Security Alert News Reporter   

        January 2006               LANGHORNE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA   Volume 2, Issue 8 (No 20)    
Help! I think we have a Virus.
A Security guide for the everyday, non-technical internet user who just wants to be safe doing basic stuff

         Here's your "Security Alert News Reporter" for January, 2006
    The "NewsReporter", a security alert newsletter, 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.
    This security alert Newsletter is sent out periodically to everyone who has 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 or Safe Surfing Suggestions - please use the  link at  the end of this letter to un-register. 

Thanks for being a
 Loyal Subscriber

Some Highlights from TODAY'S TOPICS

. Latest Virus and Worm Threats
. The Panda Report - Status Quo?
  Cyber Crime Trends - Changing Tactics?
. So, What's New? (Avoid Rogue Software)
. Privacy Theft - Important Updates
 Install Free Anti-virus software
●  Safety Check you new computer
. Family Security - review Family and
      Kid Friendly Sites

. Recommended - Predator Guard to Protect
your Children
. Publications for your Family and Friends/
    FREE Identity Theft Guide / Many Others
. Resources - Most are FREE! /
. 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
  Free Download / Errornuker Registry Cleaner

The trends in the activities of cyber criminals seem quite apparent –
They're going after the money. That's your money and mine. They're using some very sophisticated methods to do it, too. Read my thoughts on the Review of Cyber Crime in 2005, and what to expect in the coming year, 2006, following the section on Virus Threats below.


Latest Virus Threats  reported Jan 2, 2006 by McAfee ,
US-CERT, Panda
™ 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.

      CLICK on Red Virus Name for descriptions and Removal Advice
McAfee Advisory
  •  W32/Sober@MM!M681 is a Medium Risk virus.

  •     symantec Advisory
     W32.Dabora.B@mm  a medium threat mass mailing worm 
    From the US-CERT, added December 28, 2005 | updated January 2, 2006
  • Exploit for Vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Metafile Handling
    US-CERT offered this information on active exploitation of a vulnerability in how Microsoft Windows handles Windows Metafiles (".wmf"). Several variations of the WMF exploit file have been released that attempt to avoid detection by anti-virus software and intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems.

    A Windows system may be compromised through several methods including:

    • Opening a specially coded WMF file ( a malicious WMF file may
          masquerade  as a JPEG or other type of image file).
    • Viewing a folder that contains a malicious WMF file with Windows

    Once the vulnerability is exploited, a remote attacker may be able to perform any of the following malicious activities:

    • Execute arbitrary code
    • Take complete control of a vulnerable system

                   Get theSecurity update for WMF vulnerability
                                      Published: January 5, 2006

    Get the security update for the Windows Meta File (WMF) vulnerability from Microsoft Update. The bulletin title for this update is: Vulnerability in Graphics Rendering Engine Could Allow Remote Code Execution (912919).

    To update your home computer, CLICK HERE and follow the steps on this page.


  • TrendMicro Reports no Medium or High Risk Malware or Spyware at this time.
    However, a visit to  the TrendMicro Security Information Site will provide more detailed information on these and other pests currently circulating through the Cyber world.
    TrendMicro's Top Viruses and Worms as of January 2, 2006


    Panda  Information Items from the Panda Report for Dec 29, 2005 
    The absence of serious virus epidemics during 2005 has meant that the ranking of viruses most frequently detected by the Panda ActiveScan online antivirus has altered very little throughout the year.

    According to Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs: "Virus activity on the Internet is now higher than ever, above all because of the strategy adopted by many creators of these threats, who are now tending to circulate many variants of a new malicious code in a very short period of time. This was the case with the Bagle, Sober and Mytob families of worms.”

    In any event, some malicious code has been particularly active, and Panda Software has published the list of the viruses most frequently detected by Panda ActiveScan in 2005.

    In first place is Sdbot.ftp, -a typical example of a bot- which has held this position for the last six months.

    In second place comes the tenacious veteran Netsky.P. Since this worm first appeared in 2004 it has stubbornly refused to leave the list of most frequently detected viruses published every month.

     In previous years computer worms were more prominent in the ranking of frequently detected viruses. 2005 has witnessed a more even balance.

    Botnets and financial fraud present a growing threat. With Sdbot in first place and the presence in the ranking of malicious code such as Citifraud.A, designed to carry out phishing attacks, it is clear that there has been a change of motivation for the creators of malicious code, who now seek financial returns above all else.

