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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Disable USB Autorun to Save PC from USB Viruses

First Way:
  • Browse to the following key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  • Modify the value of NoDriveTypeAutoRun to df (hexadecimal)

Second Way:

1.START ->RUN ->Key in 'regedit' to open registry.

2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion \Explorer\MountPoints2,

3.Right click 'mountpoints2' and select 'permission'

4.Then click 'Advance',uncheck 'inherit from parent the permission entires that apply to child objects.Include these with entires explicity defined here'.

5.Click 'remove'.'Yes' and 'ok'.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

10 technologies that cybercriminals love to exploit

Cybercriminals can go after your users in any number of ways, and the results can be devastating. Share this list with them to help them stay on their toes in this increasingly risky online world.

New technologies make it easier for all of us to get our work done online, communicate with others, and take advantage of all the Internet-based entertainment that’s available today. But many of those same technologies have also made it easier for cybercriminals — the bad guys who use the ‘Net for illegal purposes — to do their dirty deeds. We’re talking about hackers, attackers, spammers, scammers, phishers, and other criminal types.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 10 online technologies that they love to exploit and see how you can protect yourself, both at home and at your business, when using those technologies.

Note: This information is also available as a PDF download.

#1: Broadband connectivity

Broadband has come to most of the United States, with almost 73 million subscribers as of the end of 2007. That’s more than 50% of U.S. households and more than 70% of all home Internet subscribers. Experts predict that by 2012, more than 70% of households will have broadband access.

Broadband has many advantages for users, including high speed at relatively low cost and the “always-on” nature that eliminates the need to log onto the ISP each time you want to access Internet resources. But those same characteristics also make it the perfect technology for exploitation by hackers and attackers. Having your computer connected to the ‘Net 24/7 means the cybercriminals have a much wider window of opportunity to gain access and steal your data, crash your computer, or otherwise do you harm. And the high speed of new access technologies (for example, Verizon now offers 50Mbps plans and predicts speeds up to 100Mbps or more in the near future) means a “drive-by download” can put even a large malicious file on your machine in just seconds.

#2: Wi-fi networking

Another technology that has become incredibly popular is wi-fi, or 802.11 wireless networking. With increasing frequency, both home and business networks are connected by wireless technologies instead of Ethernet cables, and wi-fi hotspots proliferate in public places such as coffee shops, airports, hotels, and city parks. Wi-fi offers maximum convenience because you can move around and stay connected, but it also makes it more convenient for a criminal to get onto your network and into your system without your even knowing, since anyone with a wireless-enabled laptop within range can intercept the signals.

Unlike their older counterparts, new wireless access devices use encryption by default — but you need to check and ensure that yours uses the more secure encryption, such as WPA/WPA2/802.11i rather than WEP, which is easy to crack. You should also use strong encryption for the applications you run over a wireless network (for example, SSH and TLS/HTTPS). You can use a VPN (virtual private network) or IPsec to encrypt traffic traveling over a wireless LAN, and you should create a separate network segment for your wireless communications if you also have a wired LAN. For more information about wi-fi security, see

#3: Removable media

Floppy drives have been almost entirely replaced by CD/DVD readers/writers, flash card readers, and USB drives, but whatever the form, cybercriminals love removable media. If they can get physical access to a computer, they can quickly and easily copy files and remove them, often with no one the wiser. Removable media also pose a security risk because it’s easy to lose discs, thumb drives, flash cards, and the like.

You can use Group Policy in Vista or edit the registry in XP to disable use of USB devices. You can also get third-party software that will block the use of any I/O devices through USB and IEEE1394 ports or using BlueTooth wireless connections. For an example, see

If you’re concerned about removable drives or cards being lost or stolen and the data on them accessed, you can encrypt the data on flash cards, CDs, and DVDs so that you can still work with them on different computers but a thief can’t. For example, see

#4: The Web

The Web is hardly a “new” technology now, but it’s still a favorite of cybercriminals because almost everyone who connects to the Internet uses a Web browser. Back when the Web was text-based, browsing was a pretty safe activity, but today’s Web pages are expected to do much more, and many of them run programs — such as Javascripts and Active-X controls — to give users a much richer multimedia experience. The problem is that attackers can use these browser capabilities to run their own malicious programs on your computer.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you use a particular browser, you’re safe. All popular browsers have vulnerabilities and can be exploited. More important is the browser’s settings. If you disable Javascript and Active-X for most sites, you’ll make it more difficult for attackers to get to your computer through your browser (but you may also not be able to properly view some sites). It’s also important to install security updates for your browser as they’re released.

