Watch out for fake virus alerts

Watch out for fake virus alerts

Rogue security software, also known as “scareware,” is software that appears to be beneficial from a security perspective but provides limited or no security, generates erroneous or misleading alerts, or attempts to lure users into participating in fraudulent transactions.

How does rogue security software get on my computer?

Rogue security software designers create legitimate looking pop-up windows that advertise security update software. These windows might appear on your screen while you surf the web.

The “updates” or “alerts” in the pop-up windows call for you to take some sort of action, such as clicking to install the software, accept recommended updates, or remove unwanted viruses or spyware. When you click, the rogue security software downloads to your computer.

Rogue security software might also appear in the list of search results when you are searching for trustworthy antispyware software, so it is important to protect your computer.

What does rogue security software do?

Rogue security software might report a virus, even though your computer is actually clean. The software might also fail to report viruses when your computer is infected. Inversely, sometimes, when you download rogue security software, it will install a virus or other malicious software on your computer so that the software has something to detect.

Some rogue security software might also:

Lure you into a fraudulent transaction (for example, upgrading to a non-existent paid version of a program).

Use social engineering to steal your personal information.

Install malware that can go undetected as it steals your data.

Launch pop-up windows with false or misleading alerts.

Slow your computer or corrupt files.

Disable Windows updates or disable updates to legitimate antivirus software.

Prevent you from visiting antivirus vendor websites.

Rogue security software might also attempt to spoof the Microsoft security update process. Here’s an example of rogue security software that’s disguised as a Microsoft alert but that doesn’t come from Microsoft.

Example of a warning from a rogue security program known as AntivirusXP

Example of a warning from a rogue security program known as AntivirusXP.

For more information about this threat, including analysis, prevention and recovery, see the Trojan:Win32/Antivirusxp entry in the Microsoft Malware Protection Center encyclopedia.

To help protect yourself from rogue security software:

Install a firewall and keep it turned on.

Use automatic updating to keep your operating system and software up to date.

Install antivirus and antispyware software and keep it updated. Windows 8 includes antivirus protection that’s turned on by default. If your computer isn’t running Windows 8, download Microsoft Security Essentials for free.

Use caution when you click links in email or on social networking websites.

Use a standard user account instead of an administrator account.

Familiarize yourself with common phishing scams.

If you think you might have rogue security software on your computer:

Scan your computer. Use your antivirus software or do a free scan with the Microsoft Safety Scanner. The safety scanner checks for and removes viruses, eliminates junk on your hard drive, and improves your PC’s performance.

Get help from a Microsoft partner. If you have trouble removing the software yourself, you can enter your zip code to find experts in your area.

Check your accounts. If you think you might have entered sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or passwords into a pop-up window or at a rogue security software site, you should monitor your associated accounts. For additional information, see Email and web scams: How to help protect yourself.

If you suspect that your computer is infected with rogue security software that is currently not detected with Microsoft security solutions, you can submit samples using the Microsoft Malware Protection Center submission form.


Hackers Crave Patches for Windows XP

Hackers now crave patches, and Microsoft’s giving them just what they want
At least one of next Tuesday’s updates looks like an excellent candidate to hackers as they sniff for bugs in the now-retired Windows XP
By Gregg Keizer
May 11, 2014 08:31 AM ET
Computerworld – Hackers will have at least one, perhaps as many as four, patches next week to investigate as they search for unfixed flaws in Windows XP, the 13-year-old operating system that Microsoft retired from support April 8.
“Come Tuesday, Microsoft will be patching some vulnerabilities in Windows, and it is realistic to assume that at least one of these will also affect Windows XP,” said Kasper Lindgaard, director of research and security at Secunia, in an email Friday. “Generally speaking, newly discovered vulnerabilities in XP will be unpatchable for private users, and therefore we will see a rise in attacks.”
On May 13, Microsoft’s regularly-scheduled monthly Patch Tuesday, the Redmond, Wash. company will issue eight security updates for its software. But because it has stopped providing updates to owners of Windows XP PCs, those customers will not see any of the eight.
Hackers looking for vulnerabilities in Windows XP will be using the patches to find vulnerabilities in XP, Microsoft and security experts have said. By conducting before- and after-patch code comparisons, attackers may be able to figure out where a vulnerability lies in Windows 7 — which will be patched — then sniff around the same part of XP’s code until they discover the bug there. From that point, it will be relatively straight forward for them to craft an exploit and use it against unprotected XP PCs.

