And no, getting into the virus and spyware business is not a good idea. The Russian Mafia doesn’t like newcomers. In the past most viruses were acts of vandalism. More and more, their purpose is financial.
Have you heard the phrase there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Well, there’s also no such thing as a free iPad. Have you ever received a similar message? Maybe through email? Email and networking profiles get hijacked.
Clues: Would your friend send a message like the ones in this chat? What is the top level domain of each link? Research it. Sending a non personalized message that encourages you to click on a link is a strategy of scammers. Be aware of their strategies.
Strange as it may sound the computer virus is something of an age marvel on one hand viruses show us how vulnerable we are a properly engineered virus can have a devastating effect, disrupting productivity and doing billions of dollars in damages . On the other hand they show us how sophisticated and interconnected human beings have really become. Viruses- For example a virus might attach itself to a program such as a spreadsheet program. Each time it runs the virus runs too. And it has the chance to reproduce by attaching to other program or wreak havoc! Email-and usually replicates itself by automatically mailing itself to dozens of people in the victims email address book. Trojan Horse- The program claims to do one thing ( it could even claim to be a game) but instead does damage when you run it ( it may erase your hard disk). Trojan Horses have no way to replicate automatically. Worms- a copy of the worm scans the network for another machine that has a specific security hole. It copies itself to the new machine using the security hole, and then starts replicating from there as well.
Has your computer ever become so slow that you can fix yourself a snack in the time it takes your word processor to open? Perhaps spyware is to blame. Spyware is a category of computer programs that attach themselves to your operating system in nefarious ways. They can suck the life out of your computer's processing power. They're designed to track your Internet habits, nag you with unwanted sales offers. Spyware usually ends up on your machine because of something you do, like clicking a button on a pop-up window, installing a software package or agreeing to add functionality to your Web browser. These applications often use trickery to get you to install them, from fake system alert messages to buttons that say &quot;cancel&quot; when they really install spyware.Here are some of the general ways in which spyware finds its way into your computer: Piggybacked software installation - Some applications -- particularly peer-to-peer file-sharing clients -- will install spyware as a part of their standard installation procedure. If you don't read the installation list closely, you might not notice that you're getting more than the file-sharing application you want. This is especially true of the &quot;free&quot; versions that are advertised as alternatives to software you have to buy. As the old saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Drive-by download - This is when a Web site or pop-up window automatically tries to download and install spyware on your machine. The only warning you might get would be your browser's standard message telling you the name of the software and asking if it's okay to install it. If your security settings are set low enough, you won't even get the warning. Browser add-ons - These are pieces of software that add enhancements to your Web browser, like a toolbar, animated pal or additional search box. Sometimes, these really do what they say they'll do but also include elements of spyware as part of the deal. Or sometimes they are nothing more than thinly veiled spyware themselves. Particularly nasty add-ons are considered browser hijackers -- these embed themselves deeply in your machine and take quite a bit of work to get rid of. Masquerading as anti-spyware -- This is one of the cruelest tricks in the book. This type of software convinces you that it's a tool to detect and remove spyware. At a minimum, most spyware runs as an application in the background as soon as you start your computer up, hogging RAM and processor power. It can generate endless pop-up ads that make your Web browser so slow it becomes unusable. It can reset your browser's home page to display an ad every time you open it. Some spyware redirects your Web searches, controlling the results you see and making your search engine practically useless. It can also modify the dynamically linked libraries (DLLs) your computer uses to connect to the Internet, causing connectivity failures that are hard to diagnose. At its very worst, spyware can record the words you type, your Web browsing history, passwords and other private information. The point of all this from the spyware makers' perspective isn't always clear. One reason it's used is to pad advertisers' Web traffic statistics. If they can force your computer to show you tons of pop-up ads and fake search results, they can claim credit for displaying that ad to you over and over again. And each time you click the ad by accident, they can count that as someone expressing interest in the advertised product. Another use of spyware is to steal affiliate credits. Major shopping sites like Amazon and eBay offer credit to a Web site that successfully directs traffic to their item pages. Certain spyware applications capture your requests to view sites like Amazon and eBay and then take the credit for sending you there. Malware -- a general term for any program that makes changes (does malicious or &quot;bad&quot; things) without your express permission Adware -- programs designed specifically to deliver unrequested advertising Stealware -- specific spyware designed to capture clicks or Web-site referral credits Browser hijacker -- a malicious program that becomes deeply embedded in your browser's code and core functionality
Software updates often include security updates. The companies fix security holes as they learn of them. Use a spyware scanner. Use a pop-up blocker. Disable Active-X. Be suspicious of installing new software Use the &quot;X&quot; to close pop-up windows.
