Alert News Reporter"
for June, 2005
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
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 are trying to make it a bit easier for you to accomplish.
About our 1st Birthday Issue
"It's a TERRIFIC newsletter"
jl scott, ph.d., Director of iCop
International Council of Online Professionals
"Happy One Year Birthday!
I read your newest information--very nicely written.
You've informed many people over the last year--a generous
I doubt there is much financial profit involved. Thanks!"
Latest Virus Threats
by McAfee ,
US-CERT, and other advisory services. (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
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.
Virus Name for
descriptions and Removal Advice
is a Medium Risk virus.
is a Medium Risk trojan.
Technical Cyber Security Alert TA05-136A
Apple Mac OS X is affected by multiple vulnerabilities
Been to any horror movies lately?
I saw part of a TV movie about Zombies
recently. After a few minutes of looking at ugly and distorted
ghostlike creatures trying to attack some more normal
appearing people, I clicked away to the History Channel.
Historically, Zombies are no strangers to the silver screen.
Since the dawn of Hollywood, they have been depicted as the
horror symbols used to entertain and frighten movies goers who
like that kind of thrill.
My idea of a Zombie was a person who lacked energy, seemed to
act without thinking and was not aware of what was happening
around them, or - someone who's soul was under the control of
Change that last sentence to read: someone's computer
that's under the control of another person, and you
have described one of the most dangerous trends and criminal
activities taking place on the Internet
today -- creating armies of Zombies.
It's even possible that your own computer could be a part of
an army of Zombie computers without you knowing it.
So how can you find out if you're 'Zombied' and what can
you do if you are? Start by taking a look at the
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.
(compliments of McAfee's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency
Response Team - AVERT)
The program 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 use your computer to get back on the Internet and update your
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
STINGER. It finds and removes
about 45 other active viruses and worms.
May 02, 2005 update
Look for the STINGER Icon
- trojan horse -> hijaker
-> Bot Nets
This typical series of events could
lead to your computer becoming a part of an army of Zombies used
by Spammers for villainous purposes.
Virus authors are using Bot Nets to send spam
emails or initiate Denial of Service (DDoS) assaults.
Bot Nets are collections of
compromised (Zombie) computers controlled by a single person or group.
They've become more pervasive and increasingly focus on identity theft
and installing spyware, according to a Honeynet Project report.
The report summarizes the findings of researchers who have tapped into
more than 100 different bot nets since last summer. Some of the
networks were made up of more than 50,000 computers, said the
Over the past year, security experts have become increasingly wary of
Bot Nets. Once used mainly by online vandals to attack each other, the
large networks of compromised computers are now a tool for groups of
criminals bent on making money through identity fraud or adware
These groups of felons and conspirators often sell, rent, and exchange
their Bot Nets to other criminal types, and will even create targeted
ones on order.
A person whose computer is infected with bot software runs the risk of
having sensitive information such as account passwords and credit card
numbers sent to the controller of the network.
How to get rid of the Zombie (hijacking)
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 Trojan horse/Zombie threats. You'll need
Many experienced security experts recommend these two to seek out what's already
on your computer. Why two? Because there isn't any single one that will find all
of the spyware pests. These two have very high ratings
Spybot Search and Destroy
The third recommended program,
SpywareBlaster is a little
bit different. It doesn't
scan for and clean SpyWare, it prevents it from ever being installed to begin
● obstructing the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser
hijackers, dialers and other potentially unsafe pests;
● blocking spyware/tracking cookies in the Internet Explorer and
Mozilla/Firefox web browsers;
● restricting the actions of potentially dangerous sites in Internet Explorer.
There are other programs, of course. Among them are
cwsshredder which can help identify and remove many variants of the
insidious CoolWebSearch browser hijackers. (Check
out Free Resources)
Family Security and Caring
Family Caring -
Repeated this month because I
didn't want anyone to miss out on this
At some time in our lives, family members and friends may need
caring support and special understanding. There's an outstanding
FREE manual published at the Senior2Senior.org website
titled "Care Giving/Care Receiving". I urge you to get
this valuable document, even if you aren't a Senior or aren't
now involved in providing care for a loved one. I've never seen
anything so well done.
