With due reference to, extract taken from:
“Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses”
By Andy Walker
“No prior experience necessary!”
“When you’re done with this book, you’ll want to dance until you wear out your pants. And in fact I encourage it often in these pages. Then you’ll want to go help your grandma because you’ll know that if you’re at risk, she’s in deep grandma trouble with her computer. Then I you want to tell your neighbors and help them. And become the guy or gal everyone goes to for help on home computer security. And here’s the kicker: You don’t even have to be a geek. Nope, you can continue to dress fashionably; eat good, wholesome food; and hold eye contact with handsome men and pretty women in elevators. Geeks are actually cool. But you don’t have to become one to learn about personal computer security.”
“One of the most famous macro viruses is called Melissa, purportedly named after an exotic dancer the virus writer was rather taken with. The virus became famous because of the speed at which it spread. Within three days of its release, Melissa (the virus, not the woman) had infected 100,000 computers.
Melissa spread by arriving as an email with an infected word document attached with the message “Here’s the document you asked for…don’t show it to anyone else ;->.” When it was opened the virus code executed and sent an email to the first 50 entries in a victim’s Outlook email address book.”
“Caution: You can look in your Windows Registry by clicking Start, Run, typing regedit, and clicking OK. This opens a registry editor. I’ll warn you now: Do not mess with it unless you know exactly what you are doing. This cautionary tip is brought to you by the slogan, “Look, but don’t touch.”
“Still, I like how Jack Sebbag, a vice president at the antivirus software company McAfee, characterizes virus writers: “They’re 14 year old kids who can’t get a date, but have incredible talent and are looking for a challenge to bring (millions of) computers down just to get a little notoriety.”
“Some viruses modify the Windows HOSTS file, normally found in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC”
“The HOSTS file should contain only one other line: localhost Any other lines of text can be removed. After editing it, save the file and close it.”
“Sometimes adware is already a legitimate part of a free program. Software publishers often bundle adware in with free programs they offer, using it as a revenue source. Many warn you of the adware during installation in the End User Licence Agreement, also referred to as an EULA. (That term always makes me think of a slightly portly aunt that you hate to kiss but who makes good cupcakes.)
“In a computer, the EULA is that scrollable box of soporific text (which probably earned some lawyer a Jacuzzi) that we all have to agree to before we can install a software package.”
“To thwart any potential legal action, computer security companies sometimes call these products potentially unwanted programs ir PUPs. Security company McAfee – famous for its antivirus software – coined the term.”
“Employers might install software to keep an eye on employee computer habits to ensure they’re not spending too much time on ineedanewboyfriend.com”
“Many browser hijacker programs set Internet Explorer home pages to open to the website http://www.coolwebsearch.com”
“Some anti-spyware programs classify these cookies as spyware.They can be because they do not deliver information about your web surfing habits to someone else. But they are not all bad. In fact, some computer cookies are helpful.
Although it might seem objectionable to have your movements tracked on your own computer, it’s not as insidious as you might think. Web programmers that code their sites to put cookies on your computer are the only entities that know the cookies are there. And they are the only ones that can access the information. But cookies should be the least of your worries. Be more concerned about spilling guacamole on the cat.”
“If you visit, let’s say, http://www.drunklazyhusbands.com, and it gives you a cookie to store on your computer, http://www.annoyedwiveslookingfortheirhusbands.com won’t know about that cookie.”
“And in case you were wondering, if you visit keebler.com or oreo.com, you do get sent cookies, but sadly, not the delicious kind.”
“In an interview on SafeMode.org one hacker – who used the nickname xentric – explained why he hacks:
‘It’s just that feeling when you finally get something done. You put lots of effort into some hacks and I feel a rush of excitement whenever I succeed in doing something. What is the incentive that keeps (me) doing it? Curiosity…’ “
“Under the current IP address scheme, called IPv4, there’s only 4,294,967,296 possible addresses in the world (although not all of those addresses are available for reasons that only bona fide, card-carrying geeks care about. Experts predict that those addresses could all be used sometime before 2020 unless our uber-geek friends come to the rescue. However, under a new plan called IPv6 there are 340 undecillion addresses, whish is a really, really big number. According to Wikipedia.org, that’s 670 quadrillion IP addresses per square inch of Earth.”
