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  March 31, 2007    Fake Internet Explorer 7 Installer Phishing Attacks

Microsoft's Internet Explorer is fast becoming my favorite browser again and I was preparing to comment about my experiences here when I read this threat alert on the US-Cert* website today.

US-CERT is the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team.
Their Current Activity web page is a regularly updated summary of the most frequent, high-impact types of security incidents currently being reported to their team.

On March 30th, they posted an alert on Fake Internet Explorer 7 Installer Phishing Attacks.

There seems to be
Spam that looks as if it comes from "" that contains a link to a malicious file claiming to be an installer for Internet Explorer 7.

Typically the file is named "IE7.0.exe" and if executed installs a rootkit on the target machine.

If you have plans to upgrade to IE7, be sure to do it from the official Microsoft site -
NOT FROM a LINK in an UNSOLICITED EMAIL MESSAGE! Here's where I downloaded mine:

In addition to the new features and added security claims for IE7, I find that IE7 does a more consistently good job of rendering the web pages in my browser than Firefox does.
That's the main reason for my changing preference. Most of the newer features of IE7 appear to match the existing features of Firefox on an equal basis.
                                                                                      ... Richard


  March 30, 2007   Checkout My eBook "How to Protect Your Privacy
                              and Security Online"

It's loaded with Vital Security Tools and Tips to Secure Your Computers and Guard Against Internet Fraud and Identity Theft.
To make it easily affordable to the lesser experienced Beginners and Senior Internet Users, and to provide a greater opportunity for them to strengthen their own security defenses at a price that nearly everyone can afford -
I slashed the list price by 61 percent from $17.95 to only $7.00!
And to make it available to even more of the internet users who can really benefit from its wealth of security information, I have included free resale rights that will give you 100 percent of the profits for each and every copy you sell.
Your profits will go directly and immediately into your own PayPal account.
Even better, the $7.00 price includes the free bonus eBook - "PC Security", my Info Guide to Beefing Up Your Personal Computer's Safety from Malicious Threats, with dozens of easy to apply ideas and strategies to strengthen your Security Fortress.
It's really important that everyone be aware that Clever Internet Thieves from all around the world are using very highly sophisticated and stealthy infiltration schemes to plant trojans, worms, viruses and other malware in their computers, and could even be secretly adding any one of us to their botnets.
Even if you are reasonably comfortable when going online, your family members and friends may not be as experienced as you.
Give them the gift that can save their families and friends from potential hours of grief, plus potential loss of money and identity to these Internet thieves.
Here's the link to the Security Tips ebook, bonus PC Security ebook and Free Resale Rights
Refer your friends to your very own sales page for "How to Protect Your Privacy and Security Online"
Thanks for helping to make the internet a safer and more fun experience
for everyone.
                                                                        ... Richard



  March 26, 2007    Fraudulent Telephone Tax Refunds, Abusive Roth IRAs Top Off 2007 “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams

With just a few weeks left to finish preparing your Tax Returns, don't allow yourself to be duped by some of the bogus tax avoidance information being circulated by scam artists

The Internal Revenue Service recently identified 12 of the most blatant scams affecting American taxpayers and warned people not to fall for schemes peddled by scamsters.

This year the “Dirty Dozen” highlights five new scams that IRS auditors and criminal investigators have uncovered. Topping off the list are fraudulent refunds being claimed in connection with the special Telephone Excise Tax Refund available to most taxpayers this filing season. The IRS is actively investigating instances of this scam involving tax preparers who are preparing inflated refund requests.

Also new to the Dirty Dozen this year are abuses pertaining to Roth IRAs, the American Indian Employment Credit, domestic shell corporations and structured entities.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t let their guard down,” IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said. “Don’t get taken by scam artists making outrageous promises. If you use a tax professional, pick someone who is reputable. Taxpayers should remember they are ultimately responsible for what is on their tax return even if some unscrupulous preparers have steered them in the wrong direction.”

Learn how to recognize, and report these suspicious scams at the Internal Revenue Site HERE. It's more than worth the few minutes it'll take you to click over to this site and read through the top dozen Tax Fraud scams of the year.

                                                                       ... Richard



  March 20, 2007       SPAM Getting You Down? It Could be Worse

I just read an article in which David Sykes, Symantec’s VP of Asia Pacific was quoted as saying that the current threat pattern hasn't changed much recently.

