Archive for the ‘Viruses’ Category

Virus protection moves to the cloud with Immunet.

While I may run a Mac as my primary computer, I still deal with Windows machines on a daily basis. Because of that, I can never become complacent or comfortable with simply not caring about viruses. Doing so and still spending a considerable amount of time inside of the Windows environment can only end badly for not only me, but those who communicate with me as well. As we all know, much like human viruses, computer viruses can spread just as well, often taking out countless more users in the process. Taking care of these digital diseases over the years has been mainly done with desktop software. The several years however, the digital landscape has changed considerably, with many services that were once considered “desktop only” now moving to the cloud. Highlighting what I said above, how has virus protection done in the migration from local hard disk to blazing fast SSD in a server farm far far away?

Immunet is one such cloud-based virus protection “program” that is a godsend to those with little local space for large programs, don’t want the resource murdering traits of a full blown virus solution, or simply want to try something new. To start, Immunet is 100% free. That right there usually perks up a few ears. But soon thereafter, many quickly lose interest as many desktop virus programs that happen to be free never quite live up to their more expensive brethren. After using Immunet for several weeks, I can honestly say that it is better than the “free” bullet point would lead to. So how exactly did Immunet get started?

The first feature — the cloud — isn’t really new anymore. All it refers to is that something resides on a server, somewhere, far away from your computer. The second “crowd sourcing” feature is actually worth more attention as it is a really cool feature to brag about. The implementation is pretty easy to grasp — whenever an Immunet user encounters a virus, their machine sends the info and scan logs to the Immunet central servers where it is then cataloged and instantly passed on to all other users, giving them protection against that very same virus.

The benefits can quickly be seen. Now instead of having a virus start in a few select areas and spread across unprotected areas because “normal” virus software can only be updated so much, Immunet with it’s cloud based and effectively real-time crowd sourced database means you’ll never be “behind the curve”. If you want a simple image to go by, think of this: Immunet’s business model is effectively an upside down pyramid. Normal virus software downloads MB’s upon MB’s of data to your computer in the form of virus definitions. Immunet on the other hand stores everything on the server and then compares your machine against their virus database and viola!

Overall, using the service is fast and easy. It may not have the numerous windows, panes, tabs, and deep options of some of the more expensive desktop virus software, but for a simple solution (what more do you really need than to scan for viruses?), Immunet is one worth taking a hard look.

Because it’s an extremely light install ~4MB, lightening quick, and barely dips into your local machine’s resources, I have no choice but to recommend Immunet to the millions of net connected computer users out there. It is one tool that your computer shouldn’t be without. Coupled with a desktop virus software package, Immunet’s abilities and usefulness are only magnified. Hey, you can’t ever be too safe, can you?


Immunet

Energizer USB Duo charger refills batteries with juice, PC’s with Trojans.

Somehow I don’t think this is exactly what Energizer had in mind…

Users of Energizer’s USB DUO Battery Charger are going to want to sever all connections to their computers ASAP. According to the US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team), USB DUO installs a silent yet rather nasty trojan virus that effectively turns your PC into a bot, allowing outsiders access to your PC and digital belongings, and ultimately, gives them total control.

Woried users should pay close attention to a file named “Arucer.dll” using port 7777 as that is the main culprit. The first step is to completely remove the Energizer program, which will effectively cut off the automatically updating trojan. But if I were you, I’d go the extra mile and toss the “Acrucer.dll” out the window too. You can find it in the windows32 folder. You can’t ever be too careful.

Let’s hope next time Energizer is a bit more meticulate in coding and releasing software that is free from viruses, eh?

Slashdot > Computer World

Vodafone and Verizon customers beware. Email virus with your name on it.

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Vodafone and Verizon Wireless users have a new threat to watch out for in their inbox. A new virus claiming to be from either Vodafone or Verizon comes with a subject of “Your credit balance is over the limit”. The danger comes by way of an attached virus that the email details as an “balance checker”. Whatever you do, do not open it or run the attached program. Doing so invites in a nasty little Trojan with name of “Regrun” that hosts a nasty program flagged as “Mal/Zbot-P”.

It’s extremely important to know that the above Trojan is associated with a reported $100 million+ dollars that has already been stolen from victims’ accounts. With that said, the intentions of this Trojan are to gather login information to banking and other financial based sites. Avoiding emails that contain the message as detailed above is your best bet. Anyone get bitten yet? If so, how hard was it to get rid of? Share the details below.

