or sell products will
benefit by subscribing to i-Cop's publication -
The Internet Marketing Trade Journal.
It truly sets the
standard for Honesty and Integrity Online. I'm proud
to be a member.
This FREE ezine is
vitally important to online business owners and
anyone even considering making money online! We keep
informed about all online issues and programs to
in, or avoid. Subscribe to The Internet
Marketing Trade Journal
i-Cop members are helping the survivors of the
Katrina Tragedy here.
Will you join us? However you do it, please open
your hearts and help.
thank you, Richard
of the News (more encouraging news
SPAM, SCAMS, pornography, and protecting Personal Consumer
Best Buy 'hacker-Extortionist' loses appeal before his peers
in Federal Court
story from CNET News, Thomas Eli Ray was reported to have lost his
appeal in the 8th Circuit Appeals Court.
You may have heard about Mr.Thomas Eli Ray. A federal jury convicted
him of two counts of extortion in October 2004. The Charge was for
attempting to extort $2.5 million from BestBuy by threatening to take
advantage of a breach in its computer security system and shut them
The BestBuy company called the FBI.
FBI agents traced the extortion e-mail messages to three different
email accounts, one belonging to Ray.
The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Ray in December 2003, after
obtaining a bunch of search warrants. A federal jury convicted him of
two counts of extortion in October 2004.
He appealed the conviction in November, 2005. Ray claimed that someone
had broken into his computer and used it to send the extortion
messages. During the trial, he tried to put the finger on two people
who he said were the likely culprits.
The jurors didn't buy that story. A government witness testified that
there was no evidence of anyone else getting into Ray's computer.
On Nov. 22.2005, a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of
Appeals rejected his arguments and upheld an 18-month prison sentence
and restitution to BestBuy of $87,398. Ray is also sentenced to a
three-year supervised release, during which he's not allowed to
possess any "electronic device with access to any online computer
service" without explicit permission.
Congratulations to BestBuy management, the Jury, the FBI agents and
the three Judges on the Appeals Court bench. Hopefully, this is a
strong signal to other would-be extortionists with grandiose ideas.
New Laws Will Help Protect Against Identity
There are approximately 15 anti-Identity Theft bills currently before
the U.S. Congress
It appears that ID theft, and other security issues, will continue to
lead to increased government legislation. During the past year, many
states enacted security breach notification laws similar to the
California law, (as reported in the November issue of our
News Reporter), in order to
protect their residents from identify theft. There have been federal
proposals as well, which would most likely preempt state security
Legislators will no doubt continue to dictate the types of security
measures that must be taken in order to prevent unauthorized access to
sensitive personal information,"
These efforts seem to bode well for all of us and reflect the growing
concern of the public-at-large over the increasing threats. It's being
addressed by our legislators, as well it should.
going to consolidate all of these
check marks into one Big One for November √
'Good Guy Check Marks' to date
√ √ √ √ √ √ √
√ √ √ √
√ √ √
"User Education" is the
focus of our Firewalls and Virus Protection website and the "Security
Alert News Reporter".
Do your IM and Chat Room Buddies know
How to Find
the Best Anti-spyware Software?
In case they missed this FREE report on the
you can read it here and print the report
to share with your family, friends and Buddies.
As a P.S. to the above comment,
encourage your friends to check out our "Security Alert Blog".
Recent Blog entries
for November include these helpful and timely posts:
|| How's your Internet
On a web site I found recently, the
webmaster highlighted some guidelines for being polite and
proper when using the Internet. It's a nice gesture toward
keeping the Fun in many of the things we do online.
Check out the
Internet Etiquette site HERE
||If this is the answer to
paying more for safeware, I feel as if
I'm being set-up.
|Federal Trade Commission shuts down
massive Blogspot spyware operation
Predators! The national news services are creating
an awareness of the increasing dangers to our children
Identity Theft -There's hardly a newspaper, Radio or
TV show that isn't talking about it today
||Add our information blog to your list of
Must Read spyware
The more useful
information you have about
the scourge of malicious spyware, the
better chance you'll have of
avoiding the grief
and frustration it
||Our blog is RSS
● There are dozens more posts available in the Blog
Blog Posts HERE. I urge you to Comment, Challenge and
add your own opinions to ours.
