Category Archives: Geek stuff

A new worm infecting over 9 million PCs

Note: This post was origanly posted on the Yahoo blog by Christopher Null. Christopher is one of my all time favorite tech blogger.
As my efforts continue to fight spam/junk/viruses as in this post, here is the exact post by Christopher from this link
:

Judging from the complaints and questions filling my inbox, Windows security looks like it’s already on track for its worst year this decade. The latest attack is a worm called Downandup, Downadup, Kido!, or Conficker (all the same thing), and it primarily seems to be being delivered via infected USB drives.

How’s it work? By tricking you into running the virus by modifying the way “autorun” works when you plug in a drive. Look closely at the screenshot above and you’ll see two entries for “Open folder to view files.” The one at the top is a phony entry that actually installs the virus on your machine… but of course it’s the default selection that pops up when you plug in a drive. Once installed, the virus spreads like crazy via a separate flaw in Windows networking system (now patched, so be sure to run Windows Update if you haven’t lately) and can quickly infect a whole office. F-Secure has more analysis on the clever way it tricks you into installing the malware yourself.

How bad has it gotten? Estimates range from 3.5 million infected in the first four days after it bean spreading to 9 million impacted… and gettng worse. By now I figure the numbers could top 15 or 20 million.

From an antivirus standpoint, fixing Downandup isn’t easy. The worm is particularly problematic because of the tricky way it involves the user in installing the software, bypassing auto-installation safeguards, plus its sophisticated way of avoiding detection, as it morphs its code constantly (using randomized elements) to make traditional, signature-based detection almost impossible.

Your best strategy for avoiding Downandup? Turn off AutoPlay/AutoRun on your computer (with Windows XP, TweakUI is the easiest way to do it). If you do see an AutoPlay dialog box like the one above, just close it and eject the disc or thumbdrive; browsing the drive manually for individual files should keep you uninfected, but you’re best off not using the drive at all. And of course, make sure your system is fully patched via Windows Update.

What if you already have Downandup infecting your machine? Try your standard antivirus utility as a fix. If that doesn’t work, F-Secure has a removal tool that should get rid of it. Good luck out there.

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Goog-411 A cool service from Google!


Note: This service is available only in the USA & Canada, and just in English!

Many of G1 phone and iPhone users use Google search by voice options on their phones today, but did they know that Goog 411 existed before any other Google voice service?

The idea is very simple, Dial the number and speak your question.

The options available are great too, watch the video below for a great example, and remember that this cool service is not just to find a great Sushi place, the system can text you information, connect you to your result listing for free, figure out your location based on your number (You can always change your location) or even “Map It” will send the map to your mobile phone. And it’s all for free!

The only charges you pay is to make the call or receive the SMS if you requested, but no 411 charges at all. Cool huh!

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Windows 7 and Windows Live & Facebook at CES


I am not disappointed at all of the CES Microsoft keynotes. Some people didn’t like the fact that there are no new products, but if you really listen closely to Steve Ballmer’s (Microsoft CEO) keynote, you will realize that there are new cool stuff out there but it’s just not hardware.

Instead Microsoft is concentrating on the new Windows: Windows 7 and also launching a variety of products for Windows Live.

I can’t wait for Windows 7, so I am following a blog called: Engineering Windows 7
What really grabbed my attention is the new/old partnership between Microsoft and Facebook.
Windows Live is now 100% integrated with Facebook, Windows 7 is in the making to do the same, but as of today, every update, message, wall message, photo, video or status update that you do no facebook, will show on your windows live profile page as well, I think that this is a huge step forward by Microsoft, kind of like the OpenSocial and Friend Connect from Google, but actually working and more applications supported (Like windows live mail for desktop) as of today!
I am taking a look at every option and will write an article about it all in the near future.
4 Cool Windows 7 Features: The new desktop, faster boot time, more battery time and the touch screen user interface for the touch screen computers.
I am waiting for my copy of the Windows 7 Beta version to do some testings on my own 🙂

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