Tag Archives: adware

Potential Threat for Wireless Networks Discovered

According to researchers, a threat may be lurking in your local Internet cafe. It’s called Typhoid adware, and works much like Typhoid Mary did. Typhoid Mary was the first healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever. She spread the disease to dozens of people near New York City in the early 1900s. “Our research describes a potential computer security threat and offers some solutions,” says associate professor John Aycock, who co-authored a paper with assistant professor Mea Wang and students Daniel Medeiros Nunes de Castro and Eric Lin. “We’re looking at a different variant of adware – Typhoid adware –which we haven’t seen out there yet, but we believe could be a threat soon.”

Adware is a type of malware that will sneak onto your computer – usually when something is downloaded. You know those fancy tool bars and cute screen savers you enjoy so much? Yeah… many of them are riddled with adware. The adware causes popups… and lots of them. Typhoid adware, however, needs a wireless Internet cafe or other place where users share a non-encrypted wireless connection in order to thrive.

“Typhoid adware is designed for public places where people bring their laptops,” says Aycock. “It’s far more covert, displaying advertisements on computers that don’t have the adware installed, not the ones that do. Typhoid adware comes from another person’s computer and convinces other laptops to communicate with it and not the legitimate access point. Then the Typhoid adware automatically inserts advertisements in videos and web pages on the other computers. Meanwhile, the carrier sips her latté in peace – she sees no advertisements and doesn’t know she is infected ­– just like symptomless Typhoid Mary.”

Make sure all computers in this type of environment are updated fully with proper Windows updates and have proper security software on board. You can find more information by reading the official paper that was released by the school.

SUPERAntiSpyware Educational License Special

In the past, we’ve been fortunate to offer discounts on SUPERAntiSpyware to our readers, and the response has always been great. SAS is an excellent product, one which Kat highly recommends. Today I learned that they are offering a very special license for educational institutions, and I wanted to make sure that it is passed along to you. If you are a teacher or administrator, you’re going to want to check this out. If you’re a student, why not show this post to your principal?

From now through August 1, 2010, all SUPERAntiSpyware multi-user licenses sold to educational clients will be upgraded to a lifetime subscription with no renewal fees at no additional charge. “Economic hardship and budget cuts are an everyday reality for school systems at all levels,” said Nick Skrepetos, founder of SUPERAntiSpyware.com. “We highly value the role that education plays in communities worldwide, and we want to support schools in their efforts to provide quality education while balancing their tight and shrinking budgets. Managing high-priced software renewal fees is simply not practical for schools in today’s economic climate. We want to help.”

Additionally, SUPERAntiSpyware will include one Technician’s License for its new portable scanner with each educational license at no additional cost. The portable scanner harnesses the same powerful anti-spyware engine as the Professional Edition of SUPERAntiSpyware and references a spyware definition database that is updated at least once per day.

To take part in this amazing offer, simply send them an email. The danger of malware infections pose a huge threat to the educational system, one which could potentially cost millions of dollars to eradicate. Without proper protection, schools are at risk that can not only rob them of instructional time, but may also require them to pay expensive repair bills.

Common Web Sites Compromised with Malware

Today, one security firm reported that there were about 5.5 million pages infected with malware in the last three months of 2009. Some of those pages were commonly visited sites: “In those three months, sites for Fox Sports, technology blog Gizmodo, and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were exploited to deliver malware to unsuspecting visitors.”

There was a commonly held belief that if you avoid “bad” sites and limit yourself to popular sites, then you would be safe from malware. Obviously, this is not the case. Hackers are becoming very sophisticated and they will go where they can find the most traffic to exploit. That means some very popular sites have been targeted and will be targeted in the future.

It is no longer some teenager wanting to cause some problems and showing off for a limited number of friends. This is organized crime. These criminals want to exploit computers for identity theft, for spamming, for developing a bot network, and for other criminal intent.

The dark side of the Internet is that everyone is a target, and we remind our readers to protect themselves and their personal information. These Internet crimes are silent; it may take months or years, for example, before you realize that your identity has been stolen and exploited. If you are online, you must pay attention to Internet security. That is why we recommend security programs such as Webroot Internet Security Essentials (WISE).

“… With unmatched anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall security, WISE provides blockbuster protection for your PC. In fact, the technologies in WISE have won a combined 11 PC Magazine Editors’ Choice awards! These technologies provide more complete protection than competing products to proactively block: viruses, spyware, worms, trojans, data theft, rootkits, hackers, intrusions, keyloggers…”

Webroot is allowing up to three computers to be protected and with a ten dollar discount. This works out to an amount under seventeen dollars per computer. It is a huge bargain.

