Tag Archives: PC Tools

How To Avoid Online Scams – PC Tools Lays Out A Plan

From this morning’s Tech Thoughts Daily Net News column – “Some of these campaigns consist of emails that are so effectively crafted that they could fool even some of the more advance users, while others look so obviously fake that they are spotted by all but the most inexperienced ones.”

Does this sound like “new” news to you? If, you’re a long time reader here – I suspect, not. Still, at the risk of sounding like a broken record – I’m reposting one of the most read posts from 2012, that can help users (especially less aware users), avoid being scammed online.

Yes, it’s repetitive – Yes, it’s repetitive – Yes, it’s repetitive! But that’s the point. In order to achieve a change in behavior (and, average users must change their online behavior) – repetition of the correct behavior, is fundamental to achieving that goal.

_______________________________________________________

imageCyber crooks and scam emails – a natural fit – aimed at the significant number of Internet users who remain unaware of the very real dangers that scam emails  hold for their safety, security, identity – and, their wallet.

Cyber criminals are experts at crafting “attention grabbers” designed to reel in the unwary and undereducated Internet surfer. Here’s a few attention grabbers that consistently pay off – targeted towards the blissfully unaware Internet user. Especially those users who seem to have a natural tendency to “just click”.

Online shopping offers e.g. bargains from unknown stores.

Get rich quick schemes/work from home offers.

Offers to download mobile protection software.

Offers to download antivirus software.

Offers to win a prize e.g. answer this survey ‘for your chance to win’…

Movie offers e.g. search for a popular movie such as Twilight and an offer comes up to download the movie for free.

Online donations.

Occasionally, I’ll post an article directed at the “just click” crowd and, I can say without any hesitation – users who fall into this category of Internet user are ripe for the taking – it’s like picking apples from a tree. It couldn’t be easier.

Here’s a couple of past articles which continue to draw huge numbers of the “just click” crowd.

Kate Middleton Nude – As If!

Nude Pics Of Your Wife/Girlfriend Attached – Click Here

Frankly, I fail to understand how anyone with a lick of common sense, would be drawn in by those nonsense article titles. On the other hand, maybe common sense has nothing to do with it.

It could just as easily be that innate sense of overconfidence that seems to have infected society as a whole – most particularly the “tech savvy” generation.

Mark Twain had it right, I think, when he said – “It aint what we don’t know that hurts us. It’s what we do know that ain’t so – that does.” The “tech savvy” generation in a nutshell – maybe.

My friends over a PC Tools, recognizing the continuing need to educate users, have put together a Top Tips article – How to Outsmart Online Scammers – designed to help the unwary (overconfident) Internet user, to identify online scams.

Richard Clooke, PC Tools online security expert reveals in this article – how to avoid being scammed online:

1. ASK – is this too good to be true?

$50 here, a holiday there, unlimited online offers from the world’s biggest brands – if you’re tempted by any of these free offers, then the answer is probably yes.

Many online scams trick us into revealing our personal information to secure something in return. It’s important to be aware of ‘fake offers’ to avoid being lured by savvy scammers.

2. DON’T – dish your details unless the site is secure.

Never provide personal or financial information in exchange for online offers.  Details such as your mobile number, address, and credit card or banking details should never be entered on a non-secure site. When in doubt:

  • Double check the URL before typing a link into your browser.
  • Check there is a padlock icon in your browser before using your credit card online.
  • Check you’re on a secure site and that the address starts with ‘HTTPS’.

3. THINK – it can happen to me.

Many of us think we are savvy online, but the reality is cybercriminals are cashing in on relaxed attitudes to sharing personal details online. Results from the PC Tools study also showed that most people think scams are more likely to happen to others, rather than themselves.

We need to educate ourselves about online scams and be aware of the risk.

4. DO – invest in scam protection software.

What most of us don’t realize is some online scams don’t involve malware and while traditional Internet security is still essential, we now require additional protection to prevent cybercriminals gaining personal information via other methods.

Regular readers here are familiar with this old request – still, it’s as pertinent as ever.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are inexperienced Internet users – let them know that there is an epidemic of this types of scam on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.

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Filed under Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Internet Safety, PC Tools

PC Tools Top Tips – How To Avoid Online Scams

imageCyber crooks and scam emails – a natural fit – aimed at the significant number of Internet users who remain unaware of the very real dangers that scam emails  hold for their safety, security, identity – and, their wallet.

Cyber criminals are experts at crafting “attention grabbers” designed to reel in the unwary and undereducated Internet surfer. Here’s a few attention grabbers that consistently pay off – targeted towards the blissfully unaware Internet user. Especially those users who seem to have a natural tendency to “just click”.

Online shopping offers e.g. bargains from unknown stores.

Get rich quick schemes/work from home offers.

Offers to download mobile protection software.

Offers to download antivirus software.

Offers to win a prize e.g. answer this survey ‘for your chance to win’…

Movie offers e.g. search for a popular movie such as Twilight and an offer comes up to download the movie for free.

Online donations.

Occasionally, I’ll post an article directed at the “just click” crowd and, I can say without any hesitation – users who fall into this category of Internet user are ripe for the taking – it’s like picking apples from a tree. It couldn’t be easier.

Here’s a couple of past articles which continue to draw huge numbers of the “just click” crowd.

Kate Middleton Nude – As If! 

Nude Pics Of Your Wife/Girlfriend Attached – Click Here

Frankly, I fail to understand how anyone with a lick of common sense, would be drawn in by those nonsense article titles. On the other hand, maybe common sense has nothing to do with it.

It could just as easily be that innate sense of overconfidence that seems to have infected society as a whole – most particularly the “tech savvy” generation. Mark Twain had it right, I think, when he said – “It aint what we don’t know that hurts us. It’s what we do know that ain’t so – that does.” The “tech savvy” generation in a nutshell – maybe.

My friends over a PC Tools, recognizing the continuing need to educate users, have put together a Top Tips article – How to Outsmart Online Scammers – designed to help the unwary (overconfident) Internet user, to identify online scams.

Richard Clooke, PC Tools online security expert reveals in this article – how to avoid being scammed online:

1. ASK – is this too good to be true?

$50 here, a holiday there, unlimited online offers from the world’s biggest brands – if you’re tempted by any of these free offers, then the answer is probably yes.

Many online scams trick us into revealing our personal information to secure something in return. It’s important to be aware of ‘fake offers’ to avoid being lured by savvy scammers. 

2. DON’T – dish your details unless the site is secure.

Never provide personal or financial information in exchange for online offers.  Details such as your mobile number, address, and credit card or banking details should never be entered on a non-secure site. When in doubt:

  • Double check the URL before typing a link into your browser.
  • Check there is a padlock icon in your browser before using your credit card online.
  • Check you’re on a secure site and that the address starts with ‘HTTPS’.

3. THINK – it can happen to me.

Many of us think we are savvy online, but the reality is cybercriminals are cashing in on relaxed attitudes to sharing personal details online. Results from the PC Tools study also showed that most people think scams are more likely to happen to others, rather than themselves.

We need to educate ourselves about online scams and be aware of the risk.

4. DO – invest in scam protection software.

What most of us don’t realize is some online scams don’t involve malware and while traditional Internet security is still essential, we now require additional protection to prevent cybercriminals gaining personal information via other methods.

About PC Tools

PC Tools is dedicated to building simple, effective and affordable PC protection and performance tools.  For over thirteen years, we have offered industry-leading and award-winning products to tackle the world’s evolving threats and security challenges.

The PC Tools Malware Research Centre monitors trends and emerging spyware issues and provides security solutions for the consumer and enterprise marketplace. The company has staff in Mountain View, Sydney, London and Kiev. PC Tools has a global network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.

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Filed under Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, PC Tools

PC Tools Predicts New Breeds of Social Media Cyber Scams

imagePC Tools, the company which brings you PC Tools Firewall Plus (free), ThreatFire (free), and of course a complete line of award-winning commercial grade security offerings, is issuing this consumer alert advising the rollout of new social media sites and features, are leading to a fresh crop of online scams and threats.

