There is a hacked version of the popular VLC media player. Instead of installing VLC, it starts installing, then asks you to send an SMS to a number. They then send you a code in return to continue installation.
This is wrong. The people that hacked this installer are just trying to make money from your SMS’s. At the moment it’s been detected in the French version of VLC but it could apply to any language.
The real VLC player never asks you to send an SMS. The real VLC player can be downloaded from: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
If you download it from anywhere else you end up putting your PC at risk. Always download files from the original vendor’s web site. You can search Google to find it.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a Windows tool to remove malware. I’m always explaining how to prevent malware in the first place, but if it’s too late for you and your PC is infected, this tool is great at removing it.
There’s a free trial and a full (paid) version. The free trial is enough to help clean your PC. The paid version will help prevent future infections.
Today they announced that this product has cleaned 1 billion PCs over the past few years. That’s quite impressive. And it’s also scary to think that 1 billion people had their PCs infected with malware – if only they would read Fraudo and prevent the infections 🙂
You can download it here.
AVG has been making anti-virus products for years, they’re a trusted company. They’ve now made one of their products free, and it would be useful for many of you. It’s called AVG LinkScanner.
It’s a plugin for FireFox and Internet Explorer. It checks every web page you load, and if it’s a known dangerous site it stops it from loading, protecting you before any malware gets a chance to run.
This is very useful if:
- Your main web browser is FireFox or Internet Explorer, and
- You use Windows, and
- You haven’t invested in a good anti-virus package.
It’s a fact that a lot of malware (including viruses, spyware, adware, etc) installs itself when you visit a hacked page. Most of the time you won’t know it’s happening – it’s important to install something that helps protect you.
Download it for free from: http://linkscanner.avg.com/
A spam email promising some SMS spying software actually installs malware. Below are some examples of the spam:
- Keep a spy eye on your Girlfriend’s mobile
- Do you want to catch a cheating girlfriend?
- You can read anyone’s SMS
- Read his messages
Lines such as the ones above might catch someone’s curiosity. If they click on a link they’re presented with a fake web page for their SMS spying software. The fake site says,
Get Your Free 30-Day Trial!
Do you want to test your partner or just to read somebody’s SMS? This program is exactly what you need then! It’s so easy! You don’t n3eed to install it at the mobile phone of your partner. Just download the program and you will be able to read all SMS when you are online. Be aware of everything! This is an extremely new service!
The download actually installs malware on your PC.
Some new PowerPoint files are being sent around the internet that do some bad things. When you open the PowerPoint file it runs a program that lets others connect to your PC, it then installs more malware onto it. And finally it cleans up the original PowerPoint file to make it more difficult to detect that the PC has been infected.
The following versions of PowerPoint are affected:
- PowerPoint 2000 Service Pack 3
- PowerPoint 2002 Service Pack 3
- PowerPoint 2003 Service Pack 3
- Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac
If you’re using PowerPoint 2007, just the PowerPoint Viewer (not the full version), or Office 2008 for Mac, then you’re safe.
If you receive spam with an attached PowerPoint file delete it.
Here is Microsoft’s advisory about this problem.
There is a competition where people try to hack web browsers (they call it Pwn2own) , the winners get thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Below are the results of the competition. It says a lot about which web browsers are safer than others:
- Safari running on Mac OS X – hacked in 10 seconds
- FireFox running on Windows – hacked
- IE 8 running on Windows – hacked
- Chrome running on Windows – was not hacked
When a web browser is hacked (like in this competition), it means someone out there in the real world can do things on your computer, such as installing a virus or taking control of your PC.
You can see photos of the winners here. These are talented people that are using their skills to help developers fix their browsers. There are many more people who use their hacking skills to install malware and steal money from people’s bank accounts (this isn’t just about winning competitions).
The best thing you can do right now is:
- Stop using Internet Explorer (IE) for everything.
- Use Google’s Chrome as much as possible, at the moment it seems to be the most secure browser
- Keep updating your web browser – the latest updates are there to fix up bugs and security vulnerabilities
- Keep updating Windows (or Mac OS X or Linux) whenever a new update is released.
- Install a good anti-virus package that blocks web sites that have malware on them. This might cost you a bit of money (you usually have to pay a yearly subscription fee) and it’s a good investment.
- Don’t be ignorant and assume it won’t happen to you.
- Keep reading Fraudo to learn about online fraud and what you can do to prevent it.
Microsoft has released some critical updates today for Windows XP and Vista. If you use Windows perform a Windows Update to receive the latest patches. If you don’t then someone could take control of your PC just by visiting a hacked web page.
Ad-Aware is a popular anti-spyware product made by Lavasoft. This protects Windows PCs from adware. Adware is a term for programs that installs themselves on your PC and show you ads – it’s generally a bad thing.
They’re just released version 8 which they’re calling their Anniversary Edition. They have a free edition and 2 paid editions, each with different features.
If you download the free edition remember that you’ll need an anti-virus program on your PC (one that scans web pages as well as your PC).
Main Ad-Aware web page (has all 3 editions): http://www.lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware.php
Direct download to the free version: http://www.download.com/Ad-Aware-Anniversary-Edition/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?part=dl-ad-aware&subj=dl&tag=top5&cdlPid=10998841
If you’re giving the beta version of Windows 7 a go you now have the option of installing an anti-virus package. Kaspersky has released a version of their anti-virus system that will work on Windows 7 beta.
If you’re using Windows 7 beta for anything more than testing and evaluation you should really consider installing it. Kaspersky’s website is: http://www.kaspersky.com/windows7