    Up-to-date Firewalls, Anti-virus and anti-spyware software will usually stop these pests before they cause you any grief

     To Top

    Cyber Crime Trends — A review,  and What's New for 2006?

    Comments posted by most of the major Safeware developers carry similar themes and messages. Generally – the virus writers are concentrating more on breaching your security defenses to get your financial and personal information than just creating mischief.  Here are some of the comments I have read –                                                                                 
    Poorly protected computers are a persistent threat. The continued presence of veteran malicious code such as Parite.B and Sasser, or those, like Netsky.P, that exploit software vulnerabilities which have long since been resolved, reveals just how many computers are still  poorly protected. This creates a favorable environment for virus creators to spread new malicious code.                                                                         ....Panda 


    Webroot Software Company*  3rd Quarter report on the State of Spyware:

    Spyware writers continue to deploy malicious spyware to capture personal information such as credit card numbers and personal logins to online banking systems.

    Trojan horses, the most malicious form of spyware, are present on 21 percent of consumer PCs infected with spyware

    System monitors, which capture login passwords are present on
    5 percent of infected PCs.

    (*)Webroot Software Co. is the creator and distributor of Spy Sweeper, and anti-spyware product which they report detects and blocks almost 120,000 instances of spyware affecting online users... an increase of 46,000 traces since January 2005!


    Generally, the year 2005 continued the trend of profit becoming a primary reason and goal for the creation of computer viruses.

    There were more high-profile cybercrime prosecutions,
    including the sentencing of NetSky author Sven Jaschan, during this past year

    Targeted Trojan attacks became a greater concern. Unlike the more random and arbitrary assaults by viruses and worms, Trojans can be targeted with precision at organizations via email attachments or links to websites.

    also proved a major headache.

    The trend towards mass outbreaks of computer worms dropped noticeably in 2005 with only two major outbreaks, the Zotob worm outbreak in August, which affected a string of media outlets including CNN and The Financial Times, and the rapid spread of a new variant of the Sober worm in late November. Days after the release of the Zotob worms authorities arrested suspects in Turkey and Morocco.
    So What's New?

    Not a lot, really. The precautions to avoid as many of the threats as possible still boil down to obtaining, installing and keeping your firewalls, operating system, anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-spyware 'safeware' programs up to date!

    But even doing all of that could lead to some problems. Like phishing, there are some devious providers of anti-spyware who conceal malicious code in their free trail programs. These are often described as Rogue Anti-Spyware.

    You can learn more about Rogue Anti-Spyware from this article posted in the Articles and Reports pages at the Firewalls-and-Virus-Protection website.

    Click here >> Don't get trapped by Rogue Anti-Spyware software   Avoid being duped or robbed by false positives.
    (printable article)

    Diligence and Awareness continue to be the key words for protecting your security during the coming year, 2006.
                                                  (Security Alert News Reporter Editor's opinions)   

      To Top 

      Privacy Theft  - 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 fine and very effective Programs available to Home and Small Business computer 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, the "Spyware 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.                    ... Richard   (Spyware Warrior website is owned, operated and © Copyright 2005 by Eric L. Howes)

    The following recommended anti-spyware programs appeared most often during December, 2005, on the top rated research and anti-spyware reporting websites, including Spyware Warrior:

    Microsoft AntiSpyware*,  Webroot Spy Sweeper (
    CLICK for Free trial), -
    Spyware Doctor-   Spybot Search and Destroy Adaware Pest Patrol,
    XoftSpy (Click Here ) to Download a Free Spyware Scan and MacScan for MAC users
    * Microsoft AntiSpyware  is currently available as a FREE Download, but you can't use it
     with 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
    SpywareBlaster (Download) it's designed to  monitor in Real Time.

    Keep in mind that you must also have up-to-date anti-virus software(*) and a
    strong firewall, plus the latest updates for your browser (Internet Explorer,
    Firefox, Netscape, Opera... whichever one you use).

    [Free Spyware Scan - Click Here]
    Click here Xoftspy v3.2                         

    Xoftspy is the latest in spyware detection and removal. Xoftspy will hunt down and remove from your machine all known spyware/adware that is on the market today. 91% of PC's are infected with spyware.

    Try Xoftspy right now for FREE and see for yourself if your PC is infected!

    Spyware & Adware are files that are installed on your computer without your knowledge. They allow companies to monitor your Internet browsing patterns and even allow companies to inundate you with those annoying "pop up" ads! Most people are familiar with freeware, shareware, cookies, media players, interactive content, and file sharing. What they may not realize is that some of the aforementioned may contain code or components that allow the developers of these applications and tools to actually collect and disseminate information about those using them.

    They can track your surfing habits, abuse your Internet connection by sending this data to a third party, profile your shopping preferences, hijack your browser start page or pages, alter important system files, and can do this without your knowledge or permission. The security and privacy implications of these exploits should be quite obvious and undesirable on any system or network!

    Works with: Microsoft Windows 98/Me/NT4/2000/XP
    Free File Scan Now

                                                              To Top

    Here's the link to Grisoft's AVG  Free anti virus software, in case you missed it in recent issues of the News Reporter.  
    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 virus scan.
    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


    alert about Stinger You can get the latest Free updated virus checking and removal STINGER tool at the  Firewalls and Virus Protection site.

     (compliments of McAfee's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team -
    AVERT) was 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 security ware.
    Whenever updated versions become available,
    I'll post a notice here, on the Firewalls and Virus
    Protection website and in the Security Alert Blog. 

     To Top 


    Thousands and thousands of new computers are going on line for the first time. Many of these were purchased as gifts during the recent holiday season. Some are replacements for older, slower machines, but many are for first time computer users as they enter into the fascinating cyber world.

    When your brand new computers are set-up and ready to explore the Internet, the security software that comes with nearly all of today's new computers may not be updated.

    Many hackers and criminals are counting on this so that they can ply their nefarious trade of infiltrating our computers with dangerous stuff.

    Most new home computers will arrive with some security software. They'll probably have a version of Windows XP, which includes a software firewall.

     BUT, it has to be activated by the user first, before going on line!

     Here's some advice from CERT on starting off safely and securely:

    The following section outlines the CERT/CC's general guidance for installing new computers. (US-CERT is the operational arm of the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) at the Department of Homeland Security)

     Perform these steps before connecting to the Internet for the first time.
         1. If possible, connect the new computer behind a network, (hardware-based)
             firewall or firewall router.
         2. Turn on the software firewall included with the computer, if available.
         3. Disable nonessential services, such as file and print sharing.
         4. Download and install software patches as needed.

     Staying Secure
         1. Install and use antivirus software
         2. Avoid unsafe behavior – Don't Do Anything Foolish
         3. Enable automatic software updates if available
         4. Here's Microsofts advice on  How to Enable Internet Connection Firewall.

    These steps are 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.


                                                                                     To Top 

    Family Security and Caring
    Some recent additions to our reviews of Family Safe sites
    At the top of the list of results at a recent Google search for Child Safe web sites was "
    FirstGov for Kids", the U.S. government interagency Kids' Portal. It's a great site.

    Personal Safety  for KidsThe National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has many great publications, too. I put a download link for their "Personal Safety for Children - A guide for Parents" in the Features Supplement.

      Check them out in the new Features Supplement


    We post 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. 

    Predator Guard protects our children

    More Help for Parents and Grandparents.  Keep the Children and Grandchildren safe when they're using your computer

    Predator Guard
    provides real-time protection for children in chat rooms, instant messaging, and e-mail exchanges.
    The Home Edition Features:
    • Real-time protection 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 information
    • 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, and more.)
     Predator 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. Purchase this Inexpensive Protection Now
      To Top


    ► Suggestions were in response to this question:

         "Would splitting the newsletter into two separate sections, and issuing 
           them two weeks apart make it easier for you to keep up with all of the
           news, 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.

                                                                    thanks,   Richard  

                                                                To Top


    Publications - Use these Reports to help your family and friends:

    . 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 reports freely. Don't miss the NEWest Free report

    Copy or Download these reports from the Publications Page in the new
    Features Supplement.

    eBooklet "23 CRITICAL ALERTS You Should Consider when Maintaining
    Your Computer Security and Protecting  Your Personal Safety"
    eReport Protect Yourself and Family from Dangerous Chat Rooms and
     Instant Messages.
    eBooklet Online Security while Traveling in the United States and Abroad.
    eBook "Travel Cheap - Travel Well!"- Confessions of A Traveling Pauper
    eReport Don't get trapped by Rogue Anti-Spyware software
    eBooklet Is Your Firewalls and Virus Protection Safe Enough?
    eBooklet Is a Keystroke Logger Being Used To Spy On You?
    eReport How Much Money would it cost you to regain the use of your computer
     after a serious virus infection?
    eReport Internet Glossary - alphabetical list of terms used in many of the articles and news reports that relate to the Internet
    Copy or Download these full reports from the Publications Page in the new  Features Supplement. CLICK HERE
    Free Identity Theft Guide
    A Breach in your personal privacy protection could easily lead to online and offline Hackers and thieves stealing your identity.

    The contents of this Free Report include

      Protection Strategies
      Safe Credit Card Practices
      Why reveal your Social Security number?
      Document Destruction
      Common Sense Things to avoid
      What you must do if the Worst Happens
    with the telephone numbers to call and the
                                        organizations to contact.

    It's a five page report you can download, print and freely share with your family and friends. Download the Identity Theft Guide from this month's Regular Features Supplement HERE.

    Save the file to your Desktop - it'll be easier to find.      
                                                             To Top
     There are a lot more Articles and Reports at the Firewalls and Virus Protection website. Look them over for the helpful 'keeping safe' info they contain. Our recent library additions include

      Hardware or Software Firewalls - Which to Use?
      Basic Web Surfing Safety and Security Practices
      Good Password Tips and Password Management
     Safeguarding Correspondence.
      and 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  

                                             To Top
    Did you Check out the new Regular Features Supplement  to Issue 20?

     Resources - 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 website.
          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, and whenever we can, we send a small donation to help keep them online.

    DOWNLOAD latest cws shredder    (Version 2.19, Nov 05) Free from Trend Micro
     It'll find and remove those nasty Cool Web Search trojan horses.

    To Top

     Here's a powerful, inexpensive, and helpful resource to help you maintain your Internet Security and Personal Identity

    Did you know there is a small, inexpensive, quite legal device that can be secretly attached to the rear of any computer in under 10 seconds, without opening the case, and which will record every keystroke that is entered at that computer from then on?
    • Could a visitor set such a trap on your home PC?
    • How safe is that public terminal you sometimes use?
    • How safe is the computer at your reception desk or front counter?

    The Hacker's Nightmare™ describes such devices and tells you what to look for.

    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?

    In The 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?

    In The 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.
    Bill 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-- 
    Just one 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)
                                                              Brisbane, Australia
    And here's another --:
    "... if you care about your data, security and privacy check out our recommended eBook on the subject of vital protection - The Hacker's Nightmare - before it's too late."

     David Bradley - Science Writer
     Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

      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.

    It's the 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 folks
    informed about all online issues and programs to participate
    in, or avoid. Subscribe to
    The Internet Marketing Trade Journal here::                  ...Richard

                                         To Top

    Reviews of the News (more encouraging news about controlling
         SPAM,  SCAMS, pornography, and protecting Personal Consumer 


    Spam suppression efforts and results

     FTC's CAN-SPAM Report Card

    FTC releases progress report on Congress's
     antispam law, but some experts are not impressed

    A Federal Trade Commission report, released in early Jan 2006, on how well the two year old CAN-SPAM law is working, states that the antispam law is helping to cut back on unsolicited bulk e-mail, but acknowledges that more must be done to fight the problem.

    The FTC's report claims some real progress has been made and notes that it has filed more than 20 lawsuits alleging that spammers violated CAN-SPAM; an additional 30 suits have been filed by the Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and various Internet service providers.
    (See Reviews of the News in our Archives)

    The FTC cited other indications that the fight against spam is working. It noted that the number of legitimate online marketers complying with CAN-SPAM has increased and that there has been a big drop in the number of spam messages containing sexually explicit material.

    The FTC says antispam technology--including commercial software and ISP tools--has helped reduce the amount of spam that reaches inboxes at both business and home computers. "These developments suggest that spam has not, as once feared, destroyed the promise of email," the FTC report states.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, antispam firms say spam filters do more than laws to stop spam from reaching our inboxes. One anti-spam software developer estimates that we never see all of the spam that constitutes 95 to 98 percent of our e-mail because a spam filter successfully blocks it, and another estimates that the industry as a whole blocks about 90 percent of the spam from our inboxes.

