Saturday, March 25, 2006

FBI Virus Making The Rounds.

The Federal Bureau of Information is warning that a newvirus is being sent to unsuspecting Internet users in anemail which claims to be from the FBI. The vius is known asthe Sober K Worm.

The email, with an return address, tells therecipient that they have been observed accessing illegalweb sites. The recipient is then asked to open an attachedquestionaire regarding their Internet Usage. When therecipient clicks on the attachment, a virus is loaded ontheir system.

An example of the email bearing the Sober K Worm follows:Subject : You_visit_illegal_websites
Dear Sir/Madam, we have logged your IP-address on more than30 illegal Websites.

Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.
Yours faithfully,
Frederick Thompson*** Federal Bureau of Investigation -FBI- *** 935
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 3220 *** Washington, DC 20535***
phone: (202) 324-3000

It is not yet known what effect the virus has on a user'scomputer.

"Recipients of this or similar solicitations should knowthat the FBI does not engage in the practice of sendingunsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner," the FBIsaid in a statement.

Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigations was forcedto shut down their email system due to a securityvulnerability. It's not yet known if the sober k virus isrelated to the earlier problems.

The virus sender is counting on the panic induced by theemail to persuade the recipient to open the attachment. Theironic thing is that this virus plays upon people'swillingness to obey an authority figure, while the virus,itself, is an "in your face" affront to the most powerfullaw enforcement agency in the world.

Some variants of this virus purport to be sent from theCentral Intelligence Agency of the United States Government

.Email users may guard themselves against this virus by:
1. NEVER open an attachment in an unsolicited email, evenif it appears to have been sent by an authotative source.
2. Be extremely cautious about opening attachments frompeople you know. Many viruses use email spoofing to make itappear that the email was sent by a trusted source. If indoubt, call the sender via telephone, and ask if they sentyou an attachment.
3. Disable auto-viewing/opening of attachments in youremail client software if possible.
4. Keep your anti-virus definition software updated.

John Pierce is the webmaster of andthe Customer Service Manager for Gold Zero Web Hosting -

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

How Safe Are You Online?

How Safe Are You Online?By: Tony Hetherington

What do the following five online activities have in common?
1. I download and swap music files
2. I visit chat rooms
3. I play online games
4. I buy and sell on eBay
5. I’m researching my family tree
They are not only five of the most common activities that people do online they are also potentially the most dangerous as they expose you to the real risks posed by scam artists, stalkers and worse that look for new victims each and every day.
Are you truly aware of the hidden dangers that lurk online waiting to strike at the unwary? I’m prepared to wager that you’re not. It’s far more likely that you’ll be as blissfully unaware as everyone else perhaps with that mix of ignorance and arrogance that “nothing can happen to you” that makes you an ideal victim!
Perhaps you also think that online security is a bit of an urban myth that has been blown out of all proportion by the media and companies selling security software. Unfortunately, there is a world of stalkers, scam artists and even terrorists working to their own agenda and that agenda includes you or your family.
Luckily, there’s something you can do about it right now – but first let’s look at what really lurks behind these seemingly innocent activities.
1. I download and swap music files
If you’re caught in the culture of the internet that is a grey area at the best of times and you think that “everything online should be free” and that there’s “nothing wrong with peer-to-peer networks” you face some real dangers and not from record companies looking for royalties!
As soon as you step into such a grey area you put yourself more at risk then normal because the scammers and fraudsters know that you can’t really complain without revealing your own illegal behaviour. The same is true of cons linked to dubious websites as they know you’re vulnerable.
The nature of such networks is equally worrying as they permit anyone to connect to your computer with the aim of swapping a music or video file. If you look at it as the equivalent of leaving your front door open to the person delivering a pirated DVD and you should become more alarmed.
The truth is that many people often get more then they bargained for as viruses and spyware can also be included with that new track.
These can cause you untold problems with the worst being one’s that you only find out about when it’s too late. It’s only when the letters start arriving from the bank that you discover that a trojan or spyware has copied everything you’ve typed, including your user name and passwords to every account you’ve accessed and sent them unseen to the hacker who is busy stealing your identity and running up huge debts in your name.
2. I visit chat rooms
You face several dangers when you enter public chat rooms. Not everyone will be who they seem to be and some have extremely distasteful agendas such as recruiting people to their cause, propaganda and stalkers.
Stalkers are not the figment of the imagination of an over zealous media they do exist and target the vulnerable online. They hide behind several identities that they have carefully crafted to select and test their victims. These are not only children that they are grooming for abuse but also adults that are threatened, conned, blackmailed and manipulated into handing over financial information.
If that wasn’t enough there are also representatives from what most would consider to be sick sites in chat rooms and on forums recruiting more to their cause. These include political groups of both extremes, religious groups including fronts for terrorism and well deviants such as “pro-ana” sites that teach young impressionable girls that “being thin is more important that being healthy”!
3. I play online games
Playing games online may seem a harmless activity but it’s that impression that can put you at risk as you will be off your guard. Game downloads can contain spyware, especially those to unlock pirate copies and stalkers inhabit gaming chat rooms.
4. I buy and sell on eBay
There are the obvious problems of eBay where trust in a buyer or seller can sadly be misplaced including a recent case when a gang stole huge amounts of money from thousands of bidders by demanding payment in cash or electronic cash transfer and then sent nothing in return.
You are also open to many more dangers. You will receive false or “phishing” emails claiming to be both from eBay and Paypal suggesting that if you don’t check your details immediately your account will be frozen. If you fall for this con that is carried out on an industrial scale you could not only give away your account details but also your credit card number as well.
5. I’m researching my family tree
Carrying out research in your family tree can make you incredibly open about personal information. Details such as your mother’s maiden name and previous schools are common and invaluable to an identity fraudster looking to open or access an account in your name.
What can you do about it?
There are two things that you should do today to protect yourself, your family and your computer.
1) Go to or and take the free test to fully evaluate how clued up or clueless you are about online security. You can either download it as a free ebook and then email it to your friends or you can do a version online via a link at the top of the page. It is vital that you open your eyes and see the true dangers that you face each and every time you are online.
2) Do something about it. Naturally, I’d suggest my ebook Scams, Stalkers and Online Security that uses 14 real life case studies to highlight the problems and then provide step-by-step practical solutions that everyone can follow. If you decide to buy that or find your own solution then please ensure that you and your family are safe online. Doing nothing is not an option.
About The Author
Tony Hetherington has been a writer and Editor in the computer industry for over 20 years. His ebook, Scams, Stalkers and Online Security is available right now for immediate download as an ebook from a number of sites including, and and costs just $7.95 (approx £4.44). Isn’t the safety and security of you and your family worth that much?

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Latest Virus.

I read in a local daily that on every 3rd day of the month, a virus is said to spread causing damage to your pc.
Can anyone of you report an incident that affected you?