This is the quote that really caught my attention “Bots are of most concern. There’s a major proliferation of bots, usually riding on back of spam. It’s more about trying to get you onto fake website via social engineering techniques and trying to harness the power of a PC that’s on 24x7 and can generate spam."

There are actually armies and herds of bots that are sold within the cyber criminal world. Any one of our Computers could be a part of
these botnets without us being aware of it.

If you haven't already obtained your FREE Guide to Stopping Spam-Once and For All ! from my websites
, you can get your copy now -

CLICK HERE for your FREE  Guide to Stopping Spam - Once and For All  plus a Free Subscription to the Security Alert News Reporter and the 23 Vital Security Tips that
will help you protect your Computer Security and Online safety against Cyber crooks 

I hope you encourage your family and friends to get this free guide - it could keep them from innocently sending infected email messages to you.





  March 11, 2007     Did your Computer change itself to Daylight Saving
                              Time?       Does it really matter to you?

If you're simply using your computer to send emails to family and friends, surf the Internet for recipes, garden tips, to play games, and similar stuff, a wrong computer clock setting shouldn't create any problems.

So, did your computer change to DST? Look down at the lower right hand corner of your monitor screen. If the display is an hour slow, simply right click on the time, and when
the dialog box pops up, click on "Adjust Date/Time".

An image will open showing a calendar and clock face. You can easily make any correction to the time by typing over the hour and minutes to match your actual Daylight Savings Time.

Wrong Date, Month, even Year? - Fix them, too. Then click OK and the small window will close.

That's fine for us everyday computer users, but if you depend upon Outlook or similar Time management software to schedule your appointments and get to meetings on time, you'll need to visit the Microsoft Update website through the links in Internet Explorer for update patches.

Look for a link at the top of your start menu, or use the Windows Update link in the Windows Control Panel.

If you use the Firefox Browser, type in the address bar or go to the the Microsoft Download Center for the necessary Daylight Savings Time patches.

Of course, you could ignore the whole thing and wait a few weeks - your computer will probably make the change to Daylight Savings Time for you.

                                                                ... Richard



  March 2, 2007    Major Pharming Attack on 50 financial institutions could have included your bank

There was a pharming attack on over 50 financial institutions reported last week in the LavaSoft Company Blog. It targeted online customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. This is particularly unsettling to me because of the sophistication of the attackers and the clever twists they put into their scheme.

Attack exploits that redirect visitors to other sites are often referred to as "pharming".

The culprit website has since been shut down, but not before it was able to infect at least 1,000 PC’s per day over a three day period.

If you were not a client of one of these financial institutions, you probably would not be inclined to open and read their baited messages.

But, assuming you were a client, you could more easily be lured to a website hosting malicious code exploiting a Microsoft critical vulnerability.

If you took the bait and clicked on the links in the message, and if your PC had not been updated with the appropriate Microsoft patches, your un-patched computer would have downloaded a Trojan.

That Trojan downloads five more files from a server in Russia, while all you see is an error message recommending that you shut off your firewall and anti-virus software.

When you visited any of the targeted sites with your infected PC, you would be redirected to a look-alike website that tracks your account login information and sends it to the Russian server.

You would then be redirected to the real banking site and you wouldn't have any clues as to what just occurred!

That attacker could then use your personal information for identity theft, fraud, or to sell to other criminals.

At the time of the Lavasoft Company blog report, it wasn't yet known if anyone had lost money. Among the targeted companies were Barclays Bank, the Bank of Scotland, PayPal, eBay, Discover Card and American Express.

As cyber-criminals keep showing us how clever they are and to what lengths they'll go to steal your private information, you need to keep your system updated,  your PC secure, and never open any unsolicited email messages from your financial institutions!

Tags: , phishing




February 23, 2007  Browser Updates - Have you updated yours recently?

I had not checked my Firefox browser recently, and thanks to comments on
C|Net's Download site, noted that Mozilla fixed some security issues in their February 23rd Release.  

Among the issues covered in the release for Firefox are the important

While visiting the C|net site,  I read the interesting review on Netcraft's Toolbar. It displays all the attributes of each site you visit on the Web, including the sites' hosting location, country, longevity and popularity (both Google and Alexa ratings).
I downloaded and installed their Version 1.7 on my IE7 browser and it seems to work
OK with the latest version of my Google toolbar. 