    (Editorial ... whatever the reason, whether it's due to the CAN-SPAM act, increased prosecutorial activities of Governmental agencies, ISP filtering, home computer and enterprise anti-spam software, etc., there is progress in reducing the volume of spam that reaches our inboxes. Rather than criticize the FTC, I believe credit must be given, rather than sour-grapes, for the progress to date.
                                           ... Security Alert News Reporter Editor's opinion)


    Other FTC activities that should make us feel better
    FTC Seeks to Put Telemarketer on Permanent Hold
    For Release: January 6, 2006

    Defendants Allegedly Called 900,000 Phone Numbers On Do Not Call Registry

    People may sleep better if the Federal Trade Commission succeeds in its effort to stop a marketer of adjustable beds from calling telephone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. The FTC announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a complaint on its behalf against the Nevada-based company and its chief executive for allegedly making at least 900,000 unlawful calls since October 2003.

    FMFG, Inc. allegedly called consumers asking to take a survey of their sleep habits and then made a sales pitch – genuine survey calls are exempt from the DNC provisions of the Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. They also allegedly called consumers to schedule sales presentations in their homes.

    “This should be a warning to all telemarketers,” said Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “You can’t evade the Do Not Call Rule by disguising sales calls as surveys.”

    According to the Commission, the defendants broke federal laws when they, or others on their behalf, called DNC-registered phone numbers, “abandoned” calls by failing to connect the call to a sales representative within two seconds of a phone being answered, and made telemarketing calls without first paying the annual fee for access to phone numbers listed on the DNC registry.


    How's this for Irony ?

    Sober worm inadvertently prompts German child porn offender to turn himself in.
    Posted by Mark O'Connor in -All News,  (Dec 21, 2005)

    PADERBORN, Germany - A German 'child porn offender' turned himself in to local police after mistaking an email he received from a computer worm as an official warning that he was under investigation. Local authorities credit a variation of the Sober worm, which claimed the 20 year old offender was targeted by Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), with solving a crime that was never reported. A Reuters report quotes a local police spokesperson:

    “It just goes to show that computer worms aren’t always destructive,” said a spokesman for police in the western city of Paderborn. “Here it helped us to uncover a crime which would otherwise probably have gone undetected.”


    Congratulations to  the FTC for progress-to-date and aggressiveness in enforcing the CAN-SPAM act provisions.    

    They get another of our
    'Good Guys' check marks                               
     Good Guy Check Marks to date  √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √  √ √
    (See Archives)
    To Top

    "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 Firewalls-and-Virus-Protection website, 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 December include these helpful and timely posts:

    How's your Internet Etiquette? 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
    How much time did you spend with your computer this
       holiday season?

    How Internet Savvy are your Children and Grandchildren?
       New SOBER Worm Attacks expected on Jan 6, 2006 
       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
    avoidance resources.
    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 can bring.
      Our blog is RSS friendly

                   There are dozens more posts available in the Blog Archives.
               Read our Blog Posts HERE. I urge you to Comment, Challenge and
               add your own opinions to ours.

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    Are you campaigning with us?
    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.

    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 software and web browsers.
    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

    Keep in mind that
    these programs are only as good as their latest updates!
    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, with
    errornuker.  It's a powerful diagnostic utility that scans the Windows Registry to identify errors and provide ways 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        ... Richard

    Your Registry could need a clean up, too, if you have these Registry Problem Symptoms

    • PC keeps crashing at critical times
    • PC needs frequent rebooting
    • unable to remove a program using add/remove dialog
    • 'unable to load ***.DLL' errors
    • 'cannot find ***.exe' errors
    • PC runs noticeably slower than when you first bought it

      Download errornuker now, absolutely FREE
      After running errornuker 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.                                ... Richard

                                                     To Top  

     NewsReporter  Reader's Questions  ??????????  
      There are no Dumb Questions!. Don't be too embarrassed to ask.
         You probably aren't the only person with the same question. ASK.
         .. and help all of those who don't ask.

           With your permission, we'll publish your questions and answers in future 
           issues of the
      Sharing ?
    If you have 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 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 Internet. 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 and opinions.

    YOUR Feedback is valued!
    Since I want the 'Security Alert News Reporter' to bring you all the information
    you look for and the help you need to solve the problems you might 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 20?
    Read our Privacy Policy                   

                                                To Top

    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 ##"

    Richard Rossbauer, webmaster and newsletter publisher

          Thank you again, for your interest and trust.
          We'll do our best to honor and preserve it
         Best wishes for the New Year and thanks for
         being a subscriber.

        Richard Rossbauer     


    Please Take part in our Computer Virus Awareness Campaign by Sharing this with a friend 

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