Tech – for Everyone

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

Free Tool Immunizes PC’s, USB Devices

Disable Autorun With A Click

Folks, an increasingly common method the cybercriminals are using to get their spyware and viruses onto your machines is by infecting thumb drives. In fact, if you remember Conficker…

Fortunately, the good folks at Panda have a free tool for us to help protect ourselves. The below is from their website…

Panda USB Vaccine – free antimalware to block malware spreading through USB drives.

There is an increasing amount of malware which, like the dangerous Conficker worm, spreads via removable devices and drives such as memory sticks, MP3 players, digital cameras, etc. To do this, these malicious codes modify the AutoRun file on these devices.


Panda USB Vaccine is a free solution designed to protect against this threat. It offers a double layer of preventive protection, allowing users to disable the AutoRun feature on computers as well as on USB drives and other devices:

Vaccine for computers: This is a ‘vaccine’ for computers to prevent any AutoRun file from running, regardless of whether the device (memory stick, CD, etc.) is infected or not.

Vaccine for USB devices: This is a ‘vaccine’ for removable USB devices, preventing the AutoRun file from becoming a source of infection. The tool disables this file so it cannot be read, modified or replaced by malicious code.

This is a very useful tool as there is no simple way of disabling the AutoRun feature in Windows. This provides users with a simple way of disabling this feature, offering a high degree of protection against infections from removable drives and devices.
You can Download Antimalware Panda USB Vaccine free here.

* The good folks at Panda get another tip of my Geek hat for this. And my thanks also to Bryce at Technibble for mentioning this in his newsletter. I had meant to mention this, but it had slipped my mind..

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


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August 27, 2010 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, hackers, how to, mobile, PC, security, software, tech, USB storage devices | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Do Not Want That Update? How To Stop A Nag

IE 8 is an “Important” Update, Yes, But I Don’t Want It

Sometimes we need to tell Windows Update to stop prompting us to install a particular Update.
Ups_avail

When Microsoft has released important and/or critical Updates (aka “patches”) for us, Windows has various ways of letting us know, including a System Tray icon. [note: The normal route for accessing Update choices is Start >Windows Update, or Start >Programs >Windows Update. Click “View available updates”.]

I am a big fan of Updates. I (almost) always install them the moment I become aware of them. I use Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector to keep an eye on all my installed programs’ update state.. and I recommend you do too. Updates are ‘good’ and you want them.

Tip of the day: Manage Windows Updates prompts.
Currently, Microsoft Update is annoying me by continuously nagging me that there are Updates available. And when I click on the icon to see just what these updates are…
Hide_Update

.. and I see that there is just one Update Microsoft wants me to install (the others only rate “optional”) — Internet Explorer 8.
Now, I understand why Microsoft wants us to be using a more secure browser (and I understand why it’s considered “important”) and I will upgrade from IE7 on most of my machines — but not all. Not yet.

So I right-click on the Update I don’t want to be nagged about and then click on “Hide update”.

That’s it. I’m done. Windows Update will no longer prompt me to install this (now) ‘hidden’ update. At a later date, to see Updates that I’ve hidden, I just click on “Show hidden updates”. I can undo my change.

Note: This technique can be used on troublesome Updates that cause incompatibility issues such as BSOD. If a Windows Update install causes you trouble, and you need to uninstall it, the “Hide” tip won’t help you (it’s too late). Please refer to the 3rd answer in this article, IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*, to see how to remove Updates.
After you get that Update uninstalled, (then) use the Hide feature to prevent Windows Update from re-Installing it on you again.

Today’s free link(s): Panda Cloud Antivirus – Free Cloud Protection
Panda Security has launched a brand new type of antivirus, and Security blogger Bill Mullins has this excellent write up. “FREE, antivirus thin-client service for consumers which is able to process and block malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products.” Click the link for more..
[update: For more, also see Panda Cloud Antivirus – Is it netbook ready?]

Today’s free download: Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 30, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Video Demonstration of Poisoned Search

Cybercriminals are manipulating the Internet to cause their poison websites to appear at the top of search results.

When people click the link, a bogus “scareware” window opens, as I have warned about in several prior articles.
(please see Security Alert — An Infection Has Been Detected!)

This installs a “rogue” anti-malware application. This video from security firm Panda Security shows exactly how this is done, and in this case, the criminal is trying to install MS Antispyware 2009.. which is just one of the thousands of these “rogues”.

I highly recommend that you watch it, as it is showing you two (increasingly common) attacks.. and exactly how a “rogue” looks and acts.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

Please note: I have one, MAJOR, complaint about this video: it pretty much says that if you have an up-to-date anti-malware (such as an antivirus) on board, you’ll be protected from these things. WRONG! Once you click the links, ignore the the warnings, and click “Run”.. you’re hosed. (And you did it to yourself.)
Telling your machine to ‘run it’ bypasses all your protections.. even Vista’s annoying UAC.

Today’s free link: ErrorRepairTOOL Computer Infection? – Blame Your Search Engine!

Today’s free download(s): The best defense is to NOT click “Run” when you’re not sure. But there are tools you can add to your web browser to help you detect and avoid these poisoned websites in the first place — known as “anti-phishing”. I suggest installing both:
WOT: (Web Of Trust) is a free Internet security add-on for your browser. It will help keep you safer from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky Website. It’s easy and it’s free.
Link Scanner Lite: Automatically inspect search results for exploits, hacked sites, fraud/crimeware, and other online threats. Includes right-click, on-demand scanning of any URL you choose.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 18, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, Internet, Internet scam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments