Tag Archive | "security"

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Malware Infection Economy – Top Selling Products and Services in Malware Business


Today’s Malware and Virus infections are not created for fun. They are operated by organized groups of people with a definite purpose and established orders.

In a recent report, top security vendor Symantec had studied this underground economy and listed the top selling and advertised products. The report has some very interesting observations and it is surprising to know that sensitive data like Credit Card information is available for as low as $0.85.

The underground economy is an evolving and self-sustaining black market where underground economy servers, or black market forums, are used for the promotion and trade of stolen information and services. This information can include government-issued identification numbers such as Social Security numbers (SSNs), credit card numbers, debit card information, user accounts, email address lists, and bank accounts. Services include cashiers, scam page hosting, and job advertisements such as for scam developers or phishing partners.

Following are the top selling products and services in malware infection economy.

malware infection economy

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A beginners guide on how to remove keyloggers


1 This post will introduce a simple and free keylogger removal utility, but let us first know a little bit more about Keyloggers.

Keystroke Logging, often called Keylogging, is the dubious art of capturing and recording Keystrokes as you type on your keyboard. The sole purpose of Keylogger spyware is to spy on your data, collect sensitive information and provide it to others for fraudulent uses, although sometimes keylogger software are also used for benign purposes also.

There are basically Three Categories of Keyloggers.

  • Hardware Keyloggers: They are physically connected either within your keyboard or between your keyboard and your PC.
  • Keylogger Software: They reside within your PC software.
  • Other Types of Keyloggers: Besides the above types, there are other types of keyloggers also like Remote Access software Keyloggers,  Remote Access Hardware Keyloggers also known as Wireless Hardware Keyloggers, Wireless Keylogger sniffers and Acoustic Keylogger, but are not so common.

How to get rid of Keyloggers:

Hardware Keyloggers can be easily prevented, if you are vigilant enough. You just have to be more careful while allowing access to your hardware. And if you cannot avoid it, just keep regular watch on the cables and keyboards.

To remove Keylogger Software, there are multiple techniques used, depending upon the type of keylogger program being used. Following techniques are commonly used by the anti keyloggers.

  • Use Anti-spywares: Many of the keylogger freeware are able to detect most of the keylogger freeware and remove them. So use a good quality Anti-Spyware program.
  • Use Good Firewalls: Firewalls do not remove keyloggers but they spy keyloggers and prevent the data being transacted by them to their remote masters.
  • Automatic form filler programs: This is a smart way to secretly enter your username and password without using keyboards. Something like Google Toolbar. But if you prefer to disable keyloggers in this manner then you have to be sure of the form filler program and that should be trustworthy.
  • Web Based Keyboards: The are also used to prevent keylogger activities. Many websites provide an online keyboard just near the username and password fields. You can use them through your mouse. No Keyboards keys are used and hence you avoid keylogger detection.
  • There are many other techniques like use of Alternative keyboard layouts, Speech Recognitions, Handwriting recognition etc., which are not that popular but are effective to disable Keylogger activities.

If you want to have a decent free anti keylogger software and not in the mood to search more, then KeyScrambler is a FREE download to stop Keylogger. KeyScrambler Anti Keylogger is also available as a browser addon for Firefox 3. You can safely download it from Mozilla Firefox 3 addon site. KeyScrambler has released the latest version of this useful Anti Keylogger program.

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Software Updates Scan for your Installed Programs


Why you need a Software Update Scan

Free Web tool for Software Update ScanToday’s PCs are loaded with lots of softwares, which require regular updating them with the latest release provided by the developer of that software application. This software updating is also important to keep you safe from the potential software vulnerabilities and threats. Programs such as anti-virus, personal firewall, and anti-spyware are great for protection, but they do not protect you from software vulnerabilities, for which you have to do a software update scan and update your programs.

But you never know, which software is now old and has a latest release available for download.

How to do a Software Update Scan

There are lots of tools available on Internet for this purpose, some free and some paid. Secunia PSI is one such FREE software update scanning tool, which helps you secure your computer from software vulnerabilities. This great web tool, also searches for the software, which have now gone dead, and lets you decide whether you want to keep it or remove it.

Overall a nice useful and FREE webtool.

 

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Easy file encryption in Windows XP


[A very HAPPY NEW YEAR to all the readers, visitors, well-wishers, friends and patrons of this blog. We value your visit here, because Web Tools and Tips is for you and because of you, period.]

File Encryption is a process by which you convert the contents of a file so as to make them unreadable to others, unless permission is granted to them. There are many ways, utilities, software codes available for file encryption, some are free and some bear a price tag depending upon the complexity and features.

But many people don’t know that their own, Windows XP has a feature by which you can easily encrypt a file and make it unusable to the other users of the PC. But you need to have the file system converted to NTFS for this method to work.

How to Encrypt a File in Windows XP

Follow these simple steps.

