Tag Archive for anti-virus

It’s Flu Season….for computers, too!

I’ve mentioned it lately, but I’m keeping busy chasing smarter viruses. Now I’ve seen “repeaters,” meaning the anti-malware/virus software did it’s job, but something in the background was watching over the process and did the ET “Phone home” thing, and in one case, within seconds, the malware was coming right back up as being detected. End result? I took a long look at the history in Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and then went chasing the indications on the net. The thing that caught my eye was a infection/hijacking of an add-in to FireFox, the main browser they used.

Response: Control panel>Uninstall FireFox. Then I went to the (windows Vista settings) user/application data> local and roaming directories and deleted the FieFox folders completely. Then downloading and installing a new copy of FireFox solved the problem. That was three days ago, and I’ve not been called back for subsequent fixes.

I have been chasing the Windows XP Anti-Virus 2012 and Firewall malware for about a week now, in a home with three computers, that don’t share data, but the malware seems to get taken off, then shows up on one of the other (or both) computer(s). a day later. The computers are all being used for separate uses, so common websites/files aren’t a condition. Best guess I can come to right now is the Internet Explorer * is compromised on one of the systems, since we can scan with several products, block with firewalls, and at some point, it’s either hammering to get in with great rapidity, or it reappears on the screen. Today I had them shift that computer to FireFox as the default browser and it’s been quiet on the phone since this morning. Haven’t gotten an email or call, so I suspect that’s the case. In a few days, barring a reinfection, I’ll have to figure out how to uninstall IE 8 and put it back in again.

Between all of these, I can’t figure a common thread of how it’s happening, but the result is not so good for the users. I have a suspicion one of the flash game websites, frequented by one user may be injecting scripts, but that’s still just speculation right now.

Be careful out there! Make sure any links you click are really good ones…..that will be the topic of another full featured post soon: How to validate links.

Random Bits From the Digital Trenches

Technology is creeping ahead…quickly. iPads are making it off the shelves in massive numbers, and…yes, there is a security issue. Interesting, isn’t it: The more connected we become, the more we are “exposing” our information. And, as the old saying goes, you can make mistakes with computers so much faster and many more times!

The “bad guys” are hard at work. About 6 months ago, people called me with “scareware” viruses and I could eradicate them in under an hour. Since then, a new wave has appeared, and they not only have a propensity to fake where they are installed, they also now find the more common anti-spyware database files on your systems and remove the identification data, so you can scan your system and they are not recognized. Net result: The “infection” hangs on longer and takes more effort to find and eradicate them. Are you practicing “safe computing?” If you don’t have anti-virus and anti-spyware and a firewall besides the one that comes with Windows, shame on you! By having those installed, you have a much better chance of not having to call me in to get you back to work, and writing me a check.

Smartphones. Geez….the iPhone 4 is very, very cool. That, along with the many others hitting the market, both in the Android and Windows based ones, cell phone band width will become an issue. We consumers will be amazed that “unlimited” plans really aren’t. In defense of the carriers, it takes money and technical expertise and time to keep the “backbones” upgraded for us to use. Think of it as road construction, and it’s going to be a massive rush hour. Just as we see our digitally connected worlds expanding exponentially, there will be the just one more customer that sends your connection speed down the tubes. It’s a problem of aggregation, not that one users.

Next issue: Apple really upped the ante with the “retina” display technology. Think you have a nice screen now? Think again. We have been living on display surfaces, both in the cathode ray tube and now the LCD/LED era, at resolutions of no greater than 75 dots per inch (dpi), at best…usually 72 dpi.

drool over this: 326 dpi! Math: 326/75 = 4.3X improvement in picture clarity. It used to be, I “thinned” out pictures for web use to 100 dpi, because above that, you couldn’t tell the difference, and it also less data to transfer, so the pictures on a web page loaded much faster. Now 400 dpi wil have to be the default standard for high quality on the net. That also means more data flying about, clogging the pipes. In actuality, it will be a while before we really have to worry about this, as only the really big corporations, and “bleeding edge” early adopters will have such displays, but maybe 5-8 years down the road, this resolution will become an accepted common standard. My prediction, not connected to anything I’ve read…yet.

WordPress is no longer just blogging software. It’s now a true “Content Management System” (CMS). I’ll be revamping the site one day, to take advantage of this functionality, but It will be a planned, staged retooling, as I see potential for dropping all the blog posts into thin air, if the right steps aren’t taken. I have a “sandbox” out there in the net, just so I can see what steps to take, in what order. Part of my self-educating process, so I can do it for clients.

Windows 7 is still doing well. I like it more and more. I still haven’t migrated my trusty workhorse, the laptop, but that is another staged, well planned event, so as not to come up saying “Hey! Where did ________________ file go?” Sort of like the locker room scene in “Top Gun,” where the “best of the best” discussed their first day of practice air combat maneuvers (ACM). That part of the locker room scene isn’t on YouTube…

There are a few notes from my world, to give you some insight into yours!