Protect yourself with an award-winning program. If you have more than one computer, you need to protect all of them. We want you to be safe online and just securing one machine is not enough. You do not want to be spreading malware when you synchronize your machines or share files between the machines.

This Webroot offer would be an exceptional gift to any friend or family member who does not pay much attention to Internet security. This is an easy to use program that you can give for year round computer security. And remember, this offer allows you to protect three computers.

A Final Line on Malware Protection

The truth of malware today is that it is a cat-and-mouse game between the criminals/hackers and the security people. The hackers are ready to take advantage of every opportunity. Recently, former beauty contestant Carrie Prejean was in the news. It was just hours later that there were malware and spyware sites using the “Carrie Prejean” search to infect computers.

Firewalls and security products are absolutely necessary. This space makes it a regular habit of reminding our readers of the need to be active in protecting your computer and personal, confidential information. No antivirus or antimalware product can guarantee that they are a hundred per cent effective. It would be just an impossible guarantee because of the speed of the internet and the opportunities for crime.

For that reason, there is one product that we believe is necessary and that we recommend. That product is WinPatrol and there is really good reason for using this product.

Some malware can install without you having to do anything. These are the so called “drive-by” downloads. You probably would not know that a malware program has been installed. The hackers are that good at compromising your system. There is a way to protect your machine constantly. WinPatrol is like a watchdog for your computer. And like a great watchdog, it alerts you if there are any attempted changes on your machine. That means that you have a chance to stop a malware installation because WinPatrol has your machine under constant surveillance.

You decide whether to allow any changes on the machine. Even the changes that legitimate programs attempt to make will be noted. You have to allow permission. For example, some program you use now may ‘phone home’ and want to update. WinPatrol will alert you to see if you want this update. It is an extra layer of security – and it prevents a load of problems.

Bill Pytlovany is giving our readers a terrific discount on WinPatrol. Bill is a recognized security expert, with decades of experience. Bill is a recognized expert by Microsoft in their MVP program. Bill is reducing the cost of this program by ten dollars. Use the coupon code: Gnomes for the discount on WinPatrol. It supports “Supports Windows 98 – Windows 7 including x64 systems”.

The offer expires on November 25, 2009.

This is affordable protection. Malware still needs to install on your machine for it to work. WinPatrol gives you one last chance to stop an infection, even though you have a firewall and other security programs. There are many gnomies who would not be without WinPatrol on any of their computers. We recommend it without any hesitation – and it is a huge bargain at this price.

Vipre Protects Your Computer From Malware

There used to be the belief that if one stays away from “bad” Web sites, then malware is not a problem. That is not true, as a recent example with the New York Times illustrated. The popular news Web site was compromised, and the trusted site was serving up malicious ads:

The malicious ad took over the browsers of many people visiting the site, as their screens filled with an image that seemed to show a scan for computer viruses. The visitors were then told that they needed to buy antivirus software to fix a problem, but the software was more snake oil than a useful program.

Exploiting weaknesses in online ad systems is an increasingly common approach for computer criminals around the globe who hope to make a quick buck from the audiences of the sites they attack. Experts say the problem is likely to get worse as companies scramble to satiate a click-happy online culture.”

This is just one way in which criminals / hackers are becoming exceedingly creative in exploiting site visitors. No reputable software company would market products in this manner, but the criminals are relying on the trust that people have in the site.

There have been malware installations without the site visitors having to do anything. These are the so called ‘drive-by’ downloads, and just visiting the site puts one at risk. No click – or download – is necessary.

It is absolutely essential to be running an anti-virus and anti-spyware program. One of our recommendations is VIPRE from Sunbelt Software. It is effective without draining your computer of resources. VIPRE’s memory footprint is very small, and this has brought a lot of memory back to otherwise bogged-down machines.

Sunbelt Software is offering our readers a 20% saving on VIPRE. This offer is good until November 18, 2009.

VIPRE works with “Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista+ (All flavors) 32 and 64-bit, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP SP1, SP2, SP3 (Home, Pro, Media Center, Tablet) 32 and 64-bit and Windows 2000 SP4 RollUp 1.” And yes, it works with Windows 7, too.

The Sunbelt people are making a generous offer to protect all the computers in your home. It is a “home site license” which allows using the program on more than one computer. There is a discount for this “home site license,” and it’s just a huge saving for our readers.

