A Security guide for the everyday, non-technical
internet user who just wants to be safe doing basic stuff
Alert News Reporter"
for November, 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
for the Mac
Family Security - two more Family and
Kid Friendly Sites
Recommended - Predator Guard to Protect
●. Publications for your Family and Friends/
Internet Glossary /5 New Article
Resources - Many FREE! / (What
Bill Hely's ebook -My Security Bible
Reviews of the News-
information and encouraging news to keep
you abreast of latest Security activities
Be a Cyber Secure Citizen
/ Errornuker Registry
CLICK ON ANY TOPIC YOU'RE INTERESTED IN - OR READ THIS NEWSLETTER FROM
TOP TO BOTTOM
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.
Latest Virus Threats
thru Nov 4,
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.
Virus Name for
descriptions and Removal Advice
is still active as a
medium Profiled worm
considered a medium threat worm with high
is a worm
with back door capabilities. Not a threat unless
you're using Linux, but it does point out that all
Operating Systems are under attack.
From the US-CERT,
November 4, 2005 TREND report
USCERT ranks Netsky.P as the
current No. 1 threat. It's a mass-mailing worm that uses
its own mail engine to send itself to the email addresses
it finds when scanning the hard drives.
a medium risk worm with high damage potential
Here's an item from the
Panda Report for Nov 1, 2005
is a Trojan threat
The number of incidents
caused by Mitglieder variants continues to increase in
Europe and the USA, and this Trojan already heads the
ranking of the viruses most frequently detected by Panda
ActiveScan. Whats more, new variants are constantly
appearing, (FL, FM, FN and now FO and FP), and therefore,
the probability of a computer being affected by one of
these malicious codes is extremely high.
These Mitglieder variants have been mass mailed in
messages without a subject which include a zip file that
contains the Trojans code. However, new messages could
appear which have completely different
Cyber Crime Trends
From the US-CERT, November 4, 2005
(NCSD) at the Department of
Your Next IM Could Be Your Network's Last:
According to data that was
collected by IMlogic, the number of instant messaging oriented
attacks rose by 30 percent over September when compared to
last year. October 2005 counted 1300 percent more threats than
the same month in 2004. This will eventually lead to an
automated worm that will strike hundreds of thousands of
machines in seconds. Source:
Barrage of Viruses Hits in
October: Sophos reports
1,685 new viruses and variants came out in October. Central
Command also reports big numbers for October. There were a
record number of viruses that hit the Internet in October but,
but none of them were wide-spread and dangerous. Source:
Last month we talked a
bit about Phishing attacks on Yahoo Photo Sharing and
how to avoid entrapment. As more Internet users become aware
of the perils, and how to avoid them, the frequency of
phishing attacks might actually be decreasing.
Joris Evers of CNET News.com Reported in the October 14, 2005,
that the Phishing fight may be paying off.
According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) the number
of phishing sites on the Web hit a record high in August. A
total of 5,259 phishing sites were identified, up from 4,564
in July. At the same time, the number of spam e-mail campaigns
to lure people to phishing sites decreased for the second
month in a row, from 14,135 to 13,776.
Not a big change, but it does represent some progress.
The APWG believes that this indicates some success in the
fight against phishing. Criminals have to set up more
phishing servers for a smaller number of actual phishing
But criminals are not giving up the fight. Phishing
scams are becoming more sophisticated. Sites are now being
hosted on multiple servers, and redirect schemes let the
scammers change sites at will.
Be aware that we are all targets.
Caution should be your watch word when reading
your email, especially from unfamiliar sources.
Changing 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 October 4, 2005 to detect and remove more than 50
current viruses including Zotob.
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,
Suzi Turner's "Spyware
Warrior" website is one that does an outstanding job of not only
reviewing the latest anti-spyware software, but she advises how best
to use it.
The following recommended anti-spyware programs appeared most often
during October, 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
out the Free Resources topic for more information and links
to the HijackThis and
CWSshredder trojan detection and removal resources.
few more dangers to watch out for
A Brief editorial on
Anti-Spyware for the Mac
I dont use a Macintosh
computer in my day-to-day web browsing and the one I do use is seldom
if ever used online. But there are occasions when the software
installed on it needs to be updated (mostly page layout, graphic
design and publishing programs), requiring downloading from the
The recent update on anti-spyware programs by Eric L. Howes led me to
check out the SecureMac.com website.
to get more and more questions from Mac users about anti-spyware.