You'll want to share this, I'm sure. The
is Free (and could be worth its weight in gold to you,
We post 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.
Please note the 'AMBER ALERT" scrolling at the bottom of this
If you would like to help support the Code Amber project,
Family Safe Sites
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
PBS Kids is a respected and trusted site.
We would not hesitate to send our children and grandchildren
very assuring. Families visiting the site can feel safe
regarding potential threats to family privacy and their children's
welfare. Jump to it from
website has been Certified 'Family Safe' by the
Institute of Family Safe Businesses.
Ask Jeeves for Kids
Ask Jeeves is a
trademark of Ask Jeeves, Inc., Copyright 1996-2000 Ask Jeeves,
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
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
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.
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 is an Advanced Internet Management (AIM)
solution that 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
Publications - Use these Free Reports to help your
family and friends:
Many people using the internet
if their firewalls and virus protection are good enough to
keep them safe. For
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
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'.
Special Report Alerts
You Should Consider
Your Computer Security and Protecting
Your Personal Safety"
FREE Downloadable eReport for ALL Subscribers
to the Security Alert News Reporter
CLICK HERE to get your Free copy
and Family from Dangerous Chat Rooms and Instant Messages.
If you use them, you and
yours are the Hacker's newest targets.
Hackers are already taking advantage of problems with today's IM
systems. People not familiar with these new threats could easily
open a new, harmless looking IM message that pops up on their
screen. With one well intentioned click of their mouse on a Hackers
phony message, could get infected.
It's no longer just the teen age Chat Room users that are in danger.
Whole families are threatened
In case you missed this FREE report on the
you can read
it here. Please print the report and share it with your
family, friends and associates. Help them avoid the hidden
dangers and threats often buried in IM messages and of predators
lurking in Chat Rooms.
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)
Firewalls and Virus Protection
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
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
Spying On You?
(No downloading necessary, and you can print it right from your
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
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.
There are a lot more
Articles and Reports at the Firewalls and Virus Protection
website. Two of the most recent include these topics
unwavering and loyal Netscapers who have stayed with
the many releases change to Netscape 8, or
be better served
to use Mozilla Firefox?
● How to protect your privacy when using
computer cafes or
public computers. A strategy for maintaining online security
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
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.
Browser Hijacking hasn't gone away. One of the outstanding
sources for information about browser hijackers and tools
to remove these predators is 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 from Softpedia. It'll find and remove
those nasty Cool Web Search trojan horses.
are A few more helpful resources
Your Private Information PRIVATE"
Lock away all of your Passwords, Images,
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.
Computers don't really
slow down just from old age.
Often times there are a lot of underlying problems
affecting your computers' speed and performance.
For example: Everyone who owns a computer at home or in
the office is exposed to more security risks than they
can possibly imagine. Deadbeats, criminals and swindlers
prey on unsuspecting victims every second of every day. In
your own defense you must discover how to...
● root out malware that has already taken up residence in
● protect against future attacks
● recognize the tricks of the spammers, scammers and
● keep your sensitive documents & data away from prying
Then you can watch your computer miraculously perform once
again like the day you brought it home.
Fact: 99% of the time it is some form of malware (virus,
trojan, spyware, etc.) that is the cause of diminished
performance (slowing down) in a PC over a period of time.
But there are much more serious implications than just
reduced performance, because malware can be designed to do
incredibly invasive and
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
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.
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.
Here's a testimonial
Bill recently received -
"Bill, there is no way I can thank you enough for creating this wonderful
program. I have done little else since I got it
downloaded than print, read, experiment and learn.
You are truly a genius and a very kind person for
helping me 1-on-1 with my problem. The information
in that book is so all encompassing that it is far
more than a book on how to protect a computer. It
also gives all the basic information on different
concepts from Computer 101 to Advanced. My biggest
question is why you are not charging more?