We have worked with the people at Sunbelt for years. They work diligently to keep up with what is happening with computer security. It is a ‘cat-and-mouse’ game where criminals are trying to exploit people in creative and innovative ways. The people at Sunbelt keep up with what is happening and this is reflected in their security product. Many Gnomies use this program… and we recommend it.

Are Hackers Suffering in This Economy?

One of the absurdities that is circulating the Internet is that even hackers are suffering in this economy. With the tough economic situation, supposedly hackers are having more competition. This is just one of the theories to explain why there is a steady increase in malware and criminal activity such as phishing and identity theft.

Whether it is a natural disaster or the death of a celebrity, hackers / criminals are almost always first responders, ready to exploit the situation at hand for personal gain. For example, you may find email that supposedly gives you the latest news about a tragic situation that just occurred. The news story itself may have happened but that email is dangerous. It could carry malware.

The email is just one venue. Are you on Facebook? Have you joined Twitter? These are just some of the examples of social media where people are sharing and clicking on links. If you are on Twitter and have a good number of followers, there are links posted every minute. It would be so easy for a hacker to play the social network and drop some malicious link there. And it will happen more and more often.

There’s even a spam campaign on YouTube. Reports say that this spam does not contain malware. However, it may be a matter of time before slick malware infections find its way onto this popular video site.

This should be frightening to you. These criminals want to exploit you and your computer. You may think you are careful enough. However, no one can be vigilant 100% of the time. There are drive-by downloads that can install things on your machine without your even having to click a link. This is the type of incidence that calls for an excellent security regime on your computer.

You should have an anti-virus, a firewall, and at least one anti-spyware program running at all times. It is foolish to be online without security protection. For an anti-spyware program, we are recommending SUPERAntiSpyware. We have an excellent deal for you that offers real time protection:

SUPERAntiSpyware has Real-Time Blocking of threats! Prevent potentially harmful software from installing or re-installing! First Chance Prevention examines over 50 critical points of your system each time your system starts up and shuts down to eliminate threats before they have a chance to infect and infiltrate your system.

The program offers much, much more and you can read about it at the links provided. It is being offered at a special rate for our readers. There is a ten dollar ($10.00) savings for our readers until October 15, 2009.

This is a program that is highly recommended within the security community. People who work on these pages use it and recommend it, too. We use it. We need it and so do you. SUPERAntiSpyware will detect and remove spyware, adware, malware, Trojans, dialers, worms, keyloggers, hijackers, rootkits, and many other types of threats. This program is easy to use and it is effective. If you have any problems with SUPERAntiSpyware , let us know. We will tell the founder / director of the company and have any problems addressed. Nick Skrepetos is well known in the security community and he stands behind his products. And if you need this program in large numbers, let us know. We will see if we can help with pricing for your company.

You may be wondering why we are recommending security programs when there are programs that are available for free. There is an old adage: ‘you get what you pay for.’ SUPERAntiSpyware has been doing Internet security for years. It is excellent. It works. It protects our machine and has for years. That’s why we recommend it.

Know When Something is Being Installed on Your Machine

The number of malware sites are increasing. IBM has reported an increased sophistication with attempts to infect computers. The frightening thing is that some malware is being pushed unknowingly by legitimate sites.

This is a danger to all computer users. However, there is one segment of our readers who are going back to school in a few days and increasing their downloading. As students, these computer users will be downloading for school work and for their own entertainment. You have to know that the downloading puts you at risk. Even visiting some seemingly innocent sites can put you at risk.

It is absolutely not true that if you stay away from so called “bad” sites that you can escape the dangers of malware. Even a file transfer from a friend or classmate could infect your machine. With the expertise and sophistication of today’s criminals, any site can be compromised and turned into a site that delivers malware. This may be a site that you use for school work. Just recently, on June 1, 2009, Ryan Naraine reported that 20,000 sites were “hit with drive-by attack code.”

A drive-by attack means that you don’t have to click anything and malware junk will find its way onto your computer. This garbage will install on your machine without asking for your permission. Then your computer is infected.

Your computer needs a constant watchdog. This is the concept of WinPatrol – and “Scotty” is the watchdog. WinPatrol runs in the background and the watchdog Scotty will give an alert when there are any changes attempted on your machine. Scotty will alert you if you are installing any program. This may be an annoyance, but it is minor. It shows that WinPatrol is doing its job. It will save so much trouble when there is a rogue program trying to install itself on your computer.