PC Tools Top Three Social Network Threat Predictions

Email alerts for “tagged” photos where YOU might appear online.

Social networks are developing increased intelligence for facial recognition to assist with tagging photos. When you’re tagged in a photo or at a location in your photo album, you can often expect an email or notification letting you know where to view it online. Watch out!

Cybercriminals may be using this as a tactic to get you to click on malicious links asking for information – possibly even prompting you to click on a link leading to a fake login and password entry form posing as your social network.

Online robots or “bots” on social networking sites will be more sophisticated

We believe within the next few months that social media “bots” will become more advanced, effectively creating human-looking profiles and personalities. Cybercriminals rely on bots because they are the fastest and most cost-effective way to spread malware, spyware and scams through social network sites.

Through these bots, criminals can auto-create bogus personalities on social networks, which can in turn link to fake companies that sell phony products – all to trick users into buying merchandise that isn’t real or spreading news that doesn’t actually exist.

An increase in fake invites to join “new” or “exclusive” social networks or social groups

New social networks are popping up every day, some of which are “invite only” making them more appealing. Cybercriminals could use this appeal as a method to lure users into clicking on fake invites for exclusive networks. Upon clicking on these invites, users could be asked to provide personal details such as name, login, password or birthdates which should not be released.

“If you’re looking to join the hottest new social network, be careful where you click – your personal life may be at risk,” said Mike Chen, Product Marketing Manager at PC Tools. “Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the buzz surrounding these new social networks and features by tricking unsuspecting users to divulge personal information or download malware.”

Chen added that today’s malware looks legitimate, but what may seem like a harmless email or link can actually result in a person’s stolen identity or credit card data theft. And according to Pew Research, 46% of internet users agree that “most people can be trusted” – a prime reason why cybercriminals are so successful at duping consumers.

About PC Tools:

With offices located in Australia, Ireland, United States, United Kingdom and the Ukraine. PC Tools is a fast-growing brand with dedicated Research and Development teams that ensure PC Tools maintains a competitive edge. With registered customers in over 180 countries and millions of downloads to date, PC Tools’ products continue to win awards and gain recommendations from respected reviewers and independent testing labs around the world.

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Filed under Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Internet Security Alerts, PC Tools, Safe Surfing, social networking, Windows Tips and Tools

PC Tools Exposes “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Cyber Threat

imageThe waiting game is almost over for Harry Potter fans who are hungry to feast their eyes on the much-anticipated final chapter in the Harry Potter franchise – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

There are always those of course who won’t wait – in this case until July 15. You know the type – the buttinskis who push ahead of you in line, or cut you off on the expressway – the ones you’d like to clunk upside the head.

Unfortunately, the obnoxious dimwits who behave in this way, tend to repeat this behavior across a broad range of personal activity, and I suspect, that the niceties of copyright law is well below their personal radar horizon.

The reigning experts in social engineering – cybercriminals (who, in my view, could teach “legitimate social engineering experts” a thing or two), are well aware of the “can’t wait buttinskis”, and in a perfect replay of the old “there’s no honor amongst thieves”, have made available through free torrent downloads –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, except

ExceptPC Tools, the company which brings you PC Tools Firewall Plus (free), ThreatFire (free), and of course a complete line of award-winning commercial grade security offerings, has discovered that these free torrent downloads are nothing more than a new online malicious scam. Gotta admit – I love Karma payback!

I’m posting the bulletin PC Tools sent me yesterday on this, since it’s very instructive in terms of just how much effort cybercriminals will go through, in order to penetrate a target’s computer.

It’s not often possible to capture an online attack as it occurs, but in this case, PC Tools managed to do just that – see images and links listed below.

Here’s how the malicious scam works:

  • First, a user searches torrents for free downloads of the final Harry Potter movie
  • Results claiming to offer a free download of the new movie appear
  • Once users download the file, .RAR file and password.txt downloads appear
  • Users receive a message saying, “This video is password protected to stop automated leeching and detection. To get your password, please visit:
  • Here, users are taken through a series of instructions to obtain their password.