All of that information would cost a fortune if it were sold
separately. At any rate, thank you again and again!!
I would love to be an affiliate as soon as I learn a
little more. It would be the only thing I ever sold
that I truly believed in. You are incredible!"
- Barbara Dingman (USA)
As you can see from
Barbara Dingman's letter, 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
now and Learn the Truths About Computer & Internet
(Bill expects to increase the price sometime in
the near future. Visiting now could avoid that price
I feel it's really worth it, even at a higher price. ... Richard
P.S. here's the link to
Grisoft's AVG anti virus software, in case you
missed it in a recent issue
Here's 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 would
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
of the News (some encouraging news
about controlling SPAM, pornography, and protecting Consumer Personal
launched a new
campaign targeting Zombie Spammers during the last week of May,
They are joined in this effort by the Depart- ment of Commerce, the
Department of Homeland Security and 33 other countries in
Operation Spam Zombies will address the situation where Zombie
(hijacked) computers are used by spammers to flood the internet with
thousands of unsolicited email messages. By routing these messages
through hijacked computers, the spammers hide their true identities and
The FTC and its partners will first urge the more than 3000 Internet
Service Providers (ISP's) around the world to employ better protective
methods to prevent their customers' computers from being hijacked by
The next part of the operation will be to identify probable spam
Zombies and the ISPs who operate the networks used by the spammers.
The FTC and partners will then urge the responsible ISPs to put
protective measures in place. If these approaches prove effective,
there will probably be some very stiff penalties imposed upon those
who don't cooperate.
The New York State attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, is fighting
Spyware Spreaders using a different approach. He recently filed suit
in the supreme court of New York County against Intermix Media Inc.,
based on existing Business Law. Intermix Media Inc was cited for
their spyware software being in violation of sections of the New York
law, which included "deceptive acts and practices, false advertising,
and trespass to personal property (of Internet users)".
Intermix representatives attributed these practices as being put in
place by prior leadership and they now are working voluntarily to
improve their software product.
I suggest that every State has similar business laws that could be
used to bring actions against other creators of spyware software while
waiting for the US Congress to pass broader based anti-spyware laws.
Attorney General Spitzer gets one of our 'Good Guys' credits.
'Good Guy Check Marks' to date )
√ √ √ √ √ √
"User Education" is the
focus of our Firewalls and Virus Protection website and the "Security
Alert News Reporter".
How many of your IM and Chat Room Buddies are alert to the
growing Instant Messaging threats?
In case you missed this FREE report on the
you can read
it here. Please print the report and share it with your
family, friends and associates.
As a P.S. to the above comment,
encourage your friends to check out our new "Security Alert Blog".
most recent Blog entries
include these helpful and timely posts:
Beginner's Guide -Browser Hijacking and How to Stop It.
This is probably one of the easiest to understand beginners' guides
the Internet -- and it's Free!
Do you ever have the feeling that you're caught in the
middle of Guerilla type warfare? Armies of compromised (Zombie)
computers under the control of less than desirable elements have
covertly organized by Spammers for criminal
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
(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
~ 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
Keep in mind that these programs are only as good as their
latest updates! I hope your machines aren't infected with one
of the viruses that sends out that spam.
How can you be sure? Do
some spring-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 ever checked the health of your computer's Registry?
Why not try
powerful diagnostic utility
that will scan the Windows Registry to identify errors and ways
to optimize the performance of the Windows Registry.
Your Registry could need a clean up 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
Unlike other similar tools,
errornuker is very careful with the
registry it never deletes a registry entry if this
could harm your system...
Download errornuker now,
It fixed a lot of ills in my computers that I didn't
know were lurking there. ...
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
If you had 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 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
They Can Check out these Considerations and Tactics HERE.
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
and opinions. Everything you have to offer will help us do a better
job of helping you. Thank you. ...Richard
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 "email@example.com"
Thank you again, for your interest and trust.
We'll do our best to
honor and preserve it
in our Computer Virus Awareness Campaign by Sharing this with a friend
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