WinPatrol is easy on the computer resources and it is on many people’s “must have” list. This is a program that has an excellent history – and countless recommendations over the years. We are recommending this for every student. You must know if some rogue program is trying to install itself on your machine. And WinPatrol will tell you.

WinPatrol has been available for over ten years, thanks to the work of Bill Pytlovany. The improvement functions packed into this program will surprise you.

For the Lockergnome / Chris Pirillo readers, we have an exceptional offer. Until September 5, 2009, we have a ten-dollars-off ($10.00) savings from WinPatrol. We have tried to make this super-affordable to students. We know this is a rough time financially and hopefully this make it an affordable security program for you. Use coupon code: Gnomes when ordering!

Effective for any version of Windows – including Windows 7.

This is a security program that is recommended without any reservation. The people who use this program have nothing but good things to say about it. Bill Pytlovany is an trusted name in computer security. He is a recognized MVP by Microsoft – and he stands behind this product. If there is even a hint of a problem, let us know. We stay in touch with Bill. If you are a business and want this to secure all your desktop and laptop machine, let us know and we will see if Bill can help you.

More Malware on its Way – Protect Yourself

Every major news service on the planet is carrying stories about the tragedies and possible escalation of problems concerning the swine flu outbreak. It is a serious problem with the possibility of becoming significantly worse. One of the first responders to this global concern is the hacking / malware community. Hackers and criminals are viewing this swine flu problem as an opportunity. Slick malware may be on its way, if it is not propagating at this very moment. It is only a matter of time. These hackers may be seen as first responders of the very worse kind.

The news is just one venue. Are you on Facebook? Have you joined Twitter? These are just some of the example of social media where people are sharing and clicking on links. If you are on Twitter and have a good number of followers, there are links posted every minute. It would be so easy for a hacker to play the social network and drop some malicious link there. And it will happen more and more often.

You may think you are careful enough. However, no one can be vigilant 100% of the time. There are drive-by downloads that can install things on your machine without your even having to click a link. This is the type of incidence that calls for an excellent security regime on your computer. You should have an Anti-Virus, a Firewall and at least one Anti-Spyware program running at all times. For an Anti-Spyware program, we are recommending SUPERAntiSpyware. We have an excellent deal for you that offers real time protection:

SUPERAntiSpyware has “Real-Time Blocking of threats! Prevent potentially harmful software from installing or re-installing! First Chance Prevention examines over 50 critical points of your system each time your system starts up and shuts down to eliminate threats before they have a chance to infect and infiltrate your system.”

The program offers much, much more and you can read about it at the links provided. This program is being offered at a special rate for our readers. There is a ten dollar ($10.00) savings until May 3, 2009.

Use this link for the discount when buying/.

This is a program that is highly recommended within the security community. People who work on these pages use it and recommend it, too. We use it. We need it and so do you. SUPERAntiSpyware will detect and remove Spyware, Adware, Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, Hijackers, Rootkits and many other types of threats. This program is easy to use and it is effective. If you have any problems with SUPERAntiSpyware, let us know. We will tell the founder / director of the company and have any problems addressed. Nick Skrepetos is well known in the security community and he stands behind his products. And if you need this program in large numbers, let us know. We will see if we can help with pricing for your company.

Protect yourself. There are more malware programs coming and these malicious programs are becoming better and better. Let SUPERAntiSpyware give you and your data first class protection.

What is the Best Anti-Spyware Software?

Malware today is complex, and Windows users have had enough. More and more of you are fighting back by learning how to protect yourselves. You take advice from people like Kat, who have years of experience in combating these problems. What programs do you use for protection?

ZoneAlarm Internet Suite does an all-in-one job for me. 🙂 – Kol Tregaskes

MACs – Mona N.

your brain coupled with education. mona: OSX does have malware, tho requires more social engineering to get them working as a general rule. If you’re packing windows and want to clear off anything you think might have gotten on, Malware Bytes is a good little app without bloat of craptastic apps that have more "brand recognition". – alphaxion

Common sense? – Tad the meme maker

Microsoft Defender/AVG Free/Avast/Adaware/ZoneAlarm free/whatever free malware/security apps you prefer. Oh and having a good email provider that scans your mail for malware before it’s even in your inbox will get rid of a lot of your risk. Using a modern browser will also reduce your risk greatly. Beyond that, understanding how to safely use a PC is the best defense. – Alex Scoble CISSP

I second Mona. Use Mac – Leandro Ardissone

Avast – Stagekid

Not to be glib, but why do Windows users put up with this? What if your toilet violently geysered raw sewage one out of every six flushes? Wouldn’t you start to seriously look into an alternative instead of buying a bigger mop? – stretta

