by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator
In response to my June 11 blog entry, Every File Inspected, No Viruses Detected, WordPress user Mister Reiner reminded me that the best hackers “test and modify their malware so that it isn’t detectable by anti-malware software.”
As much as I hate to say it, I’ve also been the victim of this circumstance as well. In the case of the “LimeWire” Trojan I unwittingly downloaded, the program disguised itself as an Anti-Virus program, claiming that it had “detected malicious software on my computer,” and urging me to “click this button to purchase anti-virus software now!” Fortunately, I wasn’t naïve enough to actually “buy” the false software.
At the time, I had the program Spybot: Search & Destroy installed on my computer, and luckily, it was able to detect and remove most of the spyware that my anti-virus program had overlooked.
However, in some cases, even these programs prove ineffective. As it relates to GCSS, once again, if an e-mail looks suspicious, don’t open it! Even if it claims to be from a sender in your address book, if the subject line seems inappropriate (i.e. FREE XANAX!) then your best bet is to mark it as spam.
If one or more of our computers are compromised at the office, our accounts may be used to send out spam, even though it isn’t our intention.
To use one more unfortunate example, I fell victim to a similar scheme on MySpace several years ago, before I was aware of the spammers’ tactics. I received one of these dubious e-mails from an unknown sender, and when I replied to it, my account was compromised.
Instantly, my account began sending out spam messages to MySpace users in a “phone-book”-like manner, starting with letter A and so on. The account also posted fake bulletins claiming to offer money, and changed my profile graphics to include sexual content.
The solution to this problem? In that case, I merely had to change my password. Unfortunately, with more sophisticated viruses, they aren’t so easily conquered.
In conclusion, to protect our company, its information, and our co-workers, we all need to be more aware of the threats out there, and what solutions are available if the problem arises.
For more information on how to handle such problems, visit Mister Reiner’s blog.