#5: E-mail and instant messaging

E-mail is becoming ubiquitous. Almost everybody has one or more e-mail addresses, and it’s one of the most convenient ways to communicate. It has almost the same immediacy as a phone call or instant message without the pressure to answer in real time unless you want to.

Unfortunately, e-mail also has some characteristics that make it attractive to criminals. They can send mail with spoofed return addresses so that it’s difficult or impossible to discover the true origin of the messages. Thus, they can get away with sending spam, phishing messages, threats, child pornography, and other types of illegal correspondence.

Instant messaging programs can also present a threat. As with e-mail, IMers can pretend to be someone else, and most IM programs now support file transfer, which provides a way for criminals to download malicious software to your machine.

Technologies to authenticate the identity of e-mail senders, such as Microsoft’s Sender ID and the more generic SPF, can solve the spoofing problem — but only if all e-mail domain owners use them. Meanwhile, you can protect yourself with spam filtering software that allows you to create a whitelist or safe senders list and by following best practices such as not clicking on hyperlinks in e-mail, viewing your mail in text format only (no HTML mail), and not engaging in IM conversations or file exchange with people you don’t know.

#6: Unified communications

Unified communications (UC) is a popular trend in the enterprise space, and companies are finding many advantages in combining their e-mail, telephony, IM, and conferencing applications so that these programs can interact with each other. With voice over IP (VoIP) slowly replacing traditional telephone services, all these communications technologies can be run over the same network.

However, this also means that now your phone calls are subject to some of the same threats to which your data has always been vulnerable: VoIP packets can be intercepted or even modified in transit just as other data traffic can. For more about UC security threats, see

To protect yourself in a unified world, use encryption to keep important data confidential — whether it’s text, voice, or other. Also make sure UC software is updated regularly (along with the underlying operating system) and use authentication to verify the origin of messages and to ensure that messages haven’t been tampered with.

#7: Peer-to-Peer (P2P) programs

The most popular means of exchanging large files quickly across the Internet is through the use of P2P software and networks, such as BitTorrent, KaZaA, Gnutella, and Napster. People use them to share music and movies in violation of copyright laws, but also for legitimate purposes, such as distributing their own home movies and pictures. The number of songs swapped via P2P networks is estimated to be in the billions per year.

Criminals love P2P networks because they can mislabel the files they share and cause you to download malware (such as a program that will allow the criminal to take over your computer) when you think you’re downloading a song. Since most of these networks also strive to protect the anonymity of users, the bad guys have little risk of getting caught.

The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of using P2P applications is not to use them at all.

#8: E-commerce and online banking

More and more of us are conducting more and more of our business over the Internet. It’s convenient to buy what we need from home and have it delivered to our doorsteps and to pay our bills and transfer money between our accounts without a trip to the bank. Criminals love this trend, because it gives them additional opportunities to get hold of your money. They can intercept information as it travels across the network, break into the databases of online businesses or financial institutions to steal information, or set up their own fake e-commerce sites and lure you into giving them your credit card number and other information under the pretense of selling you something.

To protect yourself when buying or banking online, do business only with well-known sites and ensure that your Web traffic is encrypted (your browser will indicate when a site is secure). Navigate to those sites directly. (Don’t click a link in e-mail to get there.) Don’t save your credit card information on the Web sites, either — type it in each time. Keep a close watch on your credit card statements and bank statements and immediately report any suspicious or unauthorized activity.

#9: Mobile computing

Computing has become increasingly mobile and devices ranging from small PDA phones to full-size laptops are being used to store important data and connect to home and company networks. Because of their mobility, however, these devices can easily be lost or stolen — and the data goes with them. If the device contains your personal information, you could be subject to identity theft. If it contains client information for your company, you could put those clients at risk and possibly put your company in violation of regulatory compliance requirements. Luckily, there are a number of ways to protect yourself from these threats.

Many portable computers today come with built in TPMs (Trusted Platform Modules), which are hardware-based cryptography chips that work with software technologies such as Microsoft’s BitLocker (included in some editions of Vista and Server 2008) to encrypt the drive and prevent a thief from being able to log on or access any of the files. More and more laptops also include fingerprint recognition software and other extra security measures. You can also install tracking software that will cause the laptop to “phone home” when connected to the Internet if you fail to enter the correct password.

Many PDA phones provide for password protection and you can buy third-party programs to encrypt data on the phone. The latest versions of Windows Mobile allow you to encrypt the information on the storage card without a third-party program, and you can also remotely wipe the device and card.

#10: Universal connectivity

Closely related to mobility is universal connectivity. We are putting not just our computers but our entire lives online. There are now kitchen appliances and laundry machines that can connect to the Internet, pool and spa equipment that can be accessed online, and so forth. Many of us have security surveillance cameras with built-in Web servers, which we can monitor from anywhere in the world as long as we have an Internet connection. All of this connectivity is great, but it opens up avenues by which criminals can invade our homes without ever setting foot inside.