Are you campaigning with
Have you participated in
the Computer Virus Awareness Campaign?
It appears as if some positive progress is being
made in alerting your friends and family of spyware dangers.
Many of the Spyware monitoring organizations and individuals
have noted the changes in Hacker and Spammer tactics. Because so
many internet users have built up their defenses against
malicious spyware, these cyber criminals have had to develop
increasingly more devious and sophisticated attack schemes,
challenging the anti-spyware software developers. We're caught
in the middle of this battle. We cannot drop our guard now.
Now you can do even more.
Heed the CALL TO ACTION: BE A CYBER SECURE
Securing your personal computer plays a crucial role in
protecting our nation's Internet infrastructure. The National
Cyber Security Alliance
(NCSA) is a public-private partnership
focused on promoting cyber security and safe behavior online. It
drives awareness and response to pressing cyber security issues;
providing tools and resources to empower home users to
stay safe online.
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 this newsletter.
I like to say that
Sharing is Caring ......Richard
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 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
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that
no man can sincerely try to help another without helping
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Keep in mind that
these programs are only as good as their
I hope your machines aren't infected with any viruses that send out spam.
How can you be sure? Do
some 'house-cleaning' on your system. Scan for spyware and
viruses and while you're at it, install a diagnostic program so
that you can discover any viral ills on your PC.
Have you checked the health of your computer's Registry? I have,
errornuker. It's a
powerful diagnostic utility
that scans the Windows Registry to identify errors and
to optimize it's performance.
Every day when I boot up my computers, I run a registry
check with Error Nuker. In just a few minutes, it finds
broken links to shortcuts, ActiveX entries that shouldn't
be there, unwanted Browser Helper Objects, and a lot more
problems. With a simple CLICK, they're fixed!
The StartUp manager lets me disable those programs that
automatically load on StartUp and use Resources that slow
down. the computer. I can easily select the programs that
I want to keep running in the background.
Personal testimonial from
Your Registry could need a clean up, too, if
you have these Registry Problem Symptoms
- PC keeps crashing at
- PC needs frequent
- unable to remove a program
using add/remove dialog
- 'unable to load ***.DLL'
- 'cannot find ***.exe'
- PC runs noticeably slower
than when you first bought it
Download errornuker now,
the first time, and seeing how many registry listings
needed to be fixed on my computer, and how effectively
they were fixed, as I noted above, it's now a part of my booting
routine every time I restart. ...
There are no
Dumb Questions!. Don't be too embarrassed to ask.
You probably aren't the only person with the same
.. and help all of those who don't ask.
With your permission, we'll publish your questions and answers in
issues of the
If you have the opportunity to help
family members, associates, or friends by sharing any of the
information in this
please suggest that they subscribe for their own personal copy.
They can subscribe here and we'll never share their information with third
If your friends are hesitant or uncertain
about the benefits of visiting with us,
suggest that they review the help that's readily available at
our one page summary of the Online Security Consideration and
Protective Tactics that are designed to keep them safe on the
They Can Check out these Considerations HERE.
Please don't forget the survivors
of the Wilma, Katrina and Rita hurricane disasters who need help - our help - and they'll need it for
a long, long time. Open your hearts and help them in the best
way you know how. We're doing it through i-Cop.
And finally for this issue,
we hope you can take our one minute
mini- survey (We'll give you a nifty and entertaining Free
eBook on Coping With Your Stresses for your time)
and visit our
Blog Pages, read our postings and contact us with your comments
YOUR Feedback is valued!
I want the 'Security Alert News Reporter' to bring you all the
you look for and help you need to solve problems you encounter,
may I ask you to send me your ideas and tips to make our newsletter
even more valuable.
Everything you have to offer will help us do a better
job of helping you.
Thank you. ...Richard
Did you Check out the new Regular Features Supplement to
Issue 19 ?
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 "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Thank you again, for your interest and trust.
We'll do our best to
honor and preserve it
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