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Internet Privacy & Security Risks... News!

Guard privacy and online security by reading about the latest developments in Internet privacy security risks and protection, from Adware, through Spyware, to Zombie PC.

MySpace To Take Action Against Sexual Predators -, the social networking site that has drawn complaints about sexual predators and other dangers to teens, is to develop technologies to help block convicted sex offenders. cross-referencing its more than 130 million users against state databases of registered sex offenders.
Bot Spreads Through Old Windows And Symantec Flaws - An updated variant of a malicious bot program is spreading via flaws in Symantec's antivirus software and in Windows.
Spam Now Accounts For 90% Of Email - According to Postini Inc; although spam growth tailed off earlier in the year, it's rocketed during the last two months. In fact, on average, it is now 90% of all email.
Which Browser Gives The Best Protection Against Phishing? - Independent tests have shown that Firefox 2 offers greater phishing protection than Internet Explorer 7.
Use Nyms To Help Beat Spam - When we search the web in search of information and we're asked for information at each stage, we're providing information to other parties about who we are and where we are from. Inevitably we end up having to provide our email address and consequently, add to the layer of spam we already receive.
Online Marketers Keep Tabs On Consumers - The Center for Digital Democracy -- a Washington advocacy group -- and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) -- a leading consumer-watchdog organization -- have filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They warn that marketers are quietly compiling "digital dossiers" of people's online habits.
Survey Shows Consumers More Confident With Online Transactions - According to a survey by Lieberman Research for CheckFree Corp., of Atlanta, consumer trust in online transactions is up... Americans are less concerned about online security now than they were two years ago.
Australian Spammer Fined $6.5m - An Australian company and its director have been fined a total of A$5.5m ($6.5m) after it was held responsible for sending out millions of unsolicited emails.
Stealth Techniques Hide Malware Detections - According to a study by net security company VeriSign iDefense, stealth techniques such as rootkits are resulting in less reporting of new viruses and other malware.
US Government Steps Back From Internet Control - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the managing of name servers for the Internet has signed a new agreement with the United States Department of Commerce (DOC).
Attacks Against Home Computers On The Increase - According to a report on Internet threat trends by security-software maker Symantec Corp; crackers are increasing their attacks on home-computer users and financial-services firms.
Another Internet Explorer Zero Day Exploit - Chinese security researchers have published the detailed exploit code for a new zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.
DollarRevenue Linked To Botnet Attack - Researchers at the German Honeynet Project, tracking the latest MS06-040 worm attack, have discovered a direct link between the botnet-building attack and DollarRevenue, who pay between a penny and 30 cents per installation of its heavily criticized ad-serving software.
The Increasing Threat Of Trojan Horses In Spam - According to Sophos, Trojan horses accounted for more than 7 out of every 10 new threats faced by users in August.