I particularly like the Risk Assessment display of the site you are visiting. A click on the
Netcraft  logo opens a dialog box leading to a page where you can report suspicious websites. There's a lot more interesting stuff there, and if you are interested in who's behind the sites you're visiting - especially for a first visit - you would have to try hard to find a more convenient way to get the details.

          You can read more about it at the C|Net Safe Surfing Tools review

 And don't forget to update your Operating Systems and browsers, whichever ones you may be using.                 
                                                            ... Richard

Tags: , Netcraft




Updated February 27 (*)
February 15           Spring Cleaning on your Mind?   It is on mine.

Just a few short months away from Spring time here in the Northern hemisphere, and my thoughts are edging toward the annual cleanup of stuff accumulated in my home and office during the past year.
Some of the clutter is from stuff I thought might be great to have - but turns
out never to have been used. They'll be disposed of during the 'Spring
Same situation with my computers - and maybe even yours.

Difference is that the clutter on our hard drives isn't just things we thought
might be good to have, (and save for use maybe someday later), but there's
stuff in there that accumulated without our actually being aware. Stuff like
Temp files, Internet temp files, cookies, and who knows what else. (*) See this
Hard Drive Guide I just came across. It will clear up a lot of questions you
might have about your major computer storage device, and it's free.

You don't need to wait to cleanup your PC storage files. I'm not going to wait,
either. Here's how to do it now -

Open the Disk Cleanup Utility by clicking on the Start button, then click
Programs, Accessories, and System Tools. Select Disk Cleanup from the tools.

You'll be presented with a choice of Drives to clean up first. I always select
the C Drive first. It accumulates more 'stuff'.

The Utility will analyze that drive and display the files you can delete.
Simply click on each category for instructions. They are very clear and easy
to follow.

You'll probably be able to free up many megabytes of disk storage space with
marked improvements in your system performance.

Now that you have that extra space, it's a good idea to consolidate it.

Think of it as having emptied the top shelf of possibly a closet in your
master bedroom, others in other bedrooms, one or two shelves in your kitchen
or garage, and maybe even an area in your basement. You gained a lot of
storage space, but it's spread around your home.

The cleaned out, or now empty areas on your hard disk are also spread around -
and your remaining files are probably fragmented with parts in various spaces
on the hard disk... but, you can consolidate your saved spaces by performing a
Disk De-fragmentation!

Before you do that, you might want to take a look at the programs and data
files you have accumulated. Maybe it's time to dispose of the ones you no
longer use, or need (your choice). The tool to do this is in your Control
Panel and is titled "Add or Remove Programs".

Unlike house cleaning, where many of the things you clean out can be sold in a
Garage or Yard sale, you will actually be deleting or trashing the programs
you no longer keep. Be sure to choose wisely.

The end result of your 'computer housecleaning' is two fold:

     1.You will have recovered space for more useful programs and data files
     2.Your computer will run faster

So, why wait for Springtime? Take advantage of the system tools that came with
your PC now and breeze on into Spring with a more responsive and less
troublesome computer.

Tags: , computer-housecleaning



Don't hesitate to express your views and opinions on my Security Alert Blog Cyber Security Alert postings (easily done by clicking on the highlighted 'COMMENT' | 'TRACKBACK' at each post. Watch for postings on fraud alerts, virus alerts, worm alerts, Internet Security alerts, security scams, parental controls, online predators, net security, and more. Be sure to visit our Firewalls-and-Virus Protection website for even more help


  February 7, 2007    Valentines Day brings Gifts, Jewelry, Candy and
                Cards- Beware of those Cards if they arrive by eMail!

Because so many of us send greetings and express our feelings for friends and loved ones with greeting cards, Holidays present a super opportunity for Cyber crooks and thieves to hide their poison inside of eCards.

I always hesitate when an eCard appears in my mail box. Even though it looks as if it was sent from a familiar address, I never feel completely comfortable about opening it.

A recent reminder from the SpyCop Corporation demonstrated how insidious these eCards can be. Here's the link to their Demo. I tried it (hesitantly), and found it to be safe.

That e-Card Is Not A Trojan Dropper... But It Could Have Been!

ANY eCard can install spy software onto your computer silently without your knowledge or consent!

If this had been an infected eCard, your computer would now be sending everything you do, your emails... credit card info... banking passwords... and even recordings of your screen directly to the bad guys. This little known scam occurs every day! It's no wonder that Identity Theft is the number one crime in America today.

