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Malware Revolution: A Change in Target

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It used to be that most security problems facing computer users were caused by amateur hackers - the online equivalent of vandals - but the criminal fraternity now represent a bigger threat. I strongly recommend that even the least technically minded computer user, and all users regardless of platform who aren't IT security specialists, should read this Microsoft Technet article: www.microsoft.com/technet/community/columns/secmgmt/sm0307.mspx
John

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15 years 9 months ago #44311

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Malware Revolution: A Change in Target

The basic rule of thumb is, if you don't now what it is, then don't open it!

As opposed to the old rule of 'if you don't know who the sender is', as these Trojans can 'send' an e-mail from a trusted contact's address.
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15 years 9 months ago #44315

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Malware Revolution: A Change in Target

Updates released today from Microsoft are also of a critical nature - discovered flaws and vulnerabilities could allow remote users to infiltrate a users PC and be used to gain access to files, gather personal information, and maybe even become an ultrapeer. It is not quite related to John's article above, but no point doing a new thread. Most people will be getting the little yellow shield in their toolbar to update their version of Windows anyway.

If you do not see the update prompts, or know what to do, please see the following for help:

www.microsoft.com/athome/security/update/bulletins/200704.mspx

Seanie.

P.S. Bart, we know that Apple are better at OS's than Microsoft! ;)
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
15 years 9 months ago #44402

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Replied by voyager on topic Re: Malware Revolution: A Change in Target


P.S. Bart, we know that Apple are better at OS's than Microsoft! ;)


LOL

Just to set the record straight, Apple users are not immune to malware. Sure, there is very little out there now, and there will probably always be less, but less is not zero. I hate smug Linux/Mac users who live in this imaginary place where they are totally immune from cyber nastiness. YOU'RE NOT, NO ONE IS IMMUNE!!!!

The basic rules apple to Mac and Linux users too (and obviously doubly to windows users):

1) ALWAYS keep your OS up-to-date
2) ALWAYS keep ALL apps that in any way interact with the internet up to date (browsers, email clients, RSS readers, chat clients etc)
3) Use FireFox & Thunderbird over IE/Safari (yes, Safari is dangerous too because of Apple's insane policy of automatically opening downloaded 'safe' files) and Outlook.
4) NEVER open an attachement you weren't expecting REGARDLESS of file type. No type is safe NONE! There are been serious problems with 'safe' types like images and PDFs so be REALLY careful, suspect everything.
5) Avoid turning on JavaScript. This is becoming a major vector of attack. If you use FireFox use the NoScript extension and only approve trusted sites for using JS (has a wonderful side-effect of blocking lots of AJAX based ads)

This is a rule of thumb for all. It's part of my job to stay informed about current security threats. Not following this advice leaves you open to serious problems.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 9 months ago #44403

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Malware Revolution: A Change in Target

3) Use FireFox & Thunderbird over IE/Safari (yes, Safari is dangerous too because of Apple's insane policy of automatically opening downloaded 'safe' files) and Outlook.


I used to use Firefox alot but lately I have noticed that it crashes alot. So much so, that I've moved back to using IE all the time now. Any idea why Firefox might have gone so unstable??
15 years 9 months ago #44404

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Replied by voyager on topic Re: Malware Revolution: A Change in Target

3) Use FireFox & Thunderbird over IE/Safari (yes, Safari is dangerous too because of Apple's insane policy of automatically opening downloaded 'safe' files) and Outlook.


I used to use Firefox alot but lately I have noticed that it crashes alot. So much so, that I've moved back to using IE all the time now. Any idea why Firefox might have gone so unstable??


That's odd .... how uptodate is it? 2.0.0.3 is really stable for me on the Mac .... don't use Windows so I have no direct experience of 2.0.0.3 on Windows.

If you must use IE then here are some tips to keep you safe:
1) TURN OFF ACTIVE X .... that's the HUGE one ... letting sites run THEIR code on YOUR PC is a recipie for disaster.
2) Use Internet zones to turn off JS on all sites but trusted ones.

Hope that helps.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 9 months ago #44405

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Malware Revolution: A Change in Target

Never any probles with Firefox for me. Active-X should not be a problem. And don't turn it off! Windows Update needs Active-X to make sure your computer is scanned properly for updates.

Mike, it could be other 3rd party software you installed on the computer in that time since the problems with Firefox began. It happens, it's not rocket science. Just finding which programme is causing the conflict is the fun part. Try running updates on your most widely used software AND hardware, and back-track to when you think the installation of a particular piece of soft/hardware coincided with Firefox acting up.

Is that on your PC(s) or laptop by the way?
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
15 years 9 months ago #44407

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Replied by voyager on topic Re: Malware Revolution: A Change in Target

Never any probles with Firefox for me. Active-X should not be a problem. And don't turn it off! Windows Update needs Active-X to make sure your computer is scanned properly for updates.

Mike, it could be other 3rd party software you installed on the computer in that time since the problems with Firefox began. It happens, it's not rocket science. Just finding which programme is causing the conflict is the fun part. Try running updates on your most widely used software AND hardware, and back-track to when you think the installation of a particular piece of soft/hardware coincided with Firefox acting up.

Is that on your PC(s) or laptop by the way?


Active X should certainly be off for the un-trusted zone. Dangerous dangerous thing. Turns a whole ream of pretty harmless local exploits into remote exploits that can take total control of your machine just by you visiting a website.

As for possible conflicts, try un-installing your plugins and seeing if that helps. If that solves the problem re-install them one-by-one till you find the culprit.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 9 months ago #44408

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