We also put ourselves online in another way. We have personal Web sites, MySpace or FaceBook accounts, Second Lives, and other venues where we reveal much more about ourselves than we might realize. Criminals love these social networking tools because it makes it easy for them to pick victims and get to know them, sight unseen.

Reasonable precautions

What’s the solution, then? Should we disconnect from the global network, erase our presences from the Web, and go hide in our rooms? Even if that were possible (and it’s not), the cure would be worse than the disease. In today’s world, functioning without the technology is becoming increasingly difficult, and once you’ve taken the technological plunge, the information is “out there” — there’s no going back.

The key is increased awareness and constant vigilance. Use common sense, as you do in the real world. Don’t automatically trust strangers. Don’t wander into places (virtual or physical) where you’re unfamiliar with the terrain. Don’t divulge sensitive information, such as credit card and bank accounts numbers, social security numbers, and birthdates, that can be used to steal your identity.

Most cybercriminals are like most other predators: They go for the easy marks. By taking some precautions, you can still use the technologies that they exploit — so long as you use them wisely — without becoming a victim.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Trojan Infection Symptoms

Trojan Infection Symptoms

A trojan horse is a program that infects your computer and allows a hacker to run hidden tasks behind your back. A Trojan infection can allow total remote access to your computer by a third party.

If you have experienced any of the following symptoms, you are infected with an Internet Trojan and hackers have invaded your computer. To remove the trojan and keep others out of your computer you can purchase the LockDown software here.

Symptoms That Indicate A Trojan Infection

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you have been infected by one of the most dangerous type of individuals. These non-stealth hackers are known to destroy data and crash computers when they grow tired of playing their games.

  1. Your CD-ROM drawer opens and closes by itself
    Many Trojans have the ability to open and close your CD-ROM drawer. Two of the most popular Trojans that allow this command are the Netbus and SubSeven Trojans.

  2. Your computer screen flips upside down or inverts
    When you are infected with a Trojan, hackers can make your computer screen blink, flip upside down or invert it so that everything is displayed backwards.

  3. Your wall paper or background settings change by themselves
    The non-stealth type of hacker may change your default background or wall paper settings. Many times this will be done by using a picture found on your computer or one uploaded by the hacker.

  4. Documents or messages print on your printer by themselves
    Since the hacker has total access to your computer, he can access your printer and print personal messages to you or print documents found in your folders.

  5. Your computer browser goes to a strange or unknown web page by itself
    Trojans allow the hacker to launch your web browser and go to any web page that they preselected.

  6. Your windows color settings change by themselves
    When infected, the trojan allows the hacker to change your Windows color settings to any colors of their choice.

  7. Your screen saver settings change by themselves
    Often, the non-stealth hacker will set your screen saver with a personal scrolling message to you.

  8. Your right and left mouse buttons reverse their functions
    Often, the hacker makes your mouse buttons switch around. The right click now does what the left click did and the left click takes on the functions that the right click used to have.

  9. Your mouse pointer disappears
    Sometimes the hacker will completely turn off your mouse. When this is done, your mouse pointing arrow completely disappears.

  10. Your mouse moves by itself
    The hacker can take control of your mouse pointer and click on icons and start programs as if he were sitting in your chair in front of your computer.

  11. Your mouse starts leaving trails
    The hacker can change your mouse configuration to make it leave mouse trails as you move it.

  12. Your computer plays recordings of things recorded in your computer room
    If you have a microphone connected to your computer, the hacker can record and listen to what is going on in the room. Sometimes the non-stealth hacker will play the sound file back when he knows you are in the room.

  13. Your sound volume changes by itself
    Sometimes the hacker will turn your sound volume all the way up or down to attract your attention.

  14. Your Windows Start button disappears
    Once infected, the hacker can make your Windows start button hidden from your view.

  15. Programs load or unload by themselves
    Hackers can kill or startup programs on your computer. Many times your anti virus is unloaded and then parts of it are altered or deleted.

  16. Your computer starts talking or conversing with you
    Some Trojans allow the hacker to type anything that he wants to say to you in a box and then make it appear that your computer is talking to you. Many times this feature is used along with the web cam and sound option so that the hacker can see and hear you as he converses.

  17. Your computer starts reading the contents of your computer clipboard
    The hacker can make your computer speak the text contained in your clipboard and insert new text into your windows clipboard.