Zedomax > Geek With A Laptop

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Windows 7 to be a little more choosey with auto-run/flash drives

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**The box bordered in red will no longer be an option on most flash drives after Window 7′s latest security update**

Microsoft announced today a move to make it harder for viruses such as Conficker to piggy back on Windows’ auto-run feature when a flash drive is inserted.  Instead of the flash drive having access to auto-run features as soon as the drive is inserted, users will have to manually launch programs contained on the storage device.  However, Microsoft cautioned that DVD’s and CD’s will still have access to auto-run option upon insertion.  So, users of certain “specialty” drives such as those powered by the U3 GUI, which is treated and loaded as a CD/DVD, should take extra precaution when using their flash drives in conjunction with auto-run.  According to Microsoft, the update that will disable auto-run for most flash drives is set to appear in the next release candidate of Windows 7 slated for a public May 5th release.  Legacy XP and Vista users need not worry as you will also be getting the security update via some form or another.  Once the update hits, I suggest everyone download it as soon as possible so malware such as Conficker has yet another hurdle to clear all while making Windows users everywhere a tad bit safer.

Source: Cnet

Windows 7 in danger of “Unfixable Exploit” [Gasps!]

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For all of the updated and extra security Microsoft is touting for Windows 7, this latest revelation doesn’t bode well for consumer confidence for Microsoft’s latest up and coming operating system.  A malicious program with such prowess and finesse must have some size behind it rigth?  Wrong!  The program responsible for attaching itself to 7 weighs in at a measly 3KB and goes b the name of “VBootki 2.0″.  According to Network World, researches have determined that your handy virus software will have a pretty tough time catching this tiny parasite, as it will attach itself to system memory during the boot up process - a time when virus scanners aren’t exactly at their strongest.  After said install, any Cybercriminal will then have complete access to do whatever he wants pretty much.  If you’re shakin’ in your boots, don’t.  VBootkit can’t be installed remotely meaning you’ll have to at least be in the same physical region as the hacker.  Whew!  That’s a relief.

 

Source: Gizmodo, Network World, Electronista, Engadget

Conficker = April Fools Joke?

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So how is your April fools day going?  Is your PC still running?  More than likely that answer is a resounding “Yes!”.  The Conficker worm that has been all the talk the last several months and more so the last couple weeks leading up to the April 1st deadline of when the little worm would step up its “phone home” tactics.  While there has been “increased communication” between Conficker infected computers and some outside source, the internet is still functioning, computers still humming along, and the world is more or less just peachy…

Digital Doomsday coming April 1st?

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*Updated April 1st…apparently I spelled “Conficker” CoRnficker”…ugh…just caught it*

If you can remember all the way back into the depths of your mind to a time called Y2K, you will know how much a computer generated apocalyptic event can cause mass pandemonium. Y2K while costing many individuals large sums of money as they stockpiled food and supplied for a digital end times awoke to live as normal on January 1st 2000 to much relief, (and some anger as they squandered so much money for nothing). It seems as if the world is in for another digital apocalypse as a new bread of internet threat has been quickly and viciously making its way around the interent. If you haven’t heard, there is a pretty nasty worm floating around the interwebs that goes by the name of “Conficker” or downadup. At first you may ask yourself what is a Conficker or how did they get that name? Come inside and get better acquainted with the new “digital doomsday”.

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Pwn2Own can’t quite claim the mobile market…yet.

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Mobile users can breathe a heavy sigh of relief as their beloved mobile devices are safe for another year.  The Pwn2Own competition put on by CanSecWest in Vancouver, British Columbia, draws hackers from far and wide that come together to find, exploit, and aid developers and manufacturers in patching security holes, were unable to break into any of the mobile devices entered (according to Tipping Point) even though they had a field day with browsers just a few short days ago.  The mobile OS’s that were represented this year include: iPhone, Blackberry OS, Symbian, Android, and Windows Mobile.  All of the mobile OS’s held their ground and rebuked hackers’ attempts to gain access.  The hackers however claim that “next year they will come better prepared”.  So for now we can go on with our merry lives not knowing what dangers lurk.  Until next year folks, use your mobiles happily…though with a cautious eye.

Source: Crackberry

Uh-Oh: Huge Windows virus spreading like wildfire.

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If you are one of the majority of computer users who use Windows, put down your drink and read carefully.  A virus known as the “Conficker Virus” is a massive security threat to Windows XP, Vista, and even Windows 7!  Said virus is easily spread if it is on an infected USB memory stick/flash drive.  When you plug in the stick/drive, Windows runs an “auto-play” feature that searches for programs on that particular drive.  The virus then hijacks the process disguising itself as a folder that can be opened.  Once clicked on, the virus installs itself and then the bad stuff starts. +Continue Reading