“Wardriving is a modification of the term wardialling, a technique used by hackers to repeatedly dial phone numbers to look for computers they can potentially break into. The term was introduced in the 1983 movie War Games. In it, Matthew Broderick’s teenage character programmed his computer to dial phone numbers sequentially seeking other computers.”
“That said, here’s how to peak at the networks near you:
1. First, you need a Wi-Fi enabled computer. Most laptops are Wi-Fi enabled today, so if yours is fairly new, you probably already have the capability.
2. You might need to turn Wi-Fi on with a switch.
3. Look for a little icon that looks like a screen with radio waves transmitting on either side of it. You’ll find this in your system tray at the bottom right of your WindowsP screen.
4. Double-clikc on the icon and the Wireless Network Connection Status Box appears.”
“One of the most potentially embarrassing functions of a web browser is what’s called AutoComplete. The embarrassing situation occurs when someone merrily types in a search engine looking to buy hardware. When they begin to type nails and hammers, a drop-down box with naughty naked people appears. Oops. Now they know what you were searching for on your day off.”
Recommended products:
· Microsoft Antispywawre
· Spybot Search & Destroy
· Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition
Sites of interest in this regard:
· http://www.quepublishing.com
· http://www.cyberwalker.com
· http://www.f-secure.com/virus-info/hoax
· http://windowsupate.microsoft.com
· http://www.spectorsoft.com
· http://www.microsoft.com/spyware
· http://www.safer-networking.net
· http://www.lavasoft.de
· http://www.bestpatrol.com
· http://www.webroot.com
· http://www.sunbeltsofware.com
· http://www.merijn.org
· http://www.processlibrary.com
· http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/tutorial42.html
· http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/hijacked
· http://www.greyknight17.com/spy/hjt.htm
· http://www.SafeMode.org
· http://www.zonelabs.com
· http://www.sygate.com
· http://www.zonealarm.com
· http://www.dlink.com
· http://www.netgear.com
· http://www.linksys.com
· http://www.belkin.com
· http://www.smc.com
· http://www.apple.com
· http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft
· http://www.antiphishing.org
· http://secunia.com/internet_explorer_address_bar_spoofing_test
· http://axuisnews.com/scampost
· http://www.cloudmark.com
· http://www.mozilla.org
· http://www.netcraft.com
· http://www.cyberwalker.com
· http://www.corestreet.com/spoofstick
· http://www.equifax.com
· http://www.experian.com
· http://www.transunion.com
· http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/online/edcams/credit/ycr_free_reports.htm
· http://www.tuc.ca
· http://www.experian.co.uk
· http://www.callcredit.co.uk
· http://www.equifax.co.uk
· http://www.baycorpadvantage.com
· http://www.dnb.com.au
· http://www.tascol.com.au
· http://www.ag.gov.au
· http://c-command.com/spamsieve
· http://www.snapfiles.com/Freeware/comm/fwspam.html
· http://www.cloudmark.com
· http://www.netcraft.com
· http://office.microsoft.com
· http://www.avast.com
· http://free.grisoft.com
· http://www.free-av.com
· http://www.symantec.com
· http://www.mcafee.com
· http://www.nod32.com
· http://www.kaspersky.com
· http://www.lavasoft.de
· http://www.microsoft.com/spyware
· http://www.mcafee.com
· http://www.webroot.com
· http://www.symantec.com
· http://www.pestpatrol.com
· http://www.pctools.com
· http://www.zonelabs.com
· http://www.cloudmark.com
· http://www.spamarrest.com