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Richard Rossbauer's SECURITY
ALERT BLOG ARCHIVES
Internet Security Alerts and
for the everyday
Non-technical Computer user,
User and Web Surfer
who just wants
to be safe doing
without the hassle
of viruses, spyware, or worse.
pleased that you're here today,
and that you're concerned about
computer security and family Internet Safety. I look forward to
return to the Security Alert Blog.
Web Feed or book-marking this page will make it a lot easier to
since October 2008, estimates of the number of
infected PCs range from 9 to 15 million. In
November, Microsoft released several patches and updates
to defend against infection by Conficker (aka Downadup)
Here's an update on the worm's activities and some
suggestions for protecting your PCs. The attacks are
against the Microsoft Operating Systems, and from what I
have found, Microsoft at least offers some thorough
The worm's devious creators have programmed it to be
immune to most anti-virus software. At least three
versions are now circulating.
The latest version of the virus has been programmed to
instruct infected computers to carry out an undefined
act on April 1, 2009.
Security experts are uncertain about what the virus will
do on April Fool's Day. Some say it may just be a
The April 1 execution has many people looking for
information about it by visiting popular Search engines.
Unfortunately, this can lead to hoax web sites that
could infect the visitors.
Whatever damage the virus actually does or does not do, its
still best to get it off your machine.
Here's a list of resources that provide reliable "Conficker"
information on the symptoms, prevention, and recovery.
Symptoms - If your computer is infected with this
worm, Microsoft reports that you may not experience any
symptoms, or you may experience any of the following
* Account lockout policies are being tripped.
* Automatic Updates, Background Intelligent Transfer Service
and Error Reporting Services are disabled.
* Domain controllers respond slowly to client requests.
* The network is congested.
* Various security-related Web sites cannot be accessed.
Recovery -The Microsoft Malware Protection Center
has updated the Malicious Software Removal tool (MSRT).
This is a stand-alone binary that is useful in the
removal of prevalent malicious software, and it can help
remove the Win32/Conficker malware family.
BitDefender appears to be the first to offer a free tool which
disinfects all versions of Downadup. This domain is the
first to serve a removal tool without being blocked by
the e-threat. Free download from their website here -
This is serious stuff and the April 1 scare date may be
a false alarm, but it's not worth taking the chance, Is
Tags:virus removal,anti spyware,
March 26, 2009
Out What Your Child REALLY Does on
Social Networking Sites like MySpace
& Face book.
Every day online
predators set deadly traps for innocent teens (and
sometimes even younger children) just like yours.
As parents, we want only the best for our children. We all work hard to
help our kids become emotionally stable, financially
Unfortunately, for many the dream will die.
Are you aware that right now, this very minute your child may already be
a victim? You might be thinking, Not my kid .because
he/she is in his/her bedroom doing homework. What could
be a threat in the bedroom?
If your child is online, get ready to find out, and what
you will find may shock you.
This Free report has the information to help you,
and all parents, fully understand which Social
networking sites are dangerous, and which aren't.
CLICK HERE for FREE REPORT
March 19, 2009 How not to be a
part of the problem
A recent survey analyzed by "Knowledge Networks" found that
nearly three quarters of the total United States population
has access to the internet in their homes or at work with
users spending an average of three hours per day on the
The implications of these few
basic facts are alarming!
Every one of these computers is a
while it's online. Even without doing any math, it's readily
apparent that the number of 'Available Attack Hours' runs
into the millions every day.
... and all users of the Internet, youngsters or oldsters,
whether entertaining themselves with online games, doing
research, communicating via eMail, instant messaging or chat
rooms, are the targets of the thieves and other unsavory
types who are trying to trap us into giving up private
information that can lead to painful losses of our financial
resources and even our personal identities.
But I wonder, "How many of us really care about the safety
and security of our neighbors, friends and family?
They're Hackers Targets, too.