If you will be participating in HomeConnect, you will learn more about virus and spyware software in the Computer Maintenance class.
4 a module virus and spyware
Viruses & Spyware A Module of the CYC Course – Computer Security 8-28-10
Malware <ul><li>Viruses and spyware are often referred to as malware, short for malicious software. </li></ul><ul><li>Malicious = vicious or mischievous </li></ul><ul><li>A virus uses your computer as it likes. It can interfere with your computer use. It can damage files or software. </li></ul><ul><li>Spyware uses your information. It can interfere with your computer use. It can steal your personal information. </li></ul>
Purpose <ul><li>Why would someone create a computer virus or spyware? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vandalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul></ul>
Bogus Link Example <ul><li>Why should you not trust a message such as the one below, even if it comes from a friend? </li></ul>
Bogus Chat Message <ul><li>This one is trickier. Why not trust these chat messages? </li></ul>
How Computer Viruses Work <ul><li>A virus can spell doom for your computer. </li></ul><ul><li>Viruses- A small piece of software that piggy backs on real programs. </li></ul><ul><li>E-Mail Viruses- an email virus travels as an attachment to email messages. </li></ul><ul><li>Trojan horses- A Trojan Horse is simply a computer program . </li></ul><ul><li>Worms- a worm is a small piece of software that uses computer networks and security holes to replicate itself. </li></ul>
How Viruses & Spyware Spread <ul><li>User clicks on an email attachment that downloads a virus or spyware. </li></ul><ul><li>User clicks on downloadable file on a website that downloads a virus or spyware. </li></ul><ul><li>User clicks on link in an email, on a website or on a social network. The link takes user to a website that attacks browser and forces virus or spyware download. </li></ul>
Symptoms <ul><li>Homepage changes (and you did not change it!) </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of pop-up windows you cannot stop. </li></ul><ul><li>Unexpected toolbars show up. </li></ul><ul><li>Redirected to sites you did not request. </li></ul><ul><li>Search results are provided by a different search engine than you used. </li></ul><ul><li>Browser continues to crash inexplicably. </li></ul><ul><li>Files disappear (because they have been erased.) </li></ul><ul><li>Computer shuts down inexplicably. </li></ul><ul><li>Computer extremely slow. </li></ul><ul><li>A lot more junk email being received. </li></ul>
Prevention Tips <ul><li>Keep all your operating system and all software updated. Most virus and spyware attacks occur through security holes in popular software applications. </li></ul><ul><li>For your browser, use Firefox, Chrome or Safari rather than Internet Explorer (IE). Because IE is so popular, virus and spyware creators target security holes in IE. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t click on any pop ups or ads offering you anything for free. </li></ul>
Free Anti-Virus & Spyware Software <ul><li>Use an anti-virus software that scans as files are downloaded. Do not use more than one anti-virus software that runs in real time. Recommended - AVG Free Anti-Virus </li></ul><ul><li>Use a spyware software that scans periodically. Recommended - Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes </li></ul>
Creative Commons License <ul><li>This module was created by Connect Your Community, a project of OneCommunity , funded by the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program . </li></ul><ul><li>This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 </li></ul>