Tech – for Everyone

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

Fighting rogues

Sometimes the questions readers write in with are worthy of your attention.. and the answers worthy of an article. This question, posted on my article Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues, is a case in point.

But First, two quick Geek Definitions:
1: Malware: mal is French for “bad”, and ware is short for software. Most commonly associated with “virus”.
2: Rogue: is short for “rogue antivirus”, which is a category of malware of the type called scareware.

Q: “How can you tell if a program is a rogue? Will a good antivirus program identify rogues? How can rogues be fought – since it’s so difficult even for you to do it, how can I? Thank you.

A: Sir or Ms,
Thank you for posing these excellent questions. Let me break them into individual pieces, and try to give relevant pointers:
1) How can you tell if a program is a rogue?
There can be several clues.. perhaps the main one is; were you casually surfing the Internet, and some window you’ve never seen before suddenly pops open and tells you scary things? Like.. by magic, it decided to just give you a free scan, (because it’s so nice) and it found ScaryName.Trojan?
That’s a rogue. A fake. A trick. A cyber-attack.
But if you aren’t sure, Google its name.

2) Will a good antivirus program identify rogues?
A good security suite/antivirus (that has ‘active’ shielding) should detect the rogue’s processes and shut it down before it does any real harm.
Keyword: “should”.
Is there one yet invented that does so 100% of the time. Always. Every rogue? No. The cybercriminals (aka ‘hackers’) write new ones every other day, and employ new tactics weekly. And, no antivirus protects you from you: when you ignore the warning and launch the setup.exe, (or click, “yes, scan my computer please”) it’s kind of game over.

3) How can rogues be fought?
I have posted advice here – almost daily – on how to surf safely, and how to protect your machines from malware, (there are many other online resources available as well – several are in my Blogroll) but to make things simpler, I have compiled a Top 10 list (click here) to help.
Please pay particular attention to #’s 1 – 4.
(Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t read me everyday.. ahem.)

When it comes to malware and cybercrime, prevention is key. But, should you get infected, there are many self-help resources available, (including a few I have posted) but I sincerely believe that one should enlist the aid of a trained technician experienced with advanced malware removal  (yes, such as myself) as modern malware truly is “military grade”. (Ask yourself: how computer knowledgeable am I, really, and do I have a spare day and a-half a cleanup takes? If you want to give it a go.. see, How To Cure A Malware Infection)

.. oh yes, one more thing, if you have been infected, whatever protection you had onboard, that installation of it is no longer any good – one of the first things malware does is seek out and cripple your antivirus – and it will need to be reinstalled (or replaced).

So, I urge you to read Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues if you haven’t already, and please – send the link to your less-savvy friends and loved ones.

Bonus tip: If you think you can ‘download’ the latest movies, the hottest albums, and/or free copies of Windows 7 (or Adobe CS5) off of the “Torrent” sites – for absolutely free! and with no risk at all!.. odds are darned good you’re already pwned.

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


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October 7, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, PC, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Rogue Uses Fake PC Magazine Review

Yesterday, the good folks at BleepingComputer posted removal instructions for a rogue antivirus (please see, Internet Plague – Rogue Antivirus) that is demonstrating a new behavior…

Quote: “Anti-virus-1 is a new rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Antivirus 2010 and Antivirus 360. This program is promoted primarily through two methods. The first is through the use of advertisements that pretend to be online anti-malware scanners. These advertisements go through what appears to be a scan of your machine and then when finished, state that your computer is infected and that you should download Anti-virus-1 to protect yourself.

Remember, though, that this is just an advertisement and it has no way of knowing what is running on your computer. The second method that is used to promote this rogue is through the use of Trojans. When certain Trojans are installed on your computer they will display security alerts stating that your computer is infected or that you have some other security risk. When you click on these alerts, it will download and install Anti-virus-1 onto your computer…”

But that is not the new part, the new behavior adds entries to your HOSTS file so that if you go to any of a number of technology sites, including pcmag.com, you are instead brought to their site and are shown the malware author’s content. This content includes a doctored PCMag review of their fake anti-malware product.

For more on the story, click here.
And for removal instructions, click here.

A big tip of my geek hat to BleepingComputer.

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

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February 19, 2009 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, Internet scam, News, phraud, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A New Twist…

Folks — a couple of quick “must read”:

BEWARE of “ScanVirus” – A “FAKE” Cloud Anti-Virus Service

“With the wave of cloud apps appearing on the internet, I knew it would be a matter of time before malware would find its’ way into the cloud…”

Twitter and the dangers of clickjacking

Twitter users are, well, a-twitter about an innocent but indicative joke that some clever person just played on half the Twitterverse.

February 14, 2009 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment