Privacy & SecurityThose involved in making money out of spyware, adware, scams and hacking for identity theft are employing a new tactic to get into your computer.
Drive by downloads
The process starts when you visit a web site or open a HTML e-mail. A window opens over the page advising you need to download an application, or updated version of an application to view their site. Security warnings have also been used and they are often made to appear to be from a well known application like Real player, adobe, shockwave etc.
. The window will offer a yes or no option, but more scrupulous ones re-appear if you click 'no', or worse still, initiate the download whatever you click.
An example of such a box is below.
The programmes that are installed are varied, from spyware, keyloggers, viruses, hijackers or trojans that open ports, leaving you venerable to attacks from hackers and other viruses. Most use an Active X component to initiate and run the malicious application. Active X is a programme that can be delivered automatically to group together applications in many technical languages. It can add dynamic features to a web page or form, but it can also establish connections to other computers, transfer files and manipulate a local disk.
So How do I stop them?
If you get such a box, close it by pressing Ctrl button on your keyboard, at the same time as W, this should close the window without initiating the download. If that does not work, try alt and F4 which will close the top window, or even Ctrl and F4 which will close all open applications.
Then visit the site that the application was from, realplayer, shockwave, Microsoft etc. and download the application. You can then return to the web site and try again. If you get the same message, treat it as suspect.
Spyware Blaster will prevent malicious Active X components being installed.
You can also prevent the pop up in the first place, by blocking pop ups on your browser, or using a pop up blocker, like Block the pop. it is not a free one, but it does the job well and does not install any spyware. Costs $9.99 (approx £5.50) Download BlockThePop Now! or get a free one PopUp Buster+
linkspider Is a free search bar you can download with a pop up blocker. It also meta search results from Google, MSN, AltaVista, Fast, Teoma, Yahoo and Hotbot, and 3,500,000 sites directory database,
Make sure your internet security settings are at least Medium. Click start > settings > control panel > internet options, and the privacy tab.
You can also set your pc to alert you when a programme tries to install an active X control Click here for help and instructions
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