“Patches to the other Windows operating systems will be reverse engineered by hackers, seeking to discover which vulnerabilities were fixed by Microsoft, and if applicable, modified to work against Windows XP,” Lindgaard said.
He’s not the only one who believes hackers will leverage updates to find unpatched bugs in XP. So does Microsoft.
“After April [2014], when we release monthly security updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will try and reverse engineer them to identify any vulnerabilities that also exist in Windows XP,” said Dustin Childs, director of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group, last October. “If they succeed, attackers will have the capability to develop exploit code to take advantage of them.”
Four of the eight scheduled security updates that Microsoft plans to ship next week look like candidates for hackers because they will affect all client versions of Windows, including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Before Microsoft stopped pushing patches to XP, it was rare for an update to fix one or more newer editions of Windows, but not patch XP at the same time.
One of the four will impact all instances of IE, so there’s a very high chance that that update would have patched the pertinent editions of the browser — IE6, IE7 and IE8 — on Windows XP if Microsoft had continued updating the old OS. The upcoming fix for IE was rated “critical,” Microsoft’s highest threat warning, and was also tagged with the phrase “remote code execution” in last week’s advance notification, meaning that if successfully exploited, attackers could hijack the PC and plant malware on its drive.
Two of the remaining three updates also strongly hint at XP vulnerabilities, albeit less threatening ones, since they will apply not only to the newer client editions, like Windows 7 and 8, but also to the still-supported Windows Server 2003, which has a considerable amount of code in common with XP.
The only good news, said Secunia last week, was that Windows XP’s retirement triggered a sharp decline in its share of U.S. PC operating systems. In the three weeks after April 8, XP’s share dropped nearly 17%, said the Danish security company.
The decline of one percentage point each week took Windows XP from an 18% share before retirement to 15% for the week April 23-29. The three-point drop represented one-sixth, or 16.7%, of the original 18% share.
Secunia measured operating system share by tallying the machines that accessed its patch management tools, including the free Personal Software Inspector (PSI), a utility that identifies out-of-date Windows applications and add-ons, then delivers security updates.
Other measurements of Windows XP, including a global estimate by Net Applications earlier this month, pegged Windows XP’s presence considerably higher, mostly because huge numbers of Chinese computers still run the OS. Net Applications reported that XP powered about 26% of all desktop and notebook personal computers in April.
StatCounter, an Irish analytics company, said that XP’s share in the U.S. averaged 13% last month, a drop from 15% the month prior.
Secunia’s numbers imply that the demise of patch support for Windows XP has prompted a significant portion of American die-hards to finally discard the operating system, presumably replacing it with Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, or in some instances, with a Mac or another type of computing device, such as a tablet.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg’s RSS feed . His email address is
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Source Computer world

10 Steps How to take care of your Laptop


Keep liquids away from your laptop. As tempting as it might be to drink coffee, soda, water or any other liquid near your laptop, accidents can happen all too easily. Alternatively, use a cup with a cover on it, so even if it does spill, the liquid doesn’t go anywhere. Spilled liquids may damage the internal microelectronic components or cause electrical damage. Short circuits can corrupt data or even permanently destroy some parts of the laptop. The solution is very simple: Keep your drinks away from your computer. Even if you are careful, someone else might spill your drink.

  1. 2

    Having antivirus software available is the best defence against a virus. Even if you know what you download, it could still contain a virus. If you choose not to have antivirus software you run the risk of a circuit error or software problem in your system. The virus may also slow down the system operations and performance.

  2. 3

    Keep food away from your laptop. Don’t eat over your laptop, the crumbs can fall between the keys and provide an invitation to small bugs or damage the circuitry. Worse yet, the laptop will look dirty if there are crumbs on it

  3. 4

    Always have clean hands when using your laptop. Clean hands make it easier to use your laptop touchpad and there will be less risk of leaving dirt and other stains on the computer. In addition, if you clean your hands before you use the laptop, you will reduce wear and tear on the coating caused by contact with sweat and small particles that can act upon the laptop’s exterior.

  4. 5

    Protect the LCD display monitor. When you shut your laptop, make sure there are no small items, such as a pencil or small ear-phones, on the keyboard. These can damage the display screen if the laptop is shut on them; the screen will scratch if the item is rough. Close the lid gently and holding it in the middle. Closing the lid using only one side causes pressure on that hinge, and over time can cause it to bend and snap.

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    Hold and lift the computer by its base, not by its LCD display (the screen). If you lift it by the screen alone, you could damage the display or the hinges attaching the display to the base. The display is also easily scratched or damaged by direct pressure – avoid placing pressure on it.

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    Don’t pull on the power cord. Tugging your power cord out from the power socket rather than putting directly on the plug can cause the cord to break off from the plug or damage the power socket. Also, if the power cord is near your feet, avoid kicking it accidentally; in fact, it is best to refrain from bumping into the plug at all because you could loosen it and eventually break it.

  7. 8

    Don’t roll your chair over the computer cord. Stick the cord onto your desk with tape or a special computer cord tie which can easily be undone when you’ve finished using the laptop. Always try to keep the cord away from the floor and your legs.

  8. 9

    Be sure to plug accessory devices into their proper slots. Always look at the symbols on the laptop carefully before inserting devices. Jamming a phone line into an Ethernet port or vice versa could damage the sockets, making it impossible to use them again. It is very important to observe this step.

  9. 10

    Handle any removable drives with care. CD drives that have been removed from your laptop could easily be crushed or dropped; do not be careless. If you are not putting them back into the laptop, put them straight into a storage box or case for safe keeping

  10. Source  WikiHow










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