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Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

Rogue Security Program Infections; At a Glance!

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More and more everyday I am see and hear about people becoming infected with Rogue security Software virus.

Rogue security software is a form of computer malware that deceives or misleads users into paying for the fake or simulated removal of malware. Rogue security software, in recent years, has become a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing. – Wiki

Right now the most common form of infection they are using is web page hi-jacking and “trap” websites that are created to “host” the virus (why using Firefox is so important).

So what people end up encountering is a web page that has been hacked, hi-jacked, infected or exploited that is unknowingly “hosting” this virus and ends up spreading the infection to whom ever visits the website. In doing this, their trap has been set and the infections begin! This form of infection is commonly refered to as a “Drive-by Download“.

After the computer becomes infected, users start to see and encounter “security warning” icons in their task bar (lower right of the desktop), pop-ups warning of an infection and fake animated virus scans indicating your computer is infected as the virus itself tries to build its credibility. In  most cases the virus can even infect the Windows Security Center making it even harder for users to identify whether the software is real or not. However the goal being achieved out all of this is for the virus creators to make money. So they are hoping that the users of the computers that become infected, and fooled by the “song and dance” the virus puts on, and buy their infectious and fake security software.

So I wanted this to be a little heads up and explanation for everybody about this subject since it is the most common repair I encounter to date.

Be Aware, Stay Informed and Scan Often!

~Jon Pienkowski, Pacific NorthWest Computers


Written by pacificnwcomputers

January 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Posted in Security, Web

PNWC’s Favorite FireFox Plugin’s

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Here at Pacific NorthWest Computers’ we love Firefox.
Not just because it’s smart, cute and bubbly (in fact until 3.5.1 we were shying away; Chrome) Anyway, what we LOVE about Firefox is all of the add-ons there are for it! Media players, download status tool bars, shake-a-baby… Uhh… how did that get in there!?
Back to the main topic!
What we wanted to do is share our favorite, most recommended & most used Firefox Plug-in’s! So please, I hope they are all seriously considered by many and all readers! Enjoy!

  1. BetterPrivacy; Ever wondered why you are still tracked though you tried everything to prevent it? BetterPrivacy is a Super Cookie Safeguard which protects from usually not deletable LSO’s. It blocks longterm tracking on Google, YouTube Ebay and many others…

  2. Colorful Tabs; The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface.
  3. Cooliris; Simply the fastest and most stunning way to browse photos and videos from the Web or your desktop. Effortlessly scroll an infinite “3D Wall” of your content from Facebook, Google Images, YouTube, Flickr…
  4. Firebug; Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page…
  5. FireFTP; A free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.
  6. Flagfox; Displays a country flag depicting the location of the current website’s server and provides quick access to detailed location and webserver information.
  7. Lazarus: Form Recovery; Never lose anything you type into a web form again! Lazarus securely auto-saves all forms as you type, so after a crash, server timeout, or whatever, you can go back to the form, right click, “recover form”, and breath a sigh of relief.
  8. Long URL Please; Replaces short urls with the originals so you can see where links actually link to.

  9. NoScript; The best security you can get in a web browser! Allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.
  10. Read it Later; Read It Later allows you to save pages of interest to read later. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest.
  11. WOT; Web of Trust, warns you about risky websites that try to scam visitors, deliver malware or send spam. Protect your computer against online threats by using WOT as your front-line layer of protection when browsing or searching in unfamiliar territory.

  12. Xmarks; Install Xmarks on all your computers to keep your bookmarks and (optionally) passwords backed up and synchronized; never loose a bookmark again!
  13. SortPlaces; Allows you to sort your bookmarks in various ways; no more scattered Firefox bookmarks! The Bookmarks Organiser within Firefox does have some sort options, but these are not permanent.
  14. Omnibar; I love how with Google Chrome, the location/address bar is also the search bar. So what Omnibar does is it integrates the location bar and search bar into one! It will show search and url suggestions and can quickly switch search engine using search keywords!

Written by pacificnwcomputers

September 16, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Posted in Security, Web

Securing Your Web Browser

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Securing Your Web Browser

By the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team or US-CERT

Browser security and browser vulnerabilities are big risks to users and are topics that I soap box about all the time to customers about just because it’s the most attacked vector of the user’s computer (other than email).

PNW Computers found a fantastic article explaining the importance of securing and using a safe web browser as well as goes over many details of why your browser needs to be secure and how it is exploited!

The article was written by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team and is the best and most thorough explanation I have ever come across! This is an excellent, definite MUST read article!

Written by pacificnwcomputers

September 16, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Posted in Security