Mal-Contention

by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator

Computer Virus

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.

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About gcsscommunity

My name is Eric Pudalov, and I work as Community Events Coordinator with Georgia Community Support and Solutions, whose mission is to provide creative, life-enriching solutions to people with developmental disabilities and their families. I became interested in this field, however, due to having a disability myself; namely, I had brain surgery in 1996 at age 14, to remove a benign tumor. Following this, I had many difficulties with short-term memory, loss of strength, confusion, and emotional control. Fortunately, at present, I've recovered much of what I'd lost. Despite some setbacks, I graduated high school with honors, and received an academic scholarship to Adelphi Univ., where I earned a BA in Communications. Since then, I've held a number of different jobs and internships, among them a TA position at Sylvan Learning Center, and work as a "Service Leader" with Hands on Atlanta. Since living in GA, I've also been involved with two programs (including GCSS) that serve people with disabilities. My experience has included sharing apartments with adults with autism and other disorders. Though my so-called "limitations" may differ from those of others in the program, these experiences have helped me to realize that people, overall, are capable of much more than we may at first perceive. Search Engine Submission - AddMe
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One Response to Mal-Contention

  1. dave says:

    Very nice article on this very topic of malware and bad viruses that are hampering computers everywhere,keep up the great work on your blog.

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