Tag Archives: virus

Anti-virus Programs: Is Running Two Better Than One?

Security Toggle SwitchIt’s well known that some anti-virus programs are better than others at given times. Mostly because of how soon the signatures (tells that are used to identify malware) are updated. There is also a difference between their methods: some use signatures to identify the malware and some use an analysis of the behavior of the computer and the malware to identify anomalies and alert you when they’re found; and a few anti-virus programs use both methods of detection.

So, given that some are better than others at identifying malware, is it a good idea to run more than one anti-virus program for better protection? The answer is no…and maybe.

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Filed under Internet Security, malware, software, Warning

Internet Security: Do You Sandbox?–Updated

Vault with Safe-deposit Boxes InsideI’m reposting one of the all-time most popular articles I’ve written on this blog (it is third most popular). I’m doing so because our newer readers may have missed it and because using a sandbox is one of the most effective Internet security tools that can be used to protect your computer.

A computer security sandbox is a virtual computer environment which resides on the disk of your computer. By virtual, I mean a totally operable “computer” that is created and controlled by software and looks and feels to other software packages, browsers, and yes…malware; just like a computer—but it’s not. And…here’s the best part…the sandbox is completely controlled and sealed off from the rest of the host computer. So, if you were browsing the Internet using a sandbox and a virus got by your firewall and anti-virus protection and infected your virtual “computer” sandbox; the virus would be contained within the sandbox and at the end of your browsing session would be deleted without causing any harm to your real computer. Continue reading

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Filed under How-To Corner, Internet Security, malware, security

Reduce Virus Infections by 99.8%?

Solution and MouseWhat if I told you that 99.8% of all exploit kit virus infections result from lack of updating five specific software packages? An exploit kit is a prepackaged set of malware available for sale to cyber criminals. CSIS Security Group A/S conducted a survey that found that 99.8% of computers infected by exploit kit delivered viruses and other malware mainly because users forgot to update the Java JRE, Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, and two other software packages commonly found on Windows computers. The exact software exploited isn’t the important issue here. Updating the software on your computer is. Continue reading

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Filed under Cybercrime, In the News, Internet, Internet Security, malware, security, software

BotPanda: No, It’s Not A Toy

Binary screen A second article on The Trend Micro Trendlabs Second Quarter Security Roundup findings. It reports that one of the active Android-based Internet malware plaguing Android smartphones and other computer devices right now is BotPanda…no, it’s not a toy robot; it’s a virus. Here’s a rundown of it’s attributes.

BotPanda runs on Android-based devices and allows cyber criminals to gain complete control of the device from anywhere on the Internet.

It hides itself so that its detection and removal is very difficult.

It spies on the transactions the device performs.

It also records victims’ phone calls.

Trend Micro has a fix tool called BotPanda Cleaner. I have no affiliation with Trend Micro, nor have I used BotPanda Cleaner.

You might ask why cyber criminal gangs would develop a virus for only one type of smartphone, Android. The answer is

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Filed under Cybercrime, In the News, Internet, Internet Security, malware, security

Beware The Tech-Support Phone Call Scam

Vision abstract redWe’re aware of being cyber attacked by malware being placed on our computer by email content, visiting criminal-controlled Internet websites, Facebook links, and even malware-laden software apps. But here’s a new approach: the tech-support phone call scam; still another way to separate us from our money. Continue reading

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Filed under Facebook, Internet, Internet Security, security

Malware Getting Smarter and More Aggressive

Security Login ScreenThe typical malware bot is injected onto a victim PC, usually by clicking on a link or otherwise visiting a website designed for that purpose. The bot is usually programmed to perform a specific function. For example, a banking bot or banker Trojan is designed to obtain online banking credentials when online banking transactions are performed by the owner of the computer and then use those credentials, such as the banking sign-on name and password, to perform electronic funds transfers to a bank account controlled by the criminal. And all this is done in a matter of seconds after the credentials are obtained.

Enter a powerful new bot called Ainslot.L. Once injected onto the victim computer, it is smart enough to look for other malware bots that may reside on the computer and kill them before it begins to perform it’s own mal-activities. If this is starting to sound like a movie scene involving organized crime “taking over new territory” by bumping off other crooks in order to expand their business…well, I would agree with that assumption. In fact, most Internet criminal activity is controlled by organized crime units located in Russia and other Eastern Bloc countries. So I’m not surprised that they’re acting like organized crime of old.

Back to Ainslot.L. Another way this bot is different from the norm is that the fake email that spreads it is different from the usually sloppy and grammatically incorrect emails used by typical bots of today. This email is well thought out and well written. It informs the reader that they have placed an order for an expensive product that will be charged to their credit card. It includes a link to view the order.

As you might imagine, most people will panic that the order is a mistake and they immediately go into information gathering mode and want to, yes, you guessed it…view the order. Clicking that link loads the bot onto their computer. Once the bot takes control, it begins it’s dastardly tasks. And the poor owner of the PC is, well…poorer.

You can arm your computer and protect your money by doing the following:

1. Keep your virus protection software updated at all times. Use the automatic update feature by turning it on.

2. Check your account transactions recorded by the bank on a regular basis and ensure they’re all valid. If not, notify your bank immediately of the fraudulent transaction. If they find out soon enough, they can take advantage of a built-in lag in EFT transactions to cancel it.

3. If your bank is not already doing so, encourage them to use strong online financial transaction security practices such as placing a security cookie on your computer for verification purposes; and limiting the size of withdrawals and transfers of funds made by your computer. These practices may not prevent the theft, but it may slow them down enough that you or the bank will detect something amiss and allow you to take some action.

Ref: Help Net Security.Com

As always, I appreciate your comments on this subject…so please do. And be careful out there…it’s extremely dangerous these days.

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Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,

Paul

paulshomecomputing(at)yahoo.com

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Filed under Internet, security

Do You Surf The Net Naked?

Security Virus imageWell…do you? Okay, I’m not talking about what you wear—or don’t—while surfing the Web. I’m talking about surfing the Web without a thread of protection. Since I’ve started down this path of visuals to make the point of this article, I’ll give you a visual of how dangerous it is to surf without protection. Picture yourself walking in a prison yard, or on a street in a bad section of town, completely naked. Continue reading

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Filed under home computing, Internet, security