Sunday, May 9, 2010

Malware Infection – Witnessed In Real-Time

I follow another repair technician’s blog. The lady owns and runs a computer repair business in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area. In this blog entry she describes in striking detail what she observed when her computer got “infected”. All she “did” was doing normal things in Hotmail. She did not mention though what web browser she was using; I have asked her but naturally not gotten an answer yet (it’s Sunday morning, even in Wisconsin). Update May 10th: Lisa has replied right away, thanks for that. And guess what, she was using Internet Explorer version 8!

To all of my customers reading this: You know better, don’t you?

The infection that her computer got seems to have been a version of currently fairly common “rogue” programs. Only a few of these are caught by commonly available anti virus programs. The behavior of the “rogues” appears not to trigger most virus protection programs, go figure.

It may be besides the point here but for years I recommend NOT to use Hotmail and/or Yahoo accounts, especially not from within Internet Explorer! Update May 10th: It may not prove anything but I sure feel reassured in my constant preaching to shun IE.

On March 4th 2010 I wrote this article titled “Sudden Virus Alert?”. Right after posting this here I will augment the post from March 4th with a bit more detail about the browser issue.

Browse safely and stay warm (we had a frosty night).

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

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Anonymous said...

After reading one of your articles about the importance of installing updates I've been keeping up with that (and running Secunia it) and seem to have gotten myself in a jam after updating to IE8. Now, when I click on "Microsoft Update", I get the following: Installing the Active X control required to view the website. R click on IE information bar below address bar, R click menu, Install Active X control. I know you advise against relying on the auto updates, but I'm stuck now since I couldn't find what they wanted me to click on. (Note: I never use IE or Yahoo) instead FF 3.6.3. I've also been checking and updating add-ons and plug-ins on FF so perhaps I changed something there. Moral of the story: Maybe I'm trying to be too conscientious and should have just left everything alone, but that doesn't seem a very intelligent approach, since you give such excellent advice. I guess want I'm asking is if you think just updating to IE8 could have gotten me in this jam? Thanks.

Eike Heinze said...

Anonymous, I don't think you got yourself "in a jam". Microsoft is so intelligent that on Win XP and at the first MS Update after installing IE8 you need to allow it to download and install some updated piece of software to keep MS Update working! I feel strongly that MS should include that in any update to IE8 on a system with XP; but hey, MS is so big that likely the right hand has little coordination with the left hand.

By the way, did you read my post about IE8? from May 2009? You may want to do that before you attempt the next MS Update because these questions will come!
Before I forget it: Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have read the May 9, 2009 article on IE8, and will reference it the next time there is a dreaded update from MS. I have printed all your articles from the blogspot and they have been very helpful. Looking forward to the next WTKM show that you will be on. Always learn something. Thanks.