  • Open Windows Explorer and right click on the icon of the file or folder to be encrypted.
  • Click on the Advanced button on General tab.

  • Check the Encrypt contents to secure data check box, and then click OK.

  • Save your settings, and you are through.

This will disallow other users to open the file and also restrict them from moving or copying the file to other locations.

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Create Hack Proof Strong Passwords easily


Creation of strong passwords is the key to online safety these days. With the rapid increase in the web applications, which require you to register with them, there are virtually hundreds of passwords, which an average Internet user has to create to sustain his online presence. Remembering these passwords is a bit tedious work, and because of this, most of us tend to create passwords, which are just easy to remember, often overlooking whether somebody can hack passwords or not. And also repeat these passwords for more than one services.

However, this leaves a hole in our defence against potential online threats. These passwords, which are not that strong, can be hacked sometimes by experts of this dubious art. These masters know the weaknesses of people to create passwords with birthdays, own names, spouse or children names, zip codes and so on.

So how to create hack proof passwords easily

This discussion brings us to a trade off, where you tend to give up the security for convenience. But I have been using a simple trick for years, which gives me fairly strong passwords, without making them difficult to remember.

I, just like any other person, think of some moderately strong password made up of only alphabets, which is easy to remember and modify it with following thumb rules.

  • Replace all ‘l’ with ‘|’.
  • Replace all ‘a’ with ‘@’.
  • Replace all ‘s’ with ‘$’.
  • Replace all ‘i’ with ‘!’.
  • Replace all ‘o’ with ‘0’.

For instance…

  • A “silki’ becomes ‘$!|k!’ .
  • A “webtoolsandtips” becomes “webt00|$@t!p$”.
  • A “windowsxp” becomes “w!nd0w$xp”.

This gives me some really hack proof passwords. Can you hack them easily ?

BTW, PC Hacks has written a neat tip about an effective way to password recovery, which allows you to change your Windows Login password without knowing the previous password. Go, check that out.

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How to clear the history in My Recent Documents Folder


 

This blog has earlier written two posts on How to delete browser history, which you can find here and here.

These were helpful tips to use, if you are working on a shared computer, which is also used by others. But these tips can only work to erase your history as far as your use of Internt is concerned.

The history about your offline use, I mean whatever document files you have worked on, are stored in the My Recent Documents folder, and anybody using the computer after you can see, which files you have used last.

So, how to erase files from My Recent Documents

Follow these steps:

  • Right-click Start > Click Properties.
  • Click Customize < Advanced tab.
  • Under Recent documents, click Clear List, and save your settings.

This action doesn’t delete the documents from your PC.

There is another option. You can right click any document in the My Recent Document List and select Delete, but this will delete the document from your PC, which you may not like.

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Protecting your firefox passwords


Today’s browsers are highly professional; fast, more secured and flexible.

I have been using all the four important browesers viz. Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer, and I recommend Firefox, even after the launch of Internet Explorer 7.

Many of the features like tabbed browsing, live bookmarks, Google Toolbar etc., are now found in both Internet Explorer 7 and in Firefox, but the open source nature of Firefox and the ever increasing list of addon’s tilt the balance in favor of Firefox.

If you haven’t yet got switched to Firefox, do it now. You will love its speed if not anything else.

That said… let us not forget that this post is about how to secure your passwords with firefox.

Today, many websites or services available on internet, ask you to register with them and with the registration, you are given a unique username and password. An average user, is oer burdened with tens and hundreds of passwords and it becomes very difficult to remember each of them. Generally users make three four passwords and use them on all sites. Firefox makes your life convenient by offering to remember your passwords and usernames and whenever you visit the website, these are automatically inserted.

This is a very useful service but very risky, if your computer is used by others. These passwords can easily be seen by any other person using this computer.

But Firefox allows you to keep them secured with a master password. Whenever anybody tries to see your stored password, Firefox asks him to enter the master password and thus keeps you safe.

How to protect passwords with Firefox

  1. Click “Tools > Options” menu.
  2. Go to the “Security” tab > click on “Show Passwords” button in Passwords block.
  3. A window will open with all the website names and user names you have stored for each of them. At the bottom, there will be a button “Show Password”. Click it.
  4. It will seek your confirmation, and after you confirm, lo…..all your stored passwords are here. Now you must be feeling the urgency to protect your passwords.

To protect your passwords…

  1. Go back to step1.
  2. Click on the”Use Master Password” check box.
  3. Enter the master password in the next window.

But caution: You must do remember this master password, because there is no method to retrieve this master password, at least I do not know.

Independent Thoughts:
Usual internet marketing solutions include directions to various tricks and software tools. The use of these tools e.g. internet phone service or other complex softwares, depends upon the service of the web hosting employed. Some offer backup , and some load faster only in presence of wireless internet. The search engine ranking of the sites differ in these cases.

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