If malware could speak, you could have an illuminating conversation with one, or more, of the scourges that infest the Internet.
You might be surprised at what could be learned from such an imaginary conversation. It might go something like this –
I might be malware, but in most cases I’m pretty polite; I won’t infect your computer unless you invite me in. But I can count on lots of you doing just that.
Take my good buddy LOP, for example, he’s been away for awhile, but he recently came back from vacation and he’s now infecting unsuspecting computer users’ machines with renewed vigor.
He will accept your invitation, to infect your system if, for example, you download and install either of two rogue Peer to Peer (P2P) applications currently making the rounds on the Internet. BitRoll-22.214.171.124, and Torrent101-4.5.0, are two programs that are used to exchange P2P files that he likes to piggyback on. There are many more than that of course.
The people he works for (some might call them cyber-crooks – well, actually everyone calls them cyber-crooks), are experts at using false/rogue applications to install malicious code like LOP.
LOP is a pretty neat piece of malware (his employers are pretty smart fellows), since he’s been designed, amongst other things, to display ads from a range of advertisers through pop-up windows, banner ads and so on.
Oh, and he’ll automatically switch your Internet Explorer home page to his own search engine. One he particularly likes is http://www.mp3search.com. When searches are made with this engine, the results that you see will be advertising pages that LOP chooses to display.
(Sample misdirected search)
Just in case you decide that LOP is no longer welcome on your computer (that happens all the time), he will connect, every so often, to a web page from which new malware files will be downloaded making it much more difficult to delete all of the active malicious files on your system.
I should tell you that LOP is extremely hard to get rid of, and just in case you try,you’ll have to deal with over 200+ changes to your Registry Keys. And in case that’s not enough bad news, you should know that LOP will invite lots of his other malware friends over, so that they can party on your system.
But LOP has even more tricks up his sleeve. He can monitor your system’s processes, and can even play with your security applications making them ineffective.
Since he’s a sporty fellow, once he’s done that, he’ll launch a keylogger to capture your key strokes and just for fun, he’ll go on to scan your email address book so that he can bug your friends. Hmm, maybe they’ll become your ex friends.
LOP is definitely a hard worker (which is why his employers like him so much), so in his spare time he’s going to look around your operating system for vulnerabilities. You see, he knows that like most people, you probably haven’t installed the latest operating system updates, nor have you updated your security applications, like you’re supposed to.
Even if you have taken care of these critical areas, it’s almost certain you haven’t updated your installed productivity applications, and LOP knows just how vulnerable these applications can be.
So think carefully before you offer LOP, or any of his malware friends, that invitation. Once invited in, LOP will settle in for a long, long visit.
Thanks for the chat, but I have to get going. There are lots of unaware Internet users’ waiting to invite me into their computers. I know that many Internet users’ are kind of “click crazy”; so why should LOP be the only one to have some fun!
Oh, by the way, unless you paid attention to what I said, I’ll probably drop by your machine soon.
You have a good day now.
Elsewhere on this Blog you can read “The Best Free Spyware, Virus, and Browser Protection”, an article on free anti-malware programs, including anti-virus software, and you can download those that suit your needs.
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