Security Alert News Reporter   

     February 2005               LANGHORNE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA                Volume 1, Issue 10
Help! I think we have a Virus.

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Here's your "Security Alert News Reporter" for February, 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 February 25, 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.
US-CERT Current Activity includes this information as of Feb 25,2005

W32/MyDoom Revisited

added July 26 | updated November 22, reviewed Feb 25, 2005 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

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"

With many hundreds of virus threats, just about everyone can use help to keep the Hackers from loading their PCs with viruses, worms and other pests. This is also 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 ,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 February 13, 2005 update

Look for the STINGER Icon


If you have ever wondered how you can really Keep Hackers, Worms and Germs out of your PC, here's a powerful answer: 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" eBook!            
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  

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.

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  - - Some Alarming facts to consider  

(Feb 2005) According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, (ITRC), identity theft is the fastest growing crime in our nation today. Criminals are stealing information by eavesdropping on calls placed on cell phones, by intercepting emails, by launching phishing attacks, by hacking into computers, by using telephone and email scams, and by exploiting weaknesses in online shopping and banking sites. In fact, the FTC estimates that more than 20% of all identity theft cases involve telecommunications and the Internet, a number that experts predict will grow over the course of the next year.

Credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal data are commonly traded and sold by hackers, a trend that concerns authorities and consumers alike. A recent eWeek article reported that "The primary drivers behind the increase in attacks and malware lately are more people writing viruses and attacking systems,

PCs that have been compromised and loaded with a Trojan or IRC bot are hot commodities in the security underground, and crackers often trade or sell access to these machines to each other.

According to J. Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, identity theft has been the #1 complaint to the FTC for the last 3 years in a row -- by far. Last year, identity theft represented 43% of all the complaints placed with the FTC.

Celent Communications
estimates that by 2006, 25% of all identity theft will be committed with information found online.

The ITRC reports "Trojan horses have become more sophisticated in recent years, as hackers use them to scan your system for vital information (credit card numbers, SSNs, bank account numbers), and use the retrieved information to open accounts, run up huge credit card debt, or drain the bank accounts of unsuspecting victims."

 Recent worm attacks, including MyDoom, Blaster, SoBig, and Fizzer, contained back-door Trojan capabilities that enable hackers to eavesdrop on PCs.

*Statistics quoted from the ITRC are for informational purposes only and do not represent a product endorsement from the ITRC.

(Highlighted comments are those instances of Identity Theft where Online Activities are involved)
How can you tell if your Computer has been compromised?

If your browser suddenly has a new Start page and even a new Search page, neither of which you selected, if your computer seems to crash more often, if it slows to a crawl, if it acts sick, it probably is — with a virus or worm, and  even by a  hijacker.

What could you do to get it back from the browser hijackers?

Find and remove the Browser Hijackers that entered in Trojan Horses. Our experience when one of our computers was hijacked was to try 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 hijacking culprit, which turned out to be one of the CWS variants.

That's generally the case: the spyware sweepers usually don't find the browser hijackers.

We learned from  of two very helpful programs, HiJackThis and CWSShredder.

Even if you have only a few of these 'hijacked browser' symptoms, 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.

We have found at least one anti-spyware program that will find and remove some of the CWS variants.  XoftSpy actually found and removed CWS.mrhop from our computer. Download XoftSpy Free trial and scan your computer for bugs.
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

We encourage you to visit 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've added another Kid Safe site to our list

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. 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

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. 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'.


Bookshelf and Special Report Alerts

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.
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 pornography)

Phishing could be punishable under a new law

Adult Web Site Settles FTC Charges

Federal Trade Commission Successes

Released by the FTC on February 3, 2005

Adult Web Site Settles FTC Charges

Tens of Thousands of Affiliates’ Spam Ads Ended Up in FTC’s Spam Database

An adult Web site operation that used illegal spam to drive customers to its site has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the spam was deceptive and unfair and violates federal law.

The settlement with Sobonito Investments, Ltd. bars it and its agents, including affiliates, from using misleading subject lines in e-mail messages, bars the use of false or misleading headers, and bars them from violating or assisting others to violate the CAN-SPAM Act, including its provision that requires sexually oriented spam to carry the words “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT: ” in the subject line. The settlement also contains standard reporting and record keeping provisions to allow the FTC to monitor compliance.

Sobonito is incorporated in Cyprus.

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

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

     February Entries included:
 ● Which Browser Should You Have?
Microsoft's IE7 Browser to the Rescue? Well, Maybe.
Oh No. Not another Warning about Online Security?
The frustration of being a minute too late
    January Entries included:
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 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 forthcoming 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 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 "

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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