If you don't care about them and do nothing to protect
Some things to keep in mind when
reading your email and surfing the net.
Not that you aren't already aware of some of these threats, but with
the current economic situation, it's possible to drop your guard
when you are presented with a variety of enticing "opportunities"
For example: Product Reviews (that are actually fakes)
Your unsolicited email (SPAM) can offer anti-virus software reviews
like the ones shown in the
Lavasoft Company's blog
at - http://www.lavasoft.com/company/blog/?p=507
(not an affiliate link)
Take a look at these screen shots to help you recognize
XPVirusProtection, also spreading as XP Virus Protection
and Total Virus Protection. There's also a screen shot of MalwareDoc - another Rogue
Rogue software is created to look authentic, often offers
free virus or
spyware scans to encourages people to buy a security application -
which can contain malware that could compromise your computer,
allowing cyber crooks access to your private information.
email traps - When it comes to links embedded in emails,
don't click on them!You never know if those links are really taking
you where you want to go, or if they're directing you to a site
designed to steal whatever information you may enter.
If you want to visit a site sent to you via email, type the URL
directly into your Web browser.
Beware of unsolicited PDF files - another current threat
Adobe reports that they will release an update for Adobe Reader 9
and Acrobat 9 by March 11th, 2009. Updates for Adobe Reader 8 and
Acrobat 8 will follow soon after, with Adobe Reader 7 and Acrobat 7
updates to follow.
Is it because Windows users didn't take
steps to update their Security programs when they first had a
The Conficker worm, also known as Downadup and
Kido, has found its way into upwards of 10 million computers
worldwide, providing hackers, spammers and cybercriminals with a
'back door' into people's machines, making Windows users vulnerable
to identity fraud and ID theft.
The virus takes advantage of a vulnerability in the operating system
to dig deep into the computer's files, folders and System Registry
which stores settings and options for Windows.
Once installed, hackers and spammers are able to remotely download
more malicious programs into the computer, or even use the worm to
help install software that will enable them to track and steal
security information, such as banking logins or credit card
Most worrisome to the Experts is the fact that it doesn't do much
yet. They fear it's just waiting for a command to turn all infected
machines into a superpowerful "botnet" of zombie PCs that could be
used to take down commercial, military or governmental Web sites.
Microsoft announced on Feb 12, 2009, that it had placed a $250,000
bounty on the heads of the developers and distributors of this
computer virus that's been worming its way worldwide for months.
(PCs running non-Windows operating systems are not affected by
On October 23, 2008, Microsoft released a critical security update,
MS08-067, to resolve a vulnerability in the Server service of
Windows that, at the time of release, was facing targeted, limited
Security researchers are concerned that identity thieves and
hackers are not just using phishing and keyloggers to steal
sensitive data but the information captured in this way is often
placed on unprotected FTP sites (a method that allows users to copy
files between their local system and any system they can reach on a
network) making it available to any dishonest person who encounters it.
These FTP sites are packed with stolen information from all over
the world and in many languages. The data held there includes
Hotmail, Yahoo and other email account information, IP addresses,
other usernames and passwords, etc.
Criminals use complex and sophisticated methods to sift through
these data to find what they are looking for, like your passwords,
your bank accountnumbers, your credit card numbers,
COMMENT: Online Computer
Clean up Service is available by subscription. Personal
help by 'phone or remote internet connection to the
USA based support center ;
You can check them out here
http://www.myinvisusdirect.com/wstraughan/ Suggested by subscriber
Here's an update on the Confiker/Downadup
worm that some say has infected more than 9 million PCs worldwide.
The worm spreads through low security networks, memory sticks, and
PCs without current security updates.
First discovered in October 2008, Downadup is primarily a problem
for corporate data networks, but it also can affect the performance
and security of home PCs.
Experts are warning that hackers have yet to activate the payload of
the Conficker virus.
