If you are attempting to view a site’s video content, and you get a popup advising you that you need to download a new codec to enable viewing – DON’T.
A favorite method used by cyber criminals to drop malware on unsuspecting users’ computers, is the requirement that you must first download a “missing” codec, to enable viewing.
If you’re curious, or you’re not convinced that this is a potentially dangerous scenario – go ahead and click. But, before you do, make sure you have:
A current backup CD/DVD, or other media, containing your irreplaceable files – you’re probably going to need it.
Your original operating system install disk – you’ll need this too.
Your system and peripherals driver disks. Without these you’re going to spend hours on the Internet locating (if your lucky), drivers that were written specifically for your peripherals.
You can save yourself all this trouble, and heartache, just by one simple action, or more properly; by a single inaction. Don’t click!
It’s possible of course, that you may be lucky, and you may be able to recover control of your computer if your anti-malware applications are up to date, and the malware signature database recognizes the intruder as malware.
But I wouldn’t count on it. Often, anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database can be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.
Consider this: Currently there is an epidemic of so called “rogue software”, on the Internet, with much of it being delivered by the constantly evolving Zlob.Trojan, or the Zlob.Video Access Trojan, which are often hidden in fake, and malicious, codec downloads.
As the following screen captures illustrate, there is a wide variance in these invitations to install a missing, or “required” codec.
Common sense should tell you, if a website does not recognize a standard codec, there is something wrong. Ask yourself this question; how long would a website stay in business if a visitor is required to download a specific codec to view content? The answer is clearly – not very long.
Don’t be the type of person who clicks indiscriminately at every opportunity to do so. If you do, I guarantee you – your computer will be infected within minutes.
To ensure that you have a full set of codecs on your computer, consider downloading one of the following free codec packs. With a full set of codes installed on your computer, any request to download a site specific codec, should be viewed with suspicion.
Windows Essentials Codec Pack – Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack provides a set of software codecs for viewing and listening to many forms of media in Windows Media Player. While this program merely enhances a media player, it does a fine job of accommodating many different and unusual types of videos and music.
Download at: Download.com
The K-Lite Codec Pack – There are several different variants of the K-Lite Codec Pack. Ranging from a very small bundle that contains only the most essential decoders, to a larger and more comprehensive bundle.
Download at: Codec Guide.com
Media Player Codec Pack – The Media Player Codec Pack is a simple to install package of codecs/filters/splitters used for playing back music and movie files. After installation, you will be able to play 99.9% of files through your media player, along with XCD’s, VCD’s, SVCD’s and DVD’s.
Download at: Download.com
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