PC Antispyware 2010

This product is a scam. It’s made to look like a real antivirus or antispyware program but all it does is ask you for money. It’s not a legitimate program, it doesn’t stop spyware, viruses or do anything useful.

It’s called PC Antispyware 2010, a name that sounds a bit serious (and misleading). The screen looks pretty fancy, maybe people trust things that look nice or shiny – don’t be fooled by it.

Antispyware 2010

If you see the screen above then don’t click on the download link, don’t install it. You can see a larger screenshot by clicking here. Only use antivirus products from known and trusted vendors.

Where Does Spam Come From?

The technology spammers use is always changing. A report released by MessageLabs in June 2009 shows that 83% of spam is currently being sent from botnets. Now let’s explain what a botnet is.

There are people out there who hack into people’s home PCs (the PCs of ordinary people like you and me). They usually write a virus to do this, or pay someone to write the virus. Then when they’ve hacked into a home PC, they add it to a list.

After a few days they can get about 500,000 home computers on their list (yes, they work very fast). So once the hacker has hundreds of thousands of computers on their list, he writes a program that can control them all at once.

Now keep in mind that most home users won’t know their PC has been hacked. Everything still looks normal.

The hacker then sells this list of PCs to a spammer. The technical word for this list of controlled PCs is called a botnet.

A spammer buys this list of hacked computers and the program that controls them all at once. He uses also buys an email list from someone else (a list with millions of people’s email addresses). He presses a button, and all of the home PCs he’s controlling start sending out spam.

Again, home users don’t know their PC is now being used to send out spam. They might notice their internet go a little slower but most people don’t have the technical skill to work out why. It just gets ignored.

The spammer then sits back, relaxes after doing his 5 minutes of work. If anyone gets caught for sending spam it’ll be the home user, not him. The home user is ignorant of what’s going on. The hacker made his money and will do it again. And the cycle repeats again after a few days.

botnet percentageSo how much spam are we talking about?

The largest botnet in operation in June 2009 is sending 74 million spam emails a day, all of this from people’s home computers. That’s a lot of spam.


What can you do?

Don’t let your own computer become part of a botnet. Use a good antivirus product, scan for malware, and fix up any problems.

Can USB Drives Carry Malware?

USB drive USB Drives are so popular these days nobody thinks much about them anymore. They come in all sizes (up to 128GB these days) and don’t really cost that much. They’re cheap enough that some people give them away.

mp3 playerSo can they spread malware such as viruses? Yes, they certainly can. On many Windows computers, when you plug in a USB drive it does a quick search and it can run programs installed on them. Microsoft calls this a feature.

But malware authors (bad hackers) know all about this and they write malware that runs as soon as the device is plugged into a computer. You won’t know it’s happened, malware can install itself quietly in the background without getting in the way of your work.

So what do you do about it?

  • Be cautious about what you plug into your computer
  • Have a good anti-virus package installed that can scan these devices for you
  • You can disable a feature in Windows that automatically runs programs on these USB drives
  • In an office environment a good system administrator can lock down this feature across the entire network

What else can plug into your USB port and carry malware?

  • USB Flash drives (also called flash drives, pen drives, thumb drives or USB sticks)
  • Digital cameras
  • MP3 players (including iPods)
  • Mobile phones (cell phones)

camera And if you’re thinking how can malware get onto a camera, I’ve seen it myself. A friend took their camera to the local shop to print some photos, then lent me the camera so I could help them with something, I detected a virus that installed itself on it from the shop.Yes, it really happens. Take care with USB devices.

Outlook Setup Notification

This email tries to trick you into running a virus attached to the email. Why would anyone do this? Well, the email is vague and it sounds like it’s a serious and technical matter.

If you receive any of the emails shown below, delete them:

Subject: Outlook Setup Notificataion

You have (1) message from Microsoft Outlook

Please re-configure your Microsoft Outlook again.

Download attached setup file and install.


Subject: TheBat Setup Notification

You have (98) message from Outlook Express.

Please re-configure your Outlook Express again.

Download attached setup file and install.

Fake Bank of America Digital Certificate

A spam email pretending to be sent from the Bank of America tells readers they need to install a digital certificate. What it really does is install malware.

Not only does it install malware, it also asks you for your user ID and password.

Here are some tips to help you avoid this sort of scam:

  • When you use any online banking service, look for the padlock icon in your browser. Then click on it, it needs to say your bank’s name, it’s full web address, and shouldn’t show any errors.
  • If you receive an email from your bank, don’t click on any links. Instead, open a new web browser and type in your bank’s web address. This way you can’t be tricked into clicking the wrong link.
  • Always be wary when you receive unsolicited emails. More often than not they’re scams.
  • Use a good antivirus product

New Facebook Trojan

There’s a new Facebook Trojan – it shows up as a message from a friend asking you to click on a link.

If you click, it runs a trojan on your computer that uses your Facebook account to send the same message to all your contacts.

The message has a few variations, such as the ones below:

Veryy veryy funnny videoo of you..;)


Donn’t cryy! Yoour mom wiill nnever see thhis moviee.HA-HA-HA!!


Check out my video: http…etc…


AA-ha-ha, i saw yourr a__ in the internnet! lol My a__ has not been on the internet. My hubby won a nipp


Yoou’ve bbeen fiilmed! Haven’’t you notiiced?Is this whatIra is talking about?


If you see these in Facebook don’t click on it. And tell the person who sent it that their PC might be infected with malware.

Malware Doctor Is Fake

There is another fake anti-virus product called Malware Doctor. It pretends to scan your PC then tries to trick you into paying them money.

When Malware Doctor first starts up it pretends to scan your PC for viruses and other malware. Then it tells you it found a few things that shouldn’t be there.

It then says that you’re using an unregistered version of Malware Doctor and that you need to pay for the full version to remove the malware.

It’s a scam, if you see Malware Doctor on your PC you need to take action to clean your PC.

How does Malware Doctor appear on your PC?

There are viruses that spend their life downloading malware (viruses, trojans, etc) and installing them on your PC. So if you have Malware Doctor on your PC it means you have more malware that keeps installing it. A big problem.

How do you get rid of it?

There’s a procedure here. If this is too technical for you then you’ll need to get your PC serviced.

Always have a good anti-virus product on your PC that prevents all this malware from installing in the first place. It’s easier to prevent malware than it is to fix.