At this time, the only anti-spyware program that we know of for
the Mac is MacScan reports Mr. Howes in his October 2005 issue
of The Spyware Warrior Guide to The State of Adware
Warrior website is owned, operated and © Copyright 2005 by Eric
If youre a new Mac user or plan to be,
or even a dyed-in-the-wool long time user, SecureMac.com should be on
your list of favorite resources, because Yes, there are hacker
attacks, virus, trojans, worms, and spyware threats on the Mac
The is what I learned about SecureMac.com:
The site is devoted to the security of Macintosh computers and the
programs or servers run on them. SecureMac started in February of 1999
and over the past years served thousands of people, helping them
secure their networks and detect hackers.
From this site, Mac users can learn how to secure their Macintosh,
detect any hackers present on it, and view the most reliable source of
security related products, with extensive reviews and ratings
evaluated by the top Macintosh security experts.
Some Frustrated PC users have moved to the Mac instead of changing web
browsers to avoid the never ending viruses and spyware attacks on PC
browsers like InternetExplorer and even Firefox and Netscape.
Others are considering making that change.
Checking out the Spyware Warriors site and visiting
www.securemac.com first would be a big help in making that final
decision and new computer purchase.
SecureMac.com's recommended security software will be added to my Mac
by the time this newsletter is published.
Family Security and Caring
|I posted three
new items for this important topic. There are so many
wonderfully safe resources available for Kids, their parents and
grandparents that it would be nearly impossible to post them
I found the
New Mexico Kids! Family Magazine during a recent
visit and was impressed with the information it contained.
Although it also had it's own website, most of the Kid Safe
stuff was only in the local paper version.
It prompted me to search for other government publications,
available on the Internet, and designed to provide safe
resources to satisfy the curiosity and interests of young family
This isn't a promotion for the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce -
it's just my way of letting people know that many more such
sites are available and can be located by doing a few Google searches.
(Yahoo, MSN, too)
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 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
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.
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 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
FTC asks U.S. District Court Judge to halt operation by
Odysses that allegedly plants spyware in FREE file sharing
Federal Trade Commission took action against spyware in October by
asking a U.S. District Court Judge to halt an operation that allegedly
plagued users who clicked for free file-sharing software [Get your
FREE Oracle Database Software Kit today!] with performance-slowing,
private-information-gathering software that also altered search
results for victims.
FTC Chair Deborah Platt Majoras testified before the U.S. Senate
recently, explaining the key elements of spyware, adware and other
malicious software that make it illegal.
"The Commission's spyware law enforcement strategy focuses on three
key questions," she said. "First, were consumers aware of the
installation of the software on their computers? Second, what harm did
the installation of the software cause? Third, how difficult was it
for consumers to uninstall the software after it had been installed?"
In the latest filed complaint, the FTC alleges Odysseus acted
illegally under all of those criteria, hiding disclosure in an end
user licensing agreement, making the software difficult to detect and
remove, and further infecting users' machines when they tried a
supposed uninstall tool.
New Laws Will Help Protect Against Identity Theft
SACRAMENTO, CA. October, 2005 Several bills signed by Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger will help prevent identity theft in California.
Among them are measures that will ban phishing, increase the
penalties for "spam," and outlaw the use of equipment to make fake
These measures will greatly add to the arsenal of privacy protection
measures in California, said Charlene Zettel, Director of the
California Department of Consumer Affairs. California already leads
the nation in protecting its residents against identity theft, and
these measures place California even further ahead in that effort.
Chair Deborah Platt Majoras and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger get our
check marks for October √
'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 October and November include these helpful and timely posts:
|Some Windows XP users have experienced a general
slowdown of their computers after installing Service Pak 2
(SP2). Have You?
||Are your important computer data
files recoverable after a natural
Merging software companies, is this good or bad for us?
||Why I'm using Firfox again.
||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 he 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.
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, 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.
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
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 18 ?
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
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