Your toilet doesn’t have people constantly trying to do whatever they can to clog it up. But yeah, in cases where you have to deal with that you hire a plumber on contract and get an industrial toilet. True story, my brother Ben had to do just that for his bar because people would invariably plug up the toilets every weekend. He has a plumber come in every Monday to snake them out. – Alex Scoble CISSP

none – adolfo foronda

And if you think being on OS X or Linux protects you from any of this stuff, think again. There are plenty of people on this planet who could totally pwn your OS X or Linux box if they so chose. – Alex Scoble CISSP

When they had that contest a year ago or so, wasn’t the OS X machine the first to be hacked? Anyway, ESET Smart Security or whatever it’s called. NOD32 + spyware + firewall. Unbeatable. – Akiva Moskovitz

If they target you. You’re still a lot safer than on Windows. – Tanath

akiva: that was the pwn to own competition.. and just to clarify, yes it was the apple to be owned first followed by the windows mahcine the next day to the same app.. cause the kernels of osx, windows and linux are so tight noone bothered until they opened it up to 3rd party apps and flash took it in the neck on both systems. – alphaxion

I don’t think there is a single best. None will catch everything, so you need to use your brain. But a combination of apps can catch most things. – Tanath

Sorry, Tanath, but for the average user that’s simply not true. – Alex Scoble CISSP

I use Avast. – Molly, the Vampy Vampire

I just surf the net with a machine that has no consequence, so I can nuke it and start over anytime. – Brian Norwood

cool – Loic Le Meur

vigilance, obscurity, anonymity + good ole Mac 😉 – ~C4Chaos

of course, if you want the ultimate in security, run a virtual machine with undo disks enabled. finished browsing? hit the x and ditch any changes 🙂 – alphaxion

Mac OSX – Gerard van Schip

I guess maybe it’s time to rethink my OSX makes me safe plan of action. – dee Harvey

What do you use? Are you happy with it? Have you ever been the victim of a Malware infection?

What AntiVirus Do You Use?

Do you use an AntiVirus program? If so, what one do you run? You do realize that that may not always be enough to keep you completely protected, right? Your best bet is layers of protection. I came across the above video, and used it to ask others what they use to keep their computers safe.

At work: Norton AntiVirus 2008, at home: AVG Free – Haggis (Sean)

My Mac 😉 – Andru Edwards

Mac. Plus my Windows-on-VMware i just reuse a clean snapshot. – Glenn Batuyong

I’m on PC. I’m not using any. Was using NOD32, but opted to not renew. – Jason Shultz

Avast! The Pirate Approved Antivirus Tool! – Stephen Pierzchala

ClamAv on 1, Avast on another but usually I don’t run any antivirus – tsudohnimh

At home: AVG Free and Microsoft Defender – Alex Scoble CISSP

Nod32 on both rigs… – Live4Soccer

OS X – Brian roy

OS X. – Paul W. Swansen

Avira Antivir – Nicholas Kreidberg

Avira Antivirus, free for personal use and IMHO the best low-resource and good detection AV going. – cmiper

Currently trying NOD32 on XP Pro x64 – Jaemi Kehoe

Avast! – Molly, the Muse

None! I use a Mac with OS 10.5.5 all updated just today with the big 136MB Java iteration. Nothing installs without my password. – Siddharth Deb

Not using antivirus — haven’t had one in years. I’m just savvy enough not to open weird email attachments or IM links – JungleG

AVG on the laptop; Avira on the PC – Jasmin Smith

OS X. Never had one virus. – Brad Waller

Avast! – Rah(sheen)™

Brad, that you know of. – Alex Scoble CISSP

+1 Alex. And the thing of it is that AV alone isn’t enough. *shrug* Video was interesting but I’m definitely not in their target audience. – Jennifer Leggio

I am a big fan of trend micro’s products – Peter Ghosh

Symantec Corporate Edition /IBM laptop – work system – Susan Beebe

AVG works well for me. – Jason Huebel

AVG works very good for me – Joshua Smith

AVG for me as well. – Alex Vernon

ESET SmartSecurity – ChangeForge | Ken Stewart

Im just running with Windows Defender and good web viewing habits – Chacha

The reason why I use Avast! is because it’s audible and tells you when it’s updated and it warns you with a noise if you get a virus. – Molly, the Muse

So… what do you use? Are your files and data well-protected? Do you back them up regularly?