Thursday, January 22, 2009

Millions Hit with Windows Worm as Infection Spreads

eWeek reports: "Nearly two months after Microsoft first warned of the Conficker worm targeting a vulnerability in its Server service, the number of infected computers is growing rapidly. While there is some dispute about the number of infections—F-Secure puts it at approximately 9 million, though others dispute that—the general consensus from companies such as Symantec and Kaspersky Lab is that the number of infections is in the millions."

One more reason to keep your system patched. There is some nasty malware out there that wants your computer.

If you have 'Automatic Updates' enabled your computer will download these updates for you in the background. Then when you shutdown your system these patches will be applied to your system. If you leave your computer on overnight they will automatically be installed and your system will be rebooted if necessary.
Warning: If you leave your computer on at night make sure you save all your work or you run the risk of losing it if your system has to be rebooted.
Enabling Automatic Updates
If you don't have 'Automatic Updates' enabled on your computer, I would suggest that you turn it on as soon as possible. If you don't want to enable this feature, you can always update your computer by visiting the Windows Update site and downloading and installing the patches manually.

To enable Automatic Updates (Windows XP):
  • From the Start menu, select the Control Panel folder.
  • Double-click the System applet in the control panel folder.
  • Click the 'Automatic Updates' tab.
  • Check the 'Automatic (recommended)' option. (optional: if you don't like this feature, you can set it to: 'download but not install the update', 'just notify you', or 'disable this feature altogether' [not recommended])
  • Press the OK button when done.
To enable Automatic Updates (Windows Vista):
  • From the Start menu, select 'All Programs' then 'Windows Update'
  • In the left pane, click the 'Change settings' link.
  • Check the 'Install updates automatically (recommended)' option. (optional: if you don't like this feature, you can set it to: 'Download updates but let me choose whether to install them', 'Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them', or 'Never check for updates' [not recommended])
  • Press the OK button when done.

Note: For the latest Microsoft Security Bulletins, check out this site.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Software: RUBotted (Anti-Botnet Scanner)

Trend Micro has release a free anti-botnet detection tool called RUBotted. This software can help prevent your computer from being taken over and used for malicious purposes such as sending spam or remotely attacking other computers.

Here is excerpt from Trend Micro site about their product:
"Malicious software called Bots can secretly take control of computers and make them participate in networks called “Botnets.” These networks can harness massive computing power and Internet bandwidth to relay spam, attack web servers, infect more computers, and perform other illicit activities."
If you have never heard of a Botnet, here is an article from Wikipedia that discusses it in more detail.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Microsoft Fix It LIve

A new feature of the Microsoft Knowledge Base system is called "Fix it live". Basically its a service from Microsoft that will attempt to fix certain problems outlined in the knowledge base articles.

Here is excerpt from the site: "Have you ever come across a Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article or been presented with a Windows Error Reporting (WER) solution and asked yourself, why can't Microsoft just fix this for me? Today KB articles and WER solutions provide you with a list of steps that can be followed to resolve your issue. However, tomorrow looks much different and we hope it helps you resolve any issues you have with our products faster and easier."