  18. Strange chat boxes appear on your computer and you are forced to chat with some stranger
    The trojan will allow the hacker to bring up a square black chat box at which time you can not do anything else but type into this box. The hacker may talk back to you, or just leave this box up to block you from accessing your computer programs while he undermines what you are doing.

  19. Strange Windows Warning, Info, error, or question boxes appear on your computer
    Your computer generates strange warning or question boxes. Many times these are personal messages directed directly to you and asking you a question with Yes or No or Ok buttons for you to click.

  20. You get complaints from your ISP that your computer is IP scanning
    The hacker can use your computer to attack, send email or scan for other infected computers. You could then even get an email from your Internet service provider warning you that your account will be terminated if the activity continues.

  21. People that you are chatting with know too much personal information about you or your computer
    Hackers can find personal information about you by reading documents on your computer such as a resume, financial records, personal letters, etc. The hacker while talking to you might inform you that he knows your address, phone number, children's names, or other information to try to either gain your respect or scare you in some way. This non-stealth type of hacker is more likely to cause you some kind of damage when he is finished having his fun with you. Be sure to get your copy of LockDown and change all of your passwords, to deny him future access to your computer.

  22. Other people can read your private IRC or ICQ messages
    While your computer is infected with a Trojan, the hacker can not only see everything that you type, but every message sent to you via programs such as ICQ, IRC, AIM and yahoo pager. If someone that you are talking to seems to know what others are talking to you about in private while using one of the chat programs above you may have been infected.

  23. People that you are talking to can see you or know what is inside your computer room
    If you have a webcam, the hacker can turn it on without your knowledge and watch you as well as see things in the background of the webcam.

  24. Your time and date change on your computer by itself
    The hacker can change the time and date on your computer. Often this is done it is to catch your attention and changed to the extreme. You can then expect the hacker to ask you what time or date it is on your computer.

  25. Your computer speaker starts and stops working by itself
    The hacker can turn your PC speaker on and off.

  26. Your computer shuts down by itself
    The hacker can cause your computer to shutdown if you are infected by an Internet Trojan.

  27. Your computer shuts down and powers off by itself
    Once infected, the hacker can make your computer turn itself off.

  28. Your Task bar disappears
    The hacker can hide your taskbar from your view.

Symptoms That Indicate A Possible Trojan Infection

Experienced hackers a a general rule try to stay hidden and not give a clue that they have accessed your computer. Experienced hackers try to achieve pure stealth in order to continue access and keep the flow of information open. If you have noticed some of the following symptoms, you may have been infected with an Internet Trojan by a more experienced hacker.

  1. Your account passwords are changed or others can access your accounts
    Sometimes your accounts might tell you that it was accessed last on a date other than a time that you know you had accessed it, or even be denying you access indicating that someone is currently using the account without your permission. Other services like ICQ, AIM or others are also taken over completely not allowing you to use them any more.

  2. You have strange purchases that you never made on your credit card statement.
    The hacker can have your computer save your credit card number to a file when it is used or typed on your computer keyboard. When the hacker uses your credit card, it will often reflect online computer related charges for services or programs that you have never purchased.

  3. Your computer monitor turns itself off and on
    The hacker can turn your monitor off and on if there is any program that he wants to run and make sure you won't be watching.

  4. Your modem dials and connects to the Internet by itself
    The hacker can have your computer dialup and connect to the Internet at times when he knows that you are not at home or sleeping and then connect to it.

  5. Your modem or hard disk lights flash you are not using your computer
    At times when you are not using your computer, the hacker can be running programs or accessing the Internet which will cause these symptoms.

  6. Your computer reboots by itself
    Sometimes the hacker will copy programs or files into your computer that will require a reboot to complete the process. The hacker may also reboot your computer when needed.

  7. Your files are in use when you are not accessing them.
    When you have files in use, the icon for the file turns transparent which is an indication that you can't run the file. If a hacker is viewing the file, it will change in this way. Another indication is a temp file, for a particular document in the folder that you are viewing. After the hacker exits accesses to the file, the temp file will disappear which sometimes will also cause your Windows explorer to flinch while it refreshes the folders.

  8. Your keyboard or mouse freezes
    The hacker can freeze your keyboard or mouse if he thinks that you are going to do something that will catch on to him. This could be to run some antihacker software or to simply go into a folder that he is accessing.

  9. Ctrl + Alt + Del stops working
    The hacker or Trojan may disable this function so that you can not view your task list or be able to end the task on a given program or process.

  10. When you reboot your computer you get a message telling you that there are other users still connected
    If you get a message when you reboot telling you that other users are still connected, it means that you have open file shares and someone is accessing your files. You need to put a password on your drives and shares or stop sharing files. You can purchase LockDown to monitor and block this activity.