Sometimes I like to think that just once there will be a tragic situation that won’t lead to someone trying to make a buck off a serious situation. But hey, it’s Halloween, when sensitivity to world events apparently goes out the window. So why not charge people $79.99 to dress up in an “Ebola Containment Suit”? [More]
Did I bump my head and wake up in late 2013? Because it sure feels like deja vu with a slew of recent data breaches: Joining P.F. Chang’s, a group of supermarket chains and Community Health Systems in this month’s data breach roll call is United Parcel Service, which says 51 of its retail store locations had their computer systems hacked. [More]
Researchers have proposed a new method for detecting trojan viruses embedded into hardware chips by using voltage detectors that “sing out” in a different frequency when they’re used on a tampered circuit. [More]
When news broke last week that some of the Air Force’s drone aircraft had been infected with a virus, Air Force network security experts reportedly found out about the breach when everyone else did. Officials at a Nevada Air Force base may have known about the problem for as long as two weeks and never reported the issue to security. [More]
Google has started putting a yellow box with a warning at the top of search results pages for users who may have been infected with a certain kind of malware. [More]
After the Feds and Microsoft in March chopped off the head of the hydra that was the 1-million strong “Rustock” botnet responsible for sending billions of spam, several heads have sprung in its place. PC World notes a Symantec report of a 24% jump in emails containing malicious links and attachments, possibly representing an attempt to regrow the forces of zombie controlled computers and fill the void left by Rustock. [More]
The illicit economy of phishers and malware perpetrators is growing more sophisticated, and more brazen. “Bulletproof” hosting sites that offered to protect their users from attacks and takedown requests now have corporate-like web pages offering a menu of a la carte services. The only limit is no spam and no porn. Hey, even they have standards. [More]
I have no idea why anyone would be searching online for Cameron Diaz screensavers, but according to McAfee, if you feel the need to fill up your monitor with a pic of the thespian, you’re putting your computer in harm’s way. [More]
If you use McAfee’s anti-virus program and have Windows XP with SP 3, you may have noticed last week that your PC was shutting down every 60 seconds. That was because McAfee pushed out an update that it now admits wasn’t properly tested. To apologize, the company says it will reimburse you for repairs (although it hasn’t provided details on this yet), and it’s offering everyone who was affected a free 2-year extension of the service. Should you take the offer and call it even? Seth Rosenblatt at Cnet says you shouldn’t bother. [More]
If you’re trying to pirate the Japanese erotic manga game Cross Days–and I don’t care what people say, I love that I live in a world where I can type that phrase–you should know that the game’s developers are wise to you, and they’re going to do their best to shame and embarrass you. [More]
If you’re using the Energizer Duo battery charger, and have connected it to your PC to check the charge levels of the batteries, you may have inadvertently exposed yourself to a program that could give hackers access to your computer. The charger has been discontinued, and Energizer recommends removing the software along with the file that enables the backdoor. [More]
In the wide world of scams, this combination of a phone call and computer malware is sort of a novel twist. Jay likes to string phone scammers along to waste their time, so he managed to get quite a few details about how this particular scam works. If you’ve got naive family members with access to computers, either take away their computers or tell them never to download software from a stranger on the phone. [More]
Why, in a rational world, does spam continue to exist? Because someone you know—or maybe it’s you—has actually tried to buy something from it, a new study finds. Find that person and beat him (or yourself) with a stapler.
Aaron is happy to report that he has gotten resolution with his complaint about HP’s repair center sending him back his laptop filled with viruses. Good thing for HP that Aaron is honest, otherwise he could probably have three laptops right now, as three different HP reps contacted him about his story. On March 9th he wrote us:
HP is known for its incompetent repair process, but what makes Aaron’s case special is that at the end they decide to kick it up a notch. When he sends his computer in and gets it back from the repair center, HP has so ever so graciously filled it with free spyware and viruses.
Jeff says his kid’s new toy, a working camera from Fisher-Price, tried to give his computer a virus when he plugged it in!
If you have an unresolved Norton/Symantec complaint and regular customer service doesn’t help you out, you might want to try giving one of the top-ranking company executives inside a call or an email. Don’t forget to be nice, polite, and professional, and remember the guidelines for contacting executive customer service. If you need help writing a solid complaint letter, here’s a template to follow. And if you want a real anti-virus program that won’t hose up your computer, try NOD32. Now here’s the complete executive contact list…