The analysis by Sophos showed that 71.8 percent of the new malicious code was Trojan, with nearly 2,000 new exploits.
19,000 AT&T Customers Have Their Financial Details Stolen - The country's largest telecommunications operator, AT&T, said that crackers broke into one of its computer networks and stole credit card data and other personal information from several thousand customers.
Inside The Workings Of A Botnet - When a researcher found a variant of the Mocbot Trojan hijacking unpatched Windows machines for use in IRC-controlled botnets, he looked to find a motive for the attacks.
Police Soon Able To Demand Encryption Keys To Unlock Computers - Earlier this summer, the UK government announced that it plans to activate Part III of the Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which will give the police the power, in some circumstances, to demand an encryption key from a suspect if they cannot gain access to the suspects encrypted computer files.
New Worm Attacks Windows Vulnerability - Did You Patch? - Security experts have worried that the Windows Server services vulnerability, which was included as a patch in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-040, could be used in a widespread worm attack. The first worm to exploit this vulnerability has now been released.
Google Warns Of Government Privacy Intrusion - Commenting on the news that AOL had accidentally released the search histories of 658,000 of its users, Google said that government intrusion -- not accidental public disclosures of data -- is the biggest threat to online privacy.
Google Warns Of Unsafe Sites - If you are using the Google search engine and happen to follow a link through to a website that contains malware -- malicious code -- then Google will now be responding with a pop-up warning you of the potential risk.
Firefox Browser Increasingly A Target - Readers of the articles on my website,, will know that I've been recommending for security reasons to switch from the Internet Explorer browser to Mozilla's Firefox. However, as the share of the browser market has increased for Firefox and corporate bodies have adopted it, malware attackers have been lining up their sights at this browser.
What Were The Significant Malware Issues For This Year's Second Quarter? - Kaspersky's review of malware evolution April - June, 2006, has highlighted four areas that gained attention. One, Ransomware, I reported on a couple of days ago. Let's take a look at the other three...
Image Spam Significantly Increases - Image spam is on the rise once again as spammers have found that images can sneak past older spam screening software that only checks for spam based on keywords.
Phishers Crack Two-Factor Authentication - Two-factor authentication uses a password-generating device along with conventional passwords. Banks have been urged to use the system by US federal regulators as one way of making more secure the customer login process against online account fraud.
Some Anonymizers Can Lead To Identity Theft And Fraud - When visitors to my website, "Guard Privacy & Online Security", read my articles on anonymous surfing, I warn them to avoid web-based proxy anonymizers, particularly the free, open lists. The reason?... the lack of guaranteed security for your passwords, financial data etc, that are stored on these servers.
IBM Accused Of Hacking -- Or Was It Spoofing? - A boutique Washington, D.C.-based law firm, Butera & Andrews, is accusing IBM of hacking into its e-mail system. The firm claimed that an employee from IBM hacked into the firm's email system earlier this year, and information such as documents, emails and other sensitive data was completely breached said the firm.
Identity Theft And Fraud Spreads To 'Phones - Our caller ID, the display on our telephones that flashes up who's calling you, may not be telling us who's really there. That's because of technology that can be bought on the Internet which allows callers to exhibit a false name and number. It's known as identity spoofing.
How I Was Making Big Money From Identity Theft - When arrested for the third time, at the age of 20, Shiva Brent Sharma had taken over $150,000 in cash and merchandise from Internet identity theft. U.S. postal inspectors said the biggest money was coming in at the end.
Support For Windows 98 Ends & IE7 Beta 3 Released - Microsoft said that it will not develop a patch for a critical security flaw in Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Millennium Edition. The vulnerability affects Windows Explorer and could allow an attacker to take control of a system through a specially crafted Web site. From tomorrow, all support for Windows 98 will be withdrawn.
Worm Masquerades As Microsoft's WGA - A new piece of malware has been detected that hides and runs as Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) -- a program used to detect unlicensed versions of its operating system.
Kaspersky Cracks Cyber Blackmailer Code - An avalanche of emails from users in Russia, and a significantly smaller number from users in the rest of the world, shows that blackmail and racketeering are becoming widespread on the Internet.
MySpace Introduces Security Measures Following Law Suit - The Los Angeles, California-based MySpace has announced heightened security settings aimed at better protecting teens on the popular social networking site, and affording better privacy to members in general. But this latest announcement seems to be in response to the $30-million lawsuit by a 14-year-old Texan, who said she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old man she met on MySpace. The suit claims the site does not do enough to protect young members.
PayPal Hit As Survey Shows Online Fraud Is Up - A global security survey by Deloitte which showed a large rise in online security breaches. With perfect timing, on the same day e-Bay company PayPal suffered a major security breach. A flaw on PayPal's site allowed hackers to steal credit card information from PayPal users.
UK Households Under Spam Invasion - reports from its research that the UK's online population is receiving over 68 million spam emails every day, or 7,883 every second -- despite Bill GatesÂ’ prediction that spam would be a thing of the past by 2006.
Microsoft Declares Zombie PCs Growing Problem - According to a Microsoft security report released this week, more than 60 percent of compromised Windows PCs were found to be running malicious bot software. The PCs were scanned by Microsoft's Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool between January 2005 and March 2006.
ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6.5 Adds Powerful New Features - The award-winning, all-in-one ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6.5 claims to be the first suite to address the most common routes of identity theft facing consumers. ZoneAlarm's Identity Theft Protection claims to defend consumers through an "innovative combination" of new technologies, easy access to online tools and consumer education.
Google Pharmacy A Fake - Some of you may have seen the latest Google offering -- the search giant's very own accredited pharmacy, selling pills at rock bottom prices.

You may receive an email celebrating Google's launch... a stylized logo with the double 'O' replaced with two blue Viagra pills. However, follow the link...
Pornographic Spyware Lure That Has A Sting - A new spyware program offers free access to free pornographic Web content... but you could end up being 'blackmailed' into buying a program to clean up the spyware infection.
Kaspersky Goes War Driving In The UK - So what is war driving? Well, potential crackers can cruise local districts with specialized equipment that can detect a Wi-Fi network and whether it is protected by encryption security. If unprotected, it's easy for the cracker to access the network.
840,000 Personal Records Jeopardised At Colleges - It is estimated by identity theft experts that at least 845,000 people have had sensitive information jeopardized in 29 security failures at colleges nationwide, since January. Announces Second Round Of Malicious Programs - has named and shamed another four software programs that consumers should avoid...
Teens Face Predators On - Myspace is a Net meeting place for teenagers, where they can talk about themselves, post pictures, play their favorite songs, and chat with people connected to the Internet around the world. But Myspace has been criticized by the authorities, parents, and teachers who say the site exposes teens to sexually explicit material and also vulnerable to sexual predators.
5 Year Jail Sentence For 'Botmaster' - A Californian has been jailed for almost five years and forfeited his profits for running a zombie network of around 400,000 compromised PCs. Is your computer a zombie PC?
Trojans Increasingly In The News And After Our Money - Trojan horses are rapidly overtaking other forms of malware in the number of recorded attack incidents... and their objective is to steal our money.
Legally Required Data Retention By ISPs May Be On Its Way - There is a momentum in the US government for legislation to force ISPs to record their customers' online activities for future police access. The debate seems to have been stimulated by the European Parliament's vote in December for a data retention requirement. However, should legislation occur, we can still safeguard our privacy...
Virus 'Hijacks' Amex Site - Amex has posted an alert about a pop-up window that may appear for some customers on its secure Web site. However, it is the result of a successful phishing attack using a Trojan to capture customer's personal details.
"Rootkits Will Waste Your System" - If your system gets infiltrated by a rootkit, you might as well just "waste the system entirely". According to Mike Danseglio, a Microsoft program manager, the hacker rootkit is "probably the nastiest piece of malware you'll get," because it is designed to hide unwanted files and malware without your knowledge... in other words, no sign your computer has been compromised.
Phishing Tops Concern At Spam Conference - The recent MIT Spam Conference has highlighted that despite the improvements in spam technology, the dangers are actually increasing due to phishing. How should we protect ourselves.
Commercial Or Free Anonymous Web Surfing Prevents Tracking - Unless we use commercial or free anonymous web surfing on the Internet, many sources will collect and record information about us. These include our Internet Service Provider (ISP), web sites, Web routers, tracking cookies and even the authorities. Find out just what is collected about us.
Infected PCs Unknowingly Download Updated Spam Tool - F-Secure have discovered websites that are downloading new spam malware to thousands of PCs infected with the Bagel virus, which in turn spew out spam to other computers. Is your computer a Zombie PC?
Internet Privacy And Security... How To Decide What's Essential - If you want to know exactly what protection you need to guard privacy and online security for your particular circumstances, then these three levels of Internet privacy and security will quickly guide you to your requirements.
How To Choose The Best Wireless Router Speed - When choosing the best wireless router, some of the speed terms and claims made by marketers can be confusing. You'll see router boxes covered with claims like "5X faster", "10X faster", "MIMO", "108 Mbps", "WPA Enabled" and more -- and none of it explained!
Commercial & Free Anonymous Web Surfing Stops Big Brother Spying On Us - Just who is monitoring where we surf? Internet users in the know use commercial or free anonymous web surfing because so many individuals, organizations and authorities want to invade our privacy for their own interests. Learn who wants to know our identity and intercept our information.
How Commercial And Free Proxy Anonymizers Work - Whenever we go online, our identity, personal information and movements are tracked and recorded. By using commercial or free proxy anonymizers, we can protect ourselves from the risks to our privacy and security.
The Impact Of Internet Security Risks On Home And Home Office Computers - If you don't know the risks that are waiting when you connect to the Internet, how can you guard privacy and security on your PC? Here's an explanation of the main threats to you, your family or your business...
What's At The Heart Of An Anti-Virus Program? - The heart of an effective anti virus program is its scanning engine. Find out how it ensures viruses are detected and removed.
Largest Ever Spam Fine For Internet Marketer - A marketing company has just been fined the largest amount ever since the inception of the CAN-SPAM Act. Reading this article will open your eyes to the tricks these spammers get up to in order to make money from us.
Brits Have Insufficient Protection For Internet Privacy And Security - According to an AOL study, over half of British consumers are not doing enough to protect themselves against Internet privacy and security threats and knowledge of the risks is sketchy. Find out what those risks are and what's critical to install on our computers for protection.
The 20th Anniversary Of The Computer Virus - This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first computer virus. They have developed into even more sophisticated forms and not just infecting computers.

Will AOL Make It Easier For Spam To Get Into User's Inboxes? - AOL's proposal for a two tier system of email delivery has met a barrage of protests. Does the proposal make it easier for mass mailers to get into user's inboxes?

Skype Internet Calls Guard Privacy. But There Are Some Negatives - With governments tapping individual's phone calls, many are switching to Skype to guard privacy. But there are security issues to be aware of.

Firefox Plans Anti-Phishing Feature - With the increasing threats of phishing, browser developers are rushing to bring out anti-phishing programs to protect us from identity theft. The Firefox browser, in conjunction with Google, will be adding such a tool later in the year. Find out which free and commercial phishing shields are available now...

Symantec Reports Internet Attacks Are Increasing - Symantec has released its report on Internet threats for the second half of 2005. Rather than widespread attacks, there is a trend towards targetted attacks for financial and confidential information.

How A Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall Works - Firewalls are a critical installation to guard privacy and online security. Find out about the two types of firewall and how they provide our protection.

Free Or Buy Firewalls? Hardware Or Software? - Amazingly, there are many home computers that do not have firewall protection. This means there is nothing in the way of preventing crackers, Trojan horses and other malware from taking over those PCs. Learn how to choose the best firewall for your use...

The True Extent Of The Hijacking Of Our PCs Is Revealed - How many of us have heard of botnets or zombie PCs? Well security researchers claim the number of computer users who, unknowingly, have their machines hijacked to become part of a botnet is grossly underestimated. Is your computer a zombie PC?

Be Prepared For These Online Threats During 2006 - By being aware of these predicted online threats, we can start beefing up our defenses tp guard privacy and online security.

A Zombie PC Network Helps Spammers Get Trickier - Spammers are shifting their operations from mass mail servers to Spambots or Zombie PCs -- often home PCs taken over by a third party. Is your PC one of them?

Preventing Pharming With A Cookie? - Cyber criminals are increasingly successful at obtaining our personal and financial information, using a technique called "pharming". However, there is help to prevent us from being added to the list of victims...


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