Posts Tagged virus

BitDefender: Free virus scanning

Version 10 of Bitdefenders Free version is out and available to download for Windows. While an on-demand and not an on-access scanner, there are other ‘better’ versions in the Free range (like Grisofts AVG), BitDefender appears to have a slightly better scanning engine and definition database, so it could be used as a secondary step when scanning files from known dubious sources.

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Microsoft admits scanning your computer?

According to a post by PC Pro UK, Microsoft admits to scanning system files of Microsoft Windows users during Software Updates.

The article is specifically about the botnet infection rise, but Microsoft apparently discloses that the way they can gather these stats is by scanning the files of users computers looking for specific infections before applying updates and fixes.

While I am a fan of server based updates and mass security patches to tackle the surge of malicious software, being a staunch privacy advocate I believe Microsoft should acknowledge exactly what they do during this procedure and even offer users the choice to just receive mandated patches rather than a full remote scan.

Personal privacy is now beginning to fall back into the hands of users who are forced to look for third-party solutions to keep their private data out of reach from the OS provider. Regardless of what fancy tools Microsoft will integrate into its OS’ to help a user manage and store data, if we don’t know exactly what Microsoft looks at remotely we must use additional tools such as remote file storage and encryption utilities to keep our data for our eyes only.

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A trojan that will cost you all your money

The Mail Online reported an outbreak of a trojan called Zeus V3 that specifically targets a certain banks online facilities and waits for infected users to log in when it copies their credentials. The thieves then proceed to empty the accounts.

According to Wikipedia a trojan is:

A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is malware that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install but instead facilitates unauthorized access of the user’s computer system. “It is a harmful piece of software that looks legitimate. Users are typically tricked into loading and executing it on their systems”, as Cisco describes.[1] The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology.

So the user must install some infected piece of software on their computer for this to work.

To protect yourself from these types of threats:

  • Only use online banking that requires a secondary method of authentication (typically a token or random number generator) not a username and password alone
  • Only log into your bank account on your personal computer or computers where you control any software installations
  • Stay away from cracked software. Not only is it illegal, but it could be hiding some malware you might regret later
  • Use anti-virus software to check anything you download and install on your computer
  • Keep your operating system (OS) fully updated with the latest security updates from the OS provider
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India now biggest producer of computer diseases

Symantec has published its research findings and reveals India is now the largest exporter of viruses. Security watchdog blogged the warning last week with the news that the UK has dropped down in the list.

Russia follows in number 2 while the US still leads as the worlds largest exporter of spam.

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