Tag Archive | "virus"

Sources for Computer Virus News Alerts

If your concerned about security and need to know the latest information about possible virus and malware threats, then take a quick look at the following list.  The data from these sites is updated regularly and can help you keep ahead of an outbreak or attack.

McAfee Virus Information

See the latest virus information on McAfee’s virus alert page. Use the dropdown to select among malware, hoaxes, jokes, or view all.  You can also sign up for email alerts too.


Symantec/Norton’s Threat Explorer

Get a breakdown of vulnerabilities, threats, and risks at Symantec’s Threat Explorer.  Plus see what popular “applications” are currently vulnerable to attacks so you can get them patched.


Trend Micro’s Threat Encyclopedia

See the latest that Trend Micro has identified as a threat at the Threat Encyclopedia.


SophosLabs Blog

Read what the industry experts at Sophos have to say about what’s going on with recent threats at the SophosLabs Blog.  Subscribe to their RSS feed and signup for email notifications too.


Microsoft Security Bulletins

Only for those running Windows – get the latest on Microsoft vulnerabilities at their Security Bulletin Search page.  Don’t forget to signup for automatic security notifications.


Security Focus

The Security Focus Vulnerabilities page allows you to search for vulnerabilities by vendor. Get even more granular by drilling down into titles and software versions. Get your Security Focus newsletters too.


Computer Associates – Vulnerability Information Center

Find newly discovered vulnerabilities and alerts from the Vulnerability Information Center at CA. From there branch off to virus and spyware news.


I’m sure there are a few more reputable sources for this kind of information. Please post your favorites in the comments.

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How To Do A Free Online Virus Scan

Use Free Tools Provided by Anti-virus Companies

Do you think your computer might have been compromised? No anti-virus, no problem. You can do an online virus, spyware, and malware scan using some free tools on the web.

Housecall – Mac, PC and Linux

housecall online virus scanner

Housecall from Trend Micro will do an online scan of your computer. Tell you what it found and makes recommendations for keeping your info private, like removing cookies and temporary Internet files. Housecall is also capable of spyware and malware detection and removal.

Kapersky Online Scanner – PC and Linux

kapersky online virus scanner

Kapersky’s scanner also scans for malware and spyware. Seems to be a bit slow as it needs to download about 52MB virus definition files before it actually starts the scan.

BitDefender Online Scanner – PC only and must use Internet Explorer


Bitdefender also detects spyware and malware on your computer.

All of the above do not prevent viruses, spyware, or malware from infecting your computer. They are tools used to detect and clean an infected machine.

Recommend running a full scan from different anti-virus companies just to be safe. Instead of buying a product, this online solution fits well.

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AVG Anti-virus Kills Critical Windows XP User32.dll File

AVG anti-virus recently released an update to their virus definitions file which incorrectly detected a critical Windows file as being a Trojan horse program.

Both AVG 7.5 and 8.0 (free versions and pay versions) incorrectly identified “user32.dll” as being a malicious Trojan program called PSW.Banker4.APSA (according to their forum post).


AVG Forum Post

Depending on the configuration settings chosen for AVG, the detection could result in the removal of user32.dll and the inability to reboot the PC.  User32.dll is a critical file which allows for API calls to the Windows Graphical User Interface.  If the file is missing during  boot, the computer will Blue Screen.

We get the following from Computer World’s report:avg

AVG released a follow-up signature update to correct the problem, but that solution only worked if the user had not turned off his PC, or rebooted it, after installing the buggy update and then deleting user32.dll.

AVG’s support website has some details on how to recover user32.dll in their support section.

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Obama Virus

Hackers and phishers are taking advantage of your need for election news by using President-elect Barack Obama’s name to get you to click on links and run programs that will infect your machine with malware.

The latest deception involves sending email with a link to President-elect Obama’s victory speech.  The link will take you to a website that requires you to  install the Adobe Flash plug-in.  Not true.  The plug-in is really a Trojan horse that installs malware on the machine. obama_biden_logo

Here is an excerpt of the the email that has been going around:

From: “President election results”
Subject: A new president, a new congress …
Barack Obama Elected 44th President of United States

Barack Obama, unknown to most Americans just four years ago, will become the 44th president and the first African-American president of the United States.
Watch His amazing speech by clicking here

What does it do?

The Trojan’s main purpose is to steal passwords.  It runs in the background and looks for passwords, and can act as a keystroke logger.


You can remove the Trojan if you have your anti-virus software up to date.  In fact, if you do, your anti-virus will most likely stop you from getting infected, as it will identify the program as being a Trojan and prevent installation.  Don’t take any chances though.  Simply delete emails from sources you don’t know that ask you to click on links.

More Reading

McAfee Info

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UPS Virus

A Computer Virus Warning
Click here for the latest updates, including other variants of the zip file…
A computer virus has been circulating as an email attachment. The “From” address indicates that the email came from a UPS representative. The virus is a zip file attachment with the names of “ups_invoice.zip” or “ups_tracking.zip”, or some variance thereof. The email is usually found to have the title of “UPS Tracking Number xxxxx” and states that a package you sent was not able to be delivered and that you are required to print the attached invoice to collect the package at your nearest UPS office.

virus_image If you receive email that meets the above description, please delete it. Do not attempt to open the attachment or forward the email to anybody.  Simply opening the attachment will release the virus and infect your machine.

UPS has issued the following statement regarding the email.

Attention Virus Warning


We have become aware there is a fraudulent email being sent that says it is coming from UPS and leads the reader to believe that a UPS shipment could not be delivered. The reader is advised to open an attachment reportedly containing a waybill for the shipment to be picked up.

This e-mail attachment contains a virus. We recommend that you do not open the attachment, but delete the email immediately.

UPS may send official notification messages on occasion, but they rarely include attachments. If you receive a notification message that includes an attachment and are in doubt about its authenticity, please contact customerservice@ups.com.

Please note that UPS takes its customer relationships very seriously, but cannot take responsibility for the

unauthorized actions of third parties.

Once again, if you receive an email that meets the above criteria, please delete it. Do not attempt to open the attachment.

Even if you have just sent a package, and think the email could be relative to you, please go to the web site http://ups.com and check the status of your packages online.

Virus Removal

Both Symantec and McAfee have released new virus definitions which detect and remove the virus (per their web sites).

There are basically two steps to removal.

  • Stop/Suspend System Restore (WinXP)
  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  3. On the System Restore tab, check Turn off System Restore or Turn off System Restore on all drives.
  4. If you do not see the System Restore tab, you are not logged on to Windows as an Administrator.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. When you see the confirmation message, click Yes.
  7. Click OK.
  • Download your latest virus definition and run a full scan.

Here is the info from McAfee and Symantec

McAfee Info

Symantec Info


9/1/2011- A new variant has surfaced with the subject of the email being “Your package has arrived”. There is no attachment, but instead a link to view the shipping invoice which contains malware.

7/24 – A new variant of this virus/trojan has been reported.  The email subject status “Your parcel is in the customs office” and the attachment name is “Tax_Invoice.zip”.

7/29 – Another variant is also in the wild now taking on the form of an “Airline” Invoice or e-ticket.  The attachment has the name: E-ticket_xxx.zip.

Photo Credit Nils Geylen

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