Thanks to the SpyCop Corporation, we can Help protect the privacy of those we care about with this fun educational Valentine card.

Please share this important message with your loved ones.

Tags: , Infected Greetings




  February 1, 2007      More help for People who purchase from online businesses and the business who sell to them

The FREE iCop Member and Shopping Mall Desktop Directory is a listing by business category of all of the hundreds of i-Cop members who have pledged to meet the rigid requirements imposed by the Council to maintain the highest levels of honesty, integrity and respect for you, the consumer.
You can use it as a guide to resources and assistance with the full confidence that each member is a professional in their field.
iCop™ is the organization for home based and other businesses that sets the industry standard of business ethics that every online business should follow!

Please note the iCop member seal on this blog and on my websites. I'm proud to be a member and I've pledged to meet the rigid requirements to maintain my good standing.

to request you FREE Directory

You can download your Free copy to your Desktop. Simply clicking on the desktop icon will then take you right to an always up-to-date Directory. You'll never ever have to upload updates and it will always be current.

CLICK to request your FREE Directory, compliments of

Tags: , shopping mall


  Have you ever thought about writing your own Blog? It's actually a lot easier than having your own website, and it's a lot of fun, too.

  I thoroughly enjoy writing about my major interest, "Internet Safety for everyday Internet users and web surfers".

  Everybody has a main interest, and many would probably like to write about it, but may not know how to get started.  How about you?

  Blogging Help
Blog for Fun and Profit
Blogging's easier and more fun than building your own website
Cloak PayPal Source Code
Easy-To-Use Software Instantly Generates Secure PayPal Buttons

                           Comprehensive Blog Info Guide Completely FREE!

      To TOP

  February 1, 2007 (Repeated, because it's so Important)    A breach in your personal privacy protection could easily lead to  hackers, online, and offline thieves stealing your identity.
Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America, affecting approximately 900,000 new victims each year !

More than ever, the information explosion, aided by an era of easy credit, has led to the expansion of a crime that feeds on the inability of consumers to control who has access to sensitive information and how it is safeguarded.

Nearly everyone is aware that Identity Theft is a serious crime and that people whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years - and their hard-earned money - cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record.
Despite our best efforts to manage the flow of personal information or to keep it to ourselves, skilled Identity Thieves use a variety of methods to gain access to our personal data.
Can we fight back? Yes! One of the best ways is to be informed of the tricks and ploys used by Identity Theft criminals and to understand how they attack.

Forewarned is Forearmed! There's a lot to know, and you can learn it from our Free

With the generous assistance of Victor K Pryles, a popular media consultant, radio broadcaster, publisher and Author, we developed this e-course to arm  you, your family and your friends against the devastating consequences of Identity Theft
After taking this Free course, you'll be protected, wise, savvy and safe, because you'll learn

     * How Identity Theft Occurs
     * How to prepare your defenses
     * How to tell if you're a victim
     * Immediate steps for victims to take
     * Where and How to get your free Credit Reports
        ... and so much more

    To start this course immediately, simply send a
    blank email to

Audio Version of Master Ecourse on Identity Theft
Optional CD Available

This is a Free course for followers of my Security Alert Blog, newsletter and website and you will not get any commercial announcements after registering for it.
After you send your blank email, you will receive a CONFIRMATION email. Click the link inside to start your E-Course. This way, no one can sign you up without your knowledge.

I do hope you sign-up and share it with your family and friends. You can print each of the 10 lessons and have your own hard copy of the manual, or you might prefer to share the email address above so your friends can get their own lessons. It's Free to them, too.

If you would like the Premium Audio version of "Identity Theft & Other Scams" please visit:  Thank you.
When you receive your first lesson, Victor will give you a Complimentary copy of: "The Top 501 Most Inspirational Quotes!" from his "ilovebooks" book club. In the meantime, you might like to check out some of his other inspiring books in his Author's Den

                                                         ..... Richard Rossbauer


     SQUASH the Bug

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  I'd like to hear from you. Your comments are really appreciated. Try to avoid anything inappropriate (hateful, abusive, explicit, pornography, etc.), they'll be deleted before posting. Please stick to the theme of "Security Awareness and Safety on the Internet'. Your email address will never be displayed and will not be shared with third parties.

                                            .... Richard Rossbauer
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