Warning MS Scanner has detected infections!

I’ve been listening to Leo Laporte “The Tech Guy” and he has had two callers, almost in a row, that have been INFECTED with malware, then PAID the people that infected their computer for the privileged of making them think that the malware was removed.  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!

Look this is really simple.  DO NOT, ever click on the little box that pops up, or is displayed on your toolbar.  Just click on start, then select shutdown, or shutdown restart.  Do not take the chance on clicking NO, or even clicking on the [X] of the box.  Any of these can be set to act as a YES click, and install the malware on your system.

If you mistakenly click on the box and then you are prompted to PAY for software to fix your computer, DO NOT!  If you do you will not only continue to be infected, you will also be giving some very bad people your credit card number.

If you’ve already clicked on, AND paid for the solution cancel that credit card, back up your data.  Get your installation disk(s) then format and reinstall your operating system then reinstall all your programs, then data.

I recommend shutting down your computer as this removes the possibility of you accidentally clicking something that installs the malware.  There are other ways of doing this.  I personally just go into the task manager and kill the iexplorer.exe program.  That is assuming you are using IE as your browner.  Firefox, Chrome, etc… could also be correct.  Killing processes can cause problems so unless you are VERY sure of what you are doing the safest way is to shutdown, or restart your system, as this will kill all the processes as it shuts down, or restarts.

If you are using Windows XP, Vista, or 7 please make sure that you are getting the automatic updates from Microsoft, and make sure you are installing them if you have selected manual install.

If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask in the comments below.

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E-mail Attachments

This rule is pretty easy to remember.  Never NEVER open an attachment in an e-mail message that is from someone you do not know.

If you receive an e-mail from someone you do know with an attachment, be very careful.  Their computer may have been compromised and it is being used to cause you to trust the attachment and open it.  If you have any questions about the validity of the e-mail, or the attachment, ask the person that sent it.  Ask them IF they sent it.

I would recommend using another method of contacting them other than e-mail.  Twitter, Facebook, Text message on their phone, hell you might even want to pick up that communications device we “TALK” on and ask them that way.

The good thing about me getting SPAM in my e-mails, is I get to share it with you and show you what to watch out for.

I received this e-mail from the U.S. Postal service!  Oh no they couldn’t deliver my package!  I wasn’t expecting anything, oooh but what could it be.  Well maybe I can get some more information if I just open that ATTACHMENT.   STOP!!!!!!

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Spammers go to hell!

If you are like me you get lots of spam e-mail every day.  I’ve taken steps to filter the spam, actually just rejecting the e-mails when known IP address, e-mail, content my e-mail server just refuses to accept it.  I never see it.  Many of the free e-mail providers are doing this these days, and I’ve read that Google is one of the best at refusing the crap but letting through, well crap from your friends and family. :D

Still spam gets through.  After you’ve read that 1 millionth e-mail about enlarging that “special” part of the male anatomy, or get that part time job offer where you just have to be alive and you can make up to $95k a year!  Well it just gets very tiresome.  Recently a friends personal e-mail account was hacked and I started receiving e-mail from him (or so it seemed) that contained a link to a website selling pharmaceuticals.  Yeah VIAGRA.  The first spam message I received I e-mail him back and simply said MALWARE?

I received a response that I believe was from the spammer.  I left it alone and when I received a second strange e-mail with a link I went to my friends Facebook account and contacted him there.  He wasn’t aware that someone had hacked his account and was using it.  He resolved the problem.  Prior to contacting my friend I considered e-mailing the spammer and telling him/her/them (Borg collective?) to eat s*** and die!

Now I’m a seasoned I.T. professional and even I was tempted to respond to a spammer, so I thought you certainly would be.  I thought I’d warn you.  One of the ways scammers, spammers, and other unsavory people (like lawyers ;)) make money on the Internet is by selling GOOD WORKING e-mail addresses.  How do you know if an e-mail address is good?  Well one way is to add a e-mail address to a mailing list, and appear all legal and above board allowing you to UNSUBSCRIBE from the mailings.

When you UNSUBSCRIBE you are verifying that your e-mail address is a GOOD WORKING and more importantly belongs to a real live person, or in the scammers eyes SUCKER!

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Web Of Trust (WOT)

If you use the Internet browser Firefox, you may already be aware of WOT, Web Of Trust.  WOT show you a website reputation ratings based on real humans!  So anytime there is a link that you can click on you’ll see an icon telling you if the website is SAFE or not.  Some of you have probably clicked on the wrong thing and been shown that fake virus scan page.  You know the one they made to look like it’s a valid program running on your system, perhaps even a Microsoft program.

Well even though nothing can protect you 100% of the time, this will help.

Saunter over to WOT’s website and read all about their software.  Their software will install for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari.

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Check your FireFox plugins!

I noticed my PC (WinXP Pro) was acting up last night.  TweetDeck (a Adobe Flash based program and Twitter front end) wouldn’t start.  We’ll technically it would start but nothing would display on the screen.  Going into task manager I was able to see there was a “tweetdeck.exe” process.  I killed the two (i tried starting it twice), and then started trying to find out what it was that was zapping my system’s performance.

I received a plugin error so I suspected another Adobe Flash attack.  I did a Google search for “firefox plugin check”.  I was hoping for something that would display plugins and perhaps any scripts that were running, or at least loaded that I could hopefully delete.

What I found was this…  (click here to check your system…)

Basically this told me that my version of Flash was out of date and there were known vulnerabilities!

I installed the suggest version of Flash and my system performance returned, and GUESS WHAT?  Tweetdesk came up and ran correctly!  This was without a system reboot, just loading Flash!

Guys stay on top of these updates, especially if you are seeing slower than normal PC performance.

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