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botnets, cyber criminals, and more - one of the best,
and most interesting explanations
of these cyber antics that
you'll read anywhere!
The SANS(*) Organization
highlighted this article in their Feb 21, 06 "NewsBites as providing
"extraordinary detail about the motivation and techniques used by a
young criminal who makes his living by installing spyware on
thousands of computers."
Brian Krebs, the Washington Post cyber
security journalist who wrote this analysis, was able to get very
close to this criminal. The article also covers other aspects of the
adware and spyware scourge.
I bookmarked it for future reference; it's such a good documentary.
Mr. Krebs' writing style is engrossing, entertaining and down to
earth. You'll really like it -
and learn a lot about the seamy side of cyber space.
Phishing Scam Pretends to Provide Information About
A recently detected phishing
scam purports to be a message from the US Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) regarding a tax refund. (Reported by SANS* on Feb 6, 2006)
The email has a link to a web
site that claims to be able to tell taxpayers the status of their
refunds and asks for visitors' names, Social Security numbers and
credit card data.
The subject line of the e-mail reads "Refund Notice!" and claims
to be from "firstname.lastname@example.org."
The email content includes this statement: "You
filed your tax return and you're expecting a refund. You have just
one question and you want the answer now -- Where's My Refund?
Access this secure Web site to find out if the IRS received your
return and whether your refund was processed and sent to you. New
program enhancements allow you to begin a refund trace online if you
have not received your check within 28 days from the original IRS
The e-mail then requests your Social Security and credit-card
information. Do not respond to this eMail. It is a
An IRS spokesperson provided this totally safe, legitimate, and
free way to check on your refund. Go to the IRS Web site at [www.irs.gov],
navigate to the Resources pages, find and click on 'Where's My
Refund?' Or place a toll free call to IRS at 1-800-829-1954.
(*)SANS is the most trusted and by far the largest source for
information security training and certification in the world. It
also develops, maintains, and makes available at no cost, the
largest collection of research documents about various aspects of
information security, and it operates the Internet's early warning
system - Internet Storm Center.
computer worm set to activate Friday, February 3rd, 2006 caused
relatively little trouble.
Don't put this down as a false alarm or over-hyped event, however.
The worm is designed to inflict serious damage and it's still
Unlike other worms generally engineered to help spammers and hackers
carry out attacks, this worm could inflict a lot more damage because
it's designed to overwrite DOC, XLS, MDE, MDB, PPT, PPS, RAR, PDF,
PSD, DMP, and ZIP files and disable security software.
It's been reported that one Italian city shut down computers as a
precaution because they were aware of the BlackWorm infection in
their systems. There was relatively little difficulty in other
counties and the United States.
During the couple of weeks preceding the February 3rd trigger date,
hundreds of thousands of computers were believed to be infected.
Because it was mentioned so often by security vendors and media
outlets, many businesses and individuals had time to clean up their
machines and avoid being infected.
Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer for the Finnish security
reported that "It's been pretty quiet. This virus is nowhere near as
widespread as some of the [recent virus] cases," He said the reason
it's talked about is because it's more destructive.
He said damage is high among those hit, but many businesses should
already be protected by anti-virus software. Home users and smaller
companies without the latest software updates may be more
vulnerable, and since the
worm is designed to trigger on the 3rd day of each month, they might
still experience some problems.
2006Stinger updated as of
February 2, 2006 to include
Add this protection to your new
computer update your backup protection for your existing machines
Free virus checking and removal tool (compliments of
McAfee's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team -
February 2, 2006.
It's a great little program that
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 security ware.
Whenever updated versions
becomes available, I'll post a notice here, on the Firewalls
and Virus Protection website and in the Security Alert News
Reporter. Download the current version here at McAfee
February 1, 2006(UPDATED) Use
RSS Readers to add current Web Feeds to
your daily reading lists
For awhile I was using two RSS Readers, but after many months of
experience, I found that using just one meets all of my needs, and
it's very easy to set up. .
More and more of my favorite websites, newsletters and blogs display
Now, even more display the
button. Clicking on it
automatically adds that feed to my personal MyYahoo page.
Using RSS feeds has saved a lot of time!, I don't have to go on a
search for the latest information published on my favorite sites --
every new bit of information, post, or announcement appears in my
RSS Reader. (The new IE7 browser is expected to refer to these as
Soon you'll find that many of your favorite sites display the little
buttons. There will be more and more in the days ahead. If you don't
have a Free 'MyYahoo' page, it's very easy to get one from the Yahoo site.
The same is true for and
After you put the first Web Feed into you RSS Feed Reader and have
up-to-date notices delivered to you without having to worry about
opening an email notice, you'll appreciate how great this RSS stuff
really is. Try It. You'll enjoy it!.
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