Archives for circe_d

Does Norton Protect Against Malware?

Norton products are often questioned: Does Norton Protect Against Malware?

They come for free on many new systems from the Big Box stores and I find myself uninstalling them in favor of a more robust Anit-Malware product. So, does Norton protect against malware? I think so. But a person using the computer needs to be educated in the use of this product to make it beneficial.

Often when I look at a system checking it for Malware, and I see Norton there, I also notice that the software has not been kept up to date. NO Anti-Malware software will do it’s job if the software is installed and then forgotten about.

Updates to the definitions, the product core need to be updated and made ready to fight against the viruses and malware attacks that infect computers.

To fairly answer the question does Norton protect against Malware? I would ask you three questions:

Do you click on things that pop up and say “you need to scan you computer to make it run faster”

Do you regularly check the status of the program and the definitions updates?

Do you regularly run a scan or run a scan if you notice a change in your system?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, Norton will not effectively help you. You should get a product that manages the updates, scans and pop ups on your system. You will still need to run full scans periodically, but you will be more satisfied with the protection activity. Here are some programs I recommend:

  1. One of these would do a good job
    1. Avast
    2. Kaspersky
    3. Anvisoft Defender
    4. Bitdefender
    5. Download AVG AntiVirus 2014 Free
    6. Avira 35% off Avira Internet Security Suite

Keep this in mind when selecting your Malware prevention Protection. It does not have to cost a lot of money to protect you. It does cost your time and attention.

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Can Your Computer Webcam be used Remotely?

Can webcam be used remotely?

Web Cams Used Remotely according to this article in Wired Magazine can and have been used this way since 2007. A tool called Flame Spy tool does it. It is not just in the movies.

Is it true? Can a computer Webcam be used remotely?

Your can read the “Wired” story here.

You can be seen and heard. Webcams have microphones. Flame can activate the microphone and the camera and “spy” on you through it.

Flame Spy Tool is Malware: software that is running without intervention from you. As such, if you have the Anti-Malware protection that automatically stops unwanted Malware, you do not have anything to worry about.

Do these things:

  1. Check your system to see if you have Anti-Malware software.One of these would do it
    1. Avast
    2. Kaspersky
    3. Anvisoft Defender
    4. Biitdefender
    5. AVG
  2. Verify the Anti-Malware you are using is updated weekly
  3. Run System Scans on your system to verify that  there is no Malware on yourcomputer
  4. Repeat 2-3 regularly

 

Webcam covers – Amazon

The wired article stated that gaffer tape is good to cover the web cam. See what that is here.

You want something that doesn’t leave residue, especially if you use your webcam for Skype etc.

The microphone is vulnerable to being used for listening in. Plug it with an audio cable, says Wired.

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Sucuri Reveals a Denial of Service Attack for WordPress

This is a repost from an announcement by Sucuri, The web security company.
Sucuri Security

Protect your site from DDoS attacks

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we recently uncovered multiple DoS / DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, in which attackers are abusing the built-in pingback feature found in WordPress to carry out DDOS attacks on sites. If you’re running your website on WordPress, then it’s possible for your site to be used in a Denial of Service attack (Learn about DOS and DDOS attacks here).

We flagged this problem when we analyzed data from a recent attack on a client that has our CloudProxy Website Firewall activated. Specifically, the attackers are using the pingback feature inherent in WordPress to perform Layer 7 Flood Attacks. This attack extends beyond the WordPress platform, and can be used to attack sites on any platform–e.g. Joomla, Drupal, osCommerce, vBulletin. If you are experiencing a disruption in service with your website, get in contact with your hosts, or if you prefer to shield yourself from attacks like this in advance, look into activating a website firewall, like CloudProxy*, that can virtually patch and harden issues like this.

If you’re monitoring your website or have ever had to clean your website of malware using our service, you know how awful it feels when your site goes down or is blacklisted through no fault of your own, and you know that the internet is only secure when all of us in the community make it secure.

Together, we can all make the web a safer place.

-The team at Sucuri

 

I have seen what can happen when a site is infected. The visitors get infected. The site reputation gets ruined and nobody is happy. You can prevent that, check that and know your business online is not infecting its customers.

Get Sucuri protection today.

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Phone App Infected with Malware

Flappy Bird Game Picture

Phone App Flappy Bird, target of Malware infection for users.

One very popular game app for Android and iPhone is putting Malware on the phones.

“All of the fake versions we’ve seen so far are premium service abusers — apps that send messages to premium numbers, thus causing unwanted charges to victims’ phone-billing statements,”

This means your phone sends texts you didn’t send to sites that cost money and you are responsible for the bill.

Do your research before you download.Check the author of the app online and get the one you expect.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57618767-83/squawk-flappy-bird-fakes-are-hatching-android-malware/

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Product Stores Amazon

Shop Safely, Shop Product Stores at Amazon

 

For The Tech in You:

 


For the More Spiritual Easy Going in You:

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Err on the Side of Caution

I offer this advice: err on the side of caution when opening emails this holiday.

If your intuition tells you to not open that one, listen.
UPS, FEDEx, Amazon, DHL, and other delivery companies do not send emails with attachments. This is the first clue that the email may contain an infected component.

Email is the number one way that computers get infected, especially during holidays.

We expect emails form family and we do not hesitate to open them. Check the time sent on those emails. Would that relative send email at that hour?

We expect notifications of deliveries. Did you place an order with that company? Check at the website to be sure. If there is nothing on their main site, the email is probably not what you thin it is.

