Month: December 2009

Conficker Worm of 2009

Conficker worm first appeared at the end of 2008, but it was in 2009 that the Conficker worm caused the most problems with users worldwide. The worm affected anything in its path, like a Godzilla of worms. It had no prejudice of who its next victim would be. It crippled small and medium size business, putting them in a security frenzy of sorts. The worm is still active today, even as we close out 2009. W32/Conficker comes in several ingredients or in industry terms (variants) and is a network propagating worm that has the ability to update itself by downloads from the Internet. These downloads are from a subset of servers chosen by the worm from a very large set of generated potential download servers. The worm’s most significant menace is how it exploits a vulnerability in Windows Server Service. This vulnerability allows the worm to trigger a download of itself to the remote computer without the user’s knowledge. The worm also spreads to Windows shares in a network and to/from removable drives and USB sticks also known as thumb drives. The former makes it difficult to get rid of in a network, while the latter has resulted in several infections in high-profile organizations, which normally would have had quite adequate security systems in place. The Conficker worms have advanced systems to protect themselves from being disabled by well...

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How to Remove AntiToolbar

AntiToolbar is a misleading application! This fake application can be downloaded from the publisher’s site and must be manually installed. When a user downloads AntiToolbar and runs a scan, it displays a large number of fake results about infections on the system. In order to remove the fake infections, the user is required to buy a licensed version of the application. Type: Misleading Application Name: AntiToolbar Version: 0.0.0.0 Publisher: http://www.antitoolbar.com Risk Impact: Medium Systems Affected: Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 Behavior: AntiToolbar is a misleading application that may give exaggerated reports of threats on the computer. How to Remove AntiToolbar The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines. Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP). Update the virus definitions. Run a full system scan. Delete any values added to the registry. For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions. If you do not have Norton Antivirus, you can download a free copy of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware to remove this software. You can also try this new Fake Antivirus Removal...

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reCaptcha Not Fool Proof

reCaptcha is a technology to stop auto bots from creating email and forum accounts in an attempt to post and send spam. There are tools that use OCR, or optical character recognition techniques and other methods to break reCAPTCHA, a widely used security measure acquired by Google in September. There are a couple of free tools that are capable of breaking captcha, though, I will not mention them here. These tools are not 100% accurate, but are automated in such a way that they work hands free to create email and forum accounts for spammers to use at a later time. Google has denied that the current version of its reCAPTCHA captcha service contains vulnerabilities which make it easier for spammers to guess displayed words using automated scripts. Jonathan Wilkins, the author of the analysis report, has taken a closer look at the new captchas. The main difference is the lack of the horizontal separator line used in the old captchas. Users now find the words easier to read – but so do machines. “The new version of the puzzle is weaker”, Wilkins told The H’s associates at heise Security. In his tests, Wilkins managed to increase the success rate of conventional text recognition nearly tenfold over the previous version (from 5 out of 200 to 23 out of 100). The only way for webmasters to stop auto bots...

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How to Configure a Comcast DVR for 1080i

You just opened up your new HDTV and you are ready to hook it up. After you connect all your cables and power up your new TV, you will need to configure your Comcast DVR. Most Comcast DVR’s are defaulted to 480i resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio. If your TV is rated at 720p or 1080p, you will need to change the setting on your DVR. How to set up your Comcast DVR Power off your DVR using your remote. Press the cable button on the top of the remote and then press the power button. The DVR display will go black. Once the DVR is powered off, locate and press the MENU button. You should see a User Settings screen on your TV in about 2 to 3 seconds. If it doesn’t work, you may have to repeat this step. On the User Settings screen, look for the aspect ratio setting (it’s the first choice). It will be listed at either 16:9 or 4:3 (Most Comcast DVR’s are defaulted at 4:3). If you have an HDTV you will want to choose 16:9. Look for the HDMI setting. Here you will set the resolution setting that your TV is rated at. The choices are; 480i, 720p and 1080i. If your TV is rated at 1080p, you will want to select 1080i. Under the HDMI setting you will also be...

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Best of Tech Support Humor 2009

I searched the internet to find some of the funniest tech support calls posted this year and found these gems. I hope you will find them as funny as I did. IT Support: Men vs Women Credit: http://www.thetechlunch.com/?p=4066 ================================================== Tech support: Click on the ‘my computer’ icon on to the left of the screen. Customer: Your left or my left? ================================================== Tech support: Your password is the small letter “a” as in apple, a capital letter V as n Victor, the number 7. Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters? ================================================== Customer: can’t get on the Internet. Tech support: Are you sure you used the right password? Customer: Yes, I’m sure. I saw my colleague do it. Tech support: Can you tell me what the password was? Customer: Five stars. Credit: http://www.funnymos.com/funny-tech-support-calls.html ================================================== Caller: “Can you tell me how to control my mouse?” Agent: “Place your hand over the mouse and put your thumb on one side with your index finger on the left button, your middle finger on the right button. Then move the mouse around.” Caller: “It keeps slipping and the pointer on my screen just flies around. Agent: Do you have it on a slick surface?” Caller: “No, but I have its dust cover on. Should I take that off?” Agent: “Yes, I believe the ‘dust cover’ is the plastic bag it was shipped in.” ==================================================...

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