Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Layer 8

Folks, cleaning infected computers has me quite busy today, and it also caused me to decide to reiterate for you an important concept: each one of the machines on my workbench had up-to-date, for pay, antivirus and/or Internet Security Suite products installed.

Yet here they are — infected.

(Okay, now I’ll tell you about the title of this article. “Layer 8” is a play on the 7-layer OSI model of machine function. “Layer 8” translates to: “the human using the machine”.)

3 of the 4 machines (on my bench) were infected using the Trojan method – the User (unwittingly) downloaded and installed (willingly and on purpose) the infection. Please read Download Danger – the “Trojan” if you have not already.

The 4th machine was “drive-by” infected via unpatched (out-of-date) software. The User was in the habit of clicking “Remind me later” and never actually finding a convenient time to click “Install” when prompted by a pop-open. They visited a website that had been “poisoned” by a hacker and the hacker’s code attacked the unpatched vulnerability… no action on the User’s part was required.
The cure for this one is to realize that nothing you are doing on your PC is more important than applying the “a newer version”/”update”, as these releases are SECURITY fixes. (Yes.. I’m shouting.) To make sure you don’t have any unpatched/obsolete software on your system, click here, and then click on “Start scanner”.

Allow me to repeat:
I have written many articles regarding the epidemic that is “cybercrime”, and done my best to keep my readers informed about current scams, hacker techniques (like “social engineering” and “phishing“), as well as malware (Spyware, Trojans, worms, viruses, keyloggers, etc.) and provided you with advice and How-To’s for staying safer online.
(i.e., I have told you that malware has evolved into military-grade instruments.)

One item I have mentioned several times is the use of a free “online virus scanner” to help detect and remove malware that has managed to sneak past your current defenses (and don’t kid yourself, there are plenty of types that are capable of this trick). There are many such scanners out there, and some of them are fakes designed to trick you into thinking you’re infected — I suggest you avoid those!

Internet Security writer Bill Mullins published what I think is the perfect summary and analysis of the “good” online virus scanners, and their uses. I highly recommend you visit Think You’re Infected? Find Out – Run An Online Scanner From Your Browser and learn about these very important (free) tools.

Related: To read my other articles on malware, and how to deal with it, click here.

If you would like to hire me to clean your infection, click here.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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June 26, 2010 - Posted by | computers, cyber crime, how to, Internet, security | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. TechPaul,

    Thank you for these “real life” events to remind us and to demonstrate that we (the user)are usually the culprit when it comes to introducing malware to our PCs.

    Excellent article!



    Comment by Ramblinrick | June 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Rick,
      I have found that there’s a belief out there amongst people that if they buy an antivirus (or Security Suite) they are safe. Period.
      (After all, they paid good money!)

      The reality is far different (as you know) and best defense is located between the ears. Paranoid common sense, people! (i.e., Remembering there is no such thing as a free lunch.)

      Thanks – as always – for you support!


      Comment by techpaul | June 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Paul,
    Thanks for the reminder. Nice article exposing the real cause of malware infections- We, The Humans!
    People should learn to use a mixture of updated anti-malware tools, installed apps, common sense and last, but not the least, virtualization for online safety.


    Comment by Ranjan | June 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      I have said – and I was only half joking – that the “information superhighway” should be treated like our RL highways and people should trained, tested for basic knowledge and skills (and eyesight) and issued a “Surfers License” before being allow onto the “road”.

      But the reality is, people spend a few dollars to obtain a device and then start guess clicking – what does this one do? click. That one? click.
      It’s really little wonder that cybercrime is a bigger industry than illegal drugs. (Which we did declare a “war” on…)


      Comment by techpaul | June 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. “What does this one do? click. That one? click.”– Human nature of being curious…


    Comment by Ranjan | June 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      Well of course!

      But also the Users are conditioned to click. I myself must have set up a “click here” link a thousand times..
      Such as this one, click here.

      (And I stick by my guns: people need to learn to temper their curiosity when online with a healthy dose of paranoid common sense.)


      Comment by techpaul | June 27, 2010 | Reply

  4. Paul,
    “Click here” in case of guys like you is not a problem as we all know that you wont be sending your fellow visitors to malicious/dangerous links… (i hope i’m right :p )
    And your right. People should learn to have control over their curiousity as excess of anything is not a good thing..
    Have a good day/night (most probably day).
    See ya..


    Comment by Ranjan | June 27, 2010 | Reply

    • It is 1 in the afternoon of a spectacular day here.

      Thank you, Ranjan.


      Comment by techpaul | June 27, 2010 | Reply

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