Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Friday, November 30, 2007

Searchland Security Advisory High

If you haven’t gotten around to updating your anti-virus software and/or installed the newest Windows update patches the time is now! In the last few weeks our users have reported 3 times the normal number of malware attempts.

One new approach is to bomb search engines with malware sites. Google and others have been cleaning up their results as quickly as possible but it’s an ongoing battle.

HEADS UP: More Google poising on the way? SunbeltBLOG

Malware Advisory

If you think the search engines are in the business of filtering out the bad guys you would be wrong. Even some paid advertising was recently found to send folks to malware sites. They do their best to keep you safe but that’s not really their responsibility.

The bottom line is you need to take steps to stay safe. Here are just a few timely tips.

  • Update Windows
    One of the most common entries into your system is a well known vulnerability you’ll see referred to the IFRAME exploit. Microsoft has corrected this problem and as long as you’ve installed all the Windows Update patches you’re better off.

  • Don’t download that CODEC
    A popular trick to get users to download files is to make you think it’s required. It doesn’t have to be a video of a naked Brittney. It could be a video of a cute kitty but if it says, you must install this codec before viewing the video, STOP.

  • Your computer is not a “potential Spyware operation”.
    Don’t fall for a pop up that says your computer is infected. Even if this is true any web page that detects this without you asking is a scam. You’ll end up with is Rogue Anti-Spyware software which will exhort a payment from you before giving you control of your own computer. If you want security software go with a known company.

  • Disconnect your computer at night. (New)
    Turning off your computer at night has long been debated within the computer industry and I won’t get into it now. I will advise at the least, disconnect your computer from the Internet when not in use. Even if you think your computer is clean you could may infected and your computer could act as a “bot”. You’re also at risk to be infected by some vulnerability like MSBlaster that hasn’t been made public yet. If everyone got in the habit of turning off the internet when not in use it couldn’t hurt.

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