Friday, June 6, 2014

McAfee Anti-virus

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't spend money on anti-virus programs. I will stick with the Microsoft free products for now.

I received the e-mail below yesterday from McAfee. I received it because I am using McAfee on my new Dell laptop. The machine came with a free one year subscription. Knowing full well that McAfee has an excellent product I decided to stay with it for the year to gain some experience with their product.

I am very impressed. It is quiet, non-invasive of my activity, and seems to do the job one might pay for if one were so inclined.

More on this in the future if warranted.

  Guess how many new threats
McAfee blocked from your
Dell PC in the last month?
  McAfee discovers and blocks
3,889 new threats every hour.*
Cutting-Edge Security,
Designed for Your Dell.
McAfee’s exclusive Active Protection technology finds and blocks new
threats (thousands discovered hourly*) in less than a second
PC cleaning to safely remove junk files for better computer performance
and health.
Better performance. Faster scans and updates keep your PC running
at full speed.
Powerful email protection to help keep your inbox free from spam and
phishing scams.
Exclusive Online Offer.
Extend your protection now and save $20!
Offer expires in two weeks.
Renew now!
McAfee Award Winning Protection
“McAfee offers a very complete security solution for
both the experienced and the less experienced user.”
SHiFT Magazine, 12/2011
“McAfee is user friendly and the interface is also very
nice... A most pleasant surprise – outstanding!”
Computer Hoy Magazine, 11/2011
Buy with Confidence   |   30-Day Money Back Guarantee   |   30-Day Free Support
Product: McAfee LiveSafe
Protection good until: 12/02/2014
Please note: Some users may be required to reinstall after purchase to take advantage of new product features.

*Source: McAfee Labs

Tested product: McAfee Total Protection 2012

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time to update HOSTS file

MVPS HOSTS File Update June-04-2014

The MVPS HOSTS file was recently updated [June-04-2014]
Download: (132 kb)
How To: Download and Extract the HOSTS file
HOSTS File - Frequently Asked Questions
Note: the "text" version makes a great resource for determining possible unwanted connections ... (501 kb)
Get notified when the MVPS HOSTS file is updated

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Secret Global Strike Kills 2 Malicious Web Viruses

Wow, this is amazing! To me the most amazing part of all of this is the realization that there are so many very smart, no brilliant, people in this world. This is a NY Times story.

"WASHINGTON — Federal agents over the weekend secretly seized control of two computer networks that hackers used to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. In doing so, the Justice Department disrupted the circulation of two of the world’s most pernicious viruses and turned a 30-year-old Russian computer hacker into a most-wanted fugitive.

The strike, coordinated with the European authorities, was aimed at malware called GameOver Zeus, which is known to steal bank information and send it to overseas hackers, and CryptoLocker, which burrows into computers and encrypts personal data. The hackers then demand a ransom to unlock the files.

“By the time the victims learned that their computers had been infected, it was far too late,” Leslie R. Caldwell, the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, said Monday.

Together, the Justice Department estimates, the two malicious programs have infected between 500,000 and a million computers and cost people more than $100 million in direct and indirect losses.

Authorities had been investigating the two viruses separately, but along the way, they realized that GameOver Zeus was the main vehicle by which CryptoLocker was spread, the Justice Department said.

They also determined that the operations were run by the same man, whom the Justice Department identified as Evgeniy M. Bogachev, of Anapa, Russia. Investigators were hunting for him even before they knew his name. Inside the F.B.I., he has long been one of the government’s most sought-after individual cybercriminals, through his screen name, Lucky12345.

While both pieces of software are distributed through spam emails, they accomplish different things, each highly damaging.

Once inside a computer, GameOver Zeus quietly tracks each keystroke. When the software detects someone logging into a bank account, it records the password. Armed with that information, hackers log in and drain the account. Often they stole more than $1 million from businesses, prosecutors said, with at least one theft exceeding $6 million.

CryptoLocker spreads through emails that look like they are from legitimate businesses, including fake tracking notices from FedEx and U.P.S. Once inside a network, such as a company’s computer system, the virus can spread from one computer to the next. As it spreads, the software locks up computer files behind unbreakable encryption, then demands hundreds of dollars in exchange for the code that unlocks it.

Investigators say many people and organizations, including the police department in Swansea, Mass., have paid to recover their files. Those who refused saw their files permanently erased. Such so-called ransomware is a growing security threat.

Investigators have targeted large malicious software networks, known as botnets, before. In 2011, the F.B.I. hijacked a command-and-control server that ran the similarly harmful Coreflood network. It then sent a shutdown command to every infected computer, effectively killing the virus in one stroke.

This weekend’s takedown, which was months in the making, was far more difficult. While CryptoLocker used a command-and-control server, GameOver Zeus did not. Instead, it relied on a decentralized structure, and it did not have a simple shutdown command."