The best way to protect your personal computer against Confiker/Downadup
is by ensuring that you have the "MS08-067" patch from
Microsoft. If you are unsure if you have the patch, you can check in
the "add/remove programs" utility for your computer (be sure that
the "show updates" option is checked) and look for "security update
(KB958644)." If the update is there, you should be all set. If you
do not see this update, it can be downloaded and installed by
Microsoft Download Center Web site.
Why not take a minute now to be sure
you are protected from Confiker?
Anything Different about the
Security Alert Blog Layout?
changes are very subtle - the post area being the most obvious. The
rest of the changes were primarily housekeeping.
Whenever I ran across websites that contained information that
would help us maintain our own Internet safety and computer
security, I tried to make them available to all of our visitors and
Over time, a few of those websites, blogs and security software
providers stopped publishing, changed their URL addresses, or even went out of
business. Those links have been removed.
The mission of this blog is to provide family oriented security
information in an understandable and easy to use manner. That will
As a matter of fact, the effort to provide these resources will be
increased, and you can help me help you by telling me what you need,
want, or even don't care for.
I look forward to your
comments (click on
comments to open a brief Contact form on a new page where you
can tell me what you think).
Taking forever to
run your anti-virus and
It could be that we accumulate a lot
of files, and even programs that are seldom or ever used. When our
hard rives get loaded, larger files are stored in fragments in
un-connected places through-out the drive.
Defragmenting, or re-assembling these fragments results in faster
scans, the computer boots in less
time, and applications load faster. This is important, because those long waits often discourage
users to a point that they avoid the important anti-virus and
anti-spyware scans altogether.
There are a few things that will help solve this problem.
1. Remove the files and programs that you no longer use or need
2. Run the Disk Cleanup utility and delete temporary files,
cache files, and unnecessary program files
3. Run the Defragmentation program included with the Windows
hesitate to express
your views and opinions on my Security Alert Blog and Cyber
Security Alert postings (easily done by clicking on
the highlighted 'COMMENT' |
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
How Did You Teach
Your Children To Be Safe
When They Were learning
to Surf the Internet?
We'd love to learn
how you taught your kids to be cautious and careful and
avoid the threats from online scammers and pedophiles
when they were learning to explore the "web".
to Share your Experiences and learn how
other parents helped their kids to safety - free, of
As parents, grandparents
and guardians, we are reminded constantly to help our
children enjoy the pleasures and excitement of the
Internet in safety.
My own grandchildren learned how to boot up their
family computers at a very
early age. For the youngest of them, it was simply a
matter of watching their older sisters and brothers as
they chatted online with their friends, worked on their
school lessons, and explored the mysteries of the cyber
Informed parents recognize that the
Internet provides an exciting and learning experiences
for their children. Teaching online safety, and learning
together is a wonderful way for any family to enjoy it.
Your experiences and successes could help a lot of
other parents and us grandparents.
HERE for a real easy way to Share your Experiences
and learn how other parents helped their kids to safety
- free, of course
for caring, and sharing....Richard
Update your Emergency Virus Protection program
you don't have your Virus Protection program yet, here's an
Emergency Step you should take, Right Now!
McAfee offers a FREE Virus Scanning program named STINGER.
It has grown in size a little over the past few years and no longer fits on a single floppy Disk.
But so many of the newer PCs, including lap tops don't have a "A" floppy
drive anyway, you should burn it to a CD or memory stick for an offline back up tool.
You can use it as we do, to check
any of your PC computers for viruses, without being on line.
It is an 'After the Fact' application, which means that it does not scan
incoming email files, attachments or downloads, but it does scan whatever
you have already received online.
It currently checks, and repairs nearly 200 recent viruses. It's FREE
to download fromMcAfee
Profitable Blogging Tips FREEemail course - Key Tips for Successful and
Profitable Blogging - Dozens of vital proven tips sent
to your email address over the next few days - read them,
print and save them. Start Blogging Now!
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