Fake security warnings are on the rise

Well, it’s that time again. What time you ask? The time for more mal-ware, crap-ware, spy-ware, trojans et al.

In the last 3 weeks we have received more calls per day than we receive in a normal month from people who have pop-ups claiming they are infected or who actually clicked on the pop-up and became infected.

Hacker and @#^&*%$ heads are using news events to spread these fake alerts and infecting computers.

The wild fire stories, the Obama speech in schools, Ted (I can kill and get away with it) Kennedys death, all have sprouted a flurry of fake security warnings, infected e-mail (Phishing attacks), and fake web sites.

Without creating a 3 hour seminar, here are the basics…

1. Quit searching the internet for “fantastic” stories. Within hours of Michael Jackson’s death 212 new web sites that were infected with crap-ware popped up proposing to be Michael Jackson sites. There were also dozens of different emails with links to or pictures of his death, all which were fake.

2. Stop using My Space and Face Book! I know this is going to get me flamed and maybe even a note from one of these “businesses” but they are @$@#$ (I really do dislike using so many language referenced but this is ridiculous). Why are you telling strangers when and where you are going on vacation? To make it easier to rob you? Why are you telling the world about your 4 year old grandchild’s ability to ride his bike down the street? So the local pedophiles know where to pick him up for a little “play time”? Do you just like complaining about the cost of getting crap-ware and infections off your computer?

3. Just stop thinking the world owes you free anything. Free music, programs, data, cheese… in this age of ever expanding socialism in America, you must remember, nothing comes without a price. Limewire is a perfect example of what happens. Hackers get into or create all this “free” content management, take over your computer, infect your computer and more. That is how terrorist in Iran got plans to the presidential helicopter. Turn on the radio or go to your local radio stations web site, go to the local video store or Netflix to get a movie.

4. Stop forwarding junk emails. “Verified by Snopes” – what a crock. Almost daily I “reply all” to the sender of this type of stupidity and give actual links to Snopes and other  sources showing the hype and falsity of their fantasy. Just because you don’t like the current US President does not mean you can hope hatred or that he is not a US citizen will remove him from office. The Democratic Party may be the dumocrats to many but they certainly would not make that mistake, just quit forwarding the email.

If you received it in all capitals or with large colorful letters, underlines bolded et al please for the love of Jesus (I know the one who sent it to you told them Jesus asked them to forward it – He didn’t, I double-checked in person this morning) stop forwarding this junk.

5. Read what you are installing or updating and NEVER accept the defaults. People consistently ask me how they acquired 4, 5, 6 or more toolbars. Yes, you need the Adobe and JAVA updates but please pay attention, you should take the extra 30 seconds of your life and read each screen before selecting “Next”.

Now that I have offended most of you, what can you do if you have already been infected?

1. Update and run your PAID FOR, quality, properly configured anti-virus program (Kaspersky http://www.kaspersky.com and ESET http://www.eset.com).

2. Install, update, configure and run a real copy of Malware Bytes http://www.malwarebytes.org/ and Spybot Search and Destroy http://www.safer-networking.org

The above are excellent programs and many malicious people have created fake sites leading to crap-ware, USE the links I have provided.

There are numerous other good to excellent programs that can be used to clean up an infection, just be sure of the program and then the source where you are getting the program from.

There are several other security basics home users should have and many great hardware and software tools for Micro and Small businesses to use. Just search this site for the many articles on security your computers and network.

Until I cool off, have a virus free week!

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