Banks, and financial institutions send only mail that tells you to go to their website. THEY DO NOT INCLUDE A LINK.

And most importantly, when you click on a link and then say I allow, your anti-infection software thinks you know what you are doing and by the time it is popping up telling you there is a problem, it is too late and the system has some component of the infection installed and active.

Be Aware. Malware is out there.

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Why WiFi Hotspots are Dangerous

Public Wifi Hotspots

Wifi Hotspot SignI am going to explain why WiFi Hotspots are dangerous to the safety of your personal computer. Wifi Hotspots are open doors to your computer. It is where most people get their identity stolen. Computers are connected to the Internet via a network signal from an Internet Service Provider. All the computers on that same network location are connected to each other.
At home, you control the security levels and also who uses your network and therefore who is connected to you.
Imagine for a moment living in an apartment building where all the front doors open onto a common hallway. If all the doors were standing open, as you walked down the hallway you could see into the neighboring apartments and see what furniture and possessions the neighbors had. Since the doors were open you could also walk in a “borrow” or “steal” something from the neighbor’s apartment. This is what it is like on a common network, whether that is your home or the local WiFi hotspot. All the doors are open.

 

 

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FBI Ransomware

You have not really been locked out of your computer. If you are in the greater LA area call 661 513 4727 to have the infection cleaned.

READ WHAT THE TRUTH IS:

New Internet Scam
‘Ransomware’ Locks Computers, Demands Payment

08/09/12

There is a new “drive-by” virus on the Internet, and it often carries a fake message—and fine—purportedly from the FBI.

“We’re getting inundated with complaints,” said Donna Gregory of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), referring to the virus known as Reveton ransomware, which is designed to extort money from its victims.

Reveton is described as drive-by malware because unlike many viruses—which activate when users open a file or attachment—this one can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website. Once infected, the victim’s computer immediately locks, and the monitor displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law.

The bogus message goes on to say that the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal online activity. To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service.

“Some people have actually paid the so-called fine,” said the IC3’s Gregory, who oversees a team of cyber crime subject matter experts. (The IC3 was established in 2000 as a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. It gives victims an easy way to report cyber crimes and provides law enforcement and regulatory agencies with a central referral system for complaints.)

Podcast: Reveton Ransomware

“While browsing the Internet, a window popped up with no way to close it,” one Reveton victim recently wrote to the IC3. “The window was labeled ‘FBI’ and said I was in violation of one of the following: illegal use of downloaded media, under-age porn viewing, or computer-use negligence. It listed fines and penalties for each and directed me to pay $200 via a MoneyPak order. Instructions were given on how to load the card and make the payment. The page said if the demands were not met, criminal charges would be filed and my computer would remain locked on that screen.”

The Reveton virus, used by hackers in conjunction with Citadel malware—a software delivery platform that can disseminate various kinds of computer viruses—first came to the attention of the FBI in 2011. The IC3 issued a warning on its website in May 2012. Since that time, the virus has become more widespread in the United States and internationally. Some variants of Reveton can even turn on computer webcams and display the victim’s picture on the frozen screen.

“We are getting dozens of complaints every day,” Gregory said, noting that there is no easy fix if your computer becomes infected. “Unlike other viruses,” she explained, “Reveton freezes your computer and stops it in its tracks. And the average user will not be able to easily remove the malware.”

The IC3 suggests the following if you become a victim of the Reveton virus:

Do not pay any money or provide any personal information.
Contact a computer professional to remove Reveton and Citadel from your computer.
Be aware that even if you are able to unfreeze your computer on your own, the malware may still operate in the background. Certain types of malware have been known to capture personal information such as user names, passwords, and credit card numbers through embedded keystroke logging programs.
File a complaint and look for updates about the Reveton virus on the IC3 website.

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If you didn’t install it

If you know you didn’t install a program, you can recognize a counterfeit.

You should become familiar with the programs installed on your computer. Programs are listed under the Control Panel in Windows.

This will help you to PREVENT a malware attack.

If you get an email or a pop-up that says you need to update your PC Protection software, and you KNOW you have nothing named PC PROTECTION, it can be deleted and ignored.

But, if that same pop-up reappears, you have a form of the infection and should seek help.

 

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PC Scan is Malware

PC Scan Malware Screenshot

 

Another one IF you get a pop up that says PC Scan blocked a threat, the malware is already on your system. The infection blocks every known program on the system. To clean it, you will have to boot with an anti malware disk.

Comodo, Avira and a few others have these available online.

Another know infection that looks like a real program is the Antivirus Scanner: It usually gets and updated name each year.

Malware home-antivirus-2010The screenshot here is from 2010. This is Malware, not a program you want running on your system.

You can get a get Anti-Malware program that will scan and protect your system form infections like these.

Recommended Anti-Malware Programs:

Kaspersky E-StoreKaspersky Lab is one of the fastest growing IT security companies worldwide, with award-winning solutions available to protect PCs, Macs, Android Tablets and Smartphones from the latest malware and threats.

 

avast! Internet Security is easy to use and powerful to protect. Avast Internet Security is a powerful, and affordable protection program. If you have kids who get online, or just want to set it and forget it, this works, The information screens will notify you if you have to do something, but other than that it just protects your syste and updates in its own. I recommend this one for people that wish to have the program do the work.

Trend Micro Home & Home Office Trendmicro is a powerful Anti-Virus tool for Internet Safety and protection. The company keeps up on reported infections and issues the updates as it is required. Easy to use and powerful.

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