Thursday, April 26, 2007

Could Someone Send Some Zombies To My Blog

Best desktop ever?
Originally uploaded by laaauren.
Unseen, unnamed forces are barraging you with lies, and if you weaken and believe them your computer will be turned into a zombie.

No, that’s not a blurb for a bad sci-fi movie—it’s a description of what’s happening on any desktop containing an Internet-connected PC. Before the month is even done, April has set a record for virus e-mails, thanks to a virulent and successful malware called the Storm Virus, Adam Swidler, a manager at Postini Inc., a spam filter service in San Carlos, CA, told LiveScience.

If you have a legal copy of window x, get the updates. Go to comodo and get their free and very annoyingly thorough firewall. It will tell you about every little thing trying to go out through your computer and they also have a free anti-virus. Don't be fooled by the free part.

A Storm Virus e-mail carries alarming news blurbs (originally concerning bad weather—hence the name) in its subject line. Clicking on the attached file causes a Trojan to download, installing botnet software that turns your PC into a zombie, placing it under someone else’s remote control.

Security software vendor Symantec Inc. recently reported detecting 63,912 zombies on an average day, and that during the last half of 2006 it detected 6,049,594 separate zombies—29 percent more than during the first half of 2006. (More than a quarter were in China, where computer security is a relatively new topic.)

Oh and we the U.S. are the spam kings. And don't open emails from people or things you don't know or signed up for.

These days, however, the spam is as likely to tout a particular company, announcing extravagant news that, if true, is certain to drive the stock price of that firm through the roof.

Unfortunately, the news is fiction—the botmaster has picked out a thinly-traded penny stock and has bought a block of shares, sometimes through hijacked online trading accounts. After the barrage of spam goes out, enough gullible people buy shares of the stock to cause its price to move upwards—and the botmaster sells at a profit. The price then crashes, burning those who bought it.

“There’s evidence that some of the people who buy the stock know exactly what’s going on, but figure they can ride the stock price as it goes up and get out when the spammer does,” Swidler said. “But they never can.”

I never got what I was supposed to do with stray stock advise.

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