One of which is choosing a link for a special offer while the site “verifies” the password

  • Once users click on an offer, a new tab and pop-up open, asking users to save what seems to be a legitimate file
  • After saving the file, cybercriminals have access to your computer—and the movie, of course, never appears on the screen

Harry Potter Threat  Exposed

Here’s what victims find while searching for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 movie or videos:

image

Users can discover apparently ripped versions of the new Harry Potter movie on file-sharing websites.

image

It looks like the movie is being downloaded on the victim’s computer.

image

The victim is instructed to decompress the archive.

image

RAR and password.txt files suddenly appear.

image

User is told to visit separate website by password.txt file.

image

The victim then sees this screenshot, claiming to be MovieYT.com.

image

User follows 3-step instructions, which takes them to a verification code check.

image

User clicks on VLC Player and a new tab is opened.

image

When hovering over the download button, the download executable file looks real.

image

Once the user clicks on the file, they are prompted to save it – this, of course, contains malware.

image

While all this is happening, the user is still waiting for the “Verification Check” from MovieYT – but the cybercriminals now have access to the victim’s computer. They have your password and other personal information that they can use to further attack you, your finances, your friends and social networks.

Worth repeating: Consider the trade-offs, and the very real risks involved with Peer to Peer and Torrent applications.

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully.

If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties.

Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. If you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled and you or your children can unintentionally download these files.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties.

I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove. Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program.

Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting.

What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

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Filed under Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, internet scams, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, PC Tools, Peer to Peer, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

PC Tools Internet Security 2011, Ten License Giveaway! – Reminder

imageAs part of Tech Thoughts “Stay Safe on the Internet focus”, PC Tools has generously provided us with 10 free licenses for their award winning flagship product, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, (retail value $59.95 ).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply read the review here, and add a comment at the end of the article. On December 17, 2010, (just in time for Christmas), all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 10 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antimalware Suites, Contests, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Giveaways, Integrated Solutions, Malware Protection, PC Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 – Ten License Giveaway!

imageAs part of Tech Thoughts “Stay Safe on the Internet focus”, PC Tools has generously provided us with 10 free licenses for their award winning flagship product, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, (retail value $59.95 ).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply add a comment at the end of this article. On December 17, 2010, (just in time for Christmas), all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 10 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

Read the following review, and I’m sure you’ll agree; this is definitely a contest worth entering!

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 review

Since I had test driven the 2010 version of PC Tools Internet Security, and had given it top marks, I readily accepted an invitation from PC Tools to test drive the 2011 version. And, I’m happy to say, (after testing this application for 30+ days), that this new version is even more impressive than the previous suite.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 performed superbly in the “real Internet world”. The world that’s full of cyber criminals, scam and fraud artists, and worse. The world that reeks of tainted search engine results, malware infected legitimate websites, drive-by downloads and bogus security software.

By combining the highly regarded technologies of Spyware Doctor, a very efficient Firewall, an Antivirus engine, and ThreatFire’s heuristic detection engine (Behavior Guard), plus a Browser Defender, and more – PC Tools has built a suite of applications that provides powerful Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Firewall, and Spam protection. Taken together, the components provide excellent protection from hackers, cybercriminals, unauthorized software, and network attacks.

PC Tools has a knack for building powerful applications, but still manages to combine each component in a highly functional and easy to understand user interface – not as easy to accomplish as you might imagine.

It’s hard to overstate the fact that typical computer users require a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface in order to get the most out of a security suite, and PC Tools Internet Security excels in this department.

The application is straightforward to setup, customize, and run – as the following screen captures illustrate. (Click on any graphic to enlarge).

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Fast facts:

Built on award-winning Spyware Doctor antispyware technology.

ThreatFire Behavioral Intelligence features technology to block new threats faster than traditional signature methods.

Advanced rootkit detection technology identifies and removes hidden threats from your PC.

Memory Scanner helps eradicate threats lurking on your PC.

Download Guard stops new threats by checking your downloads against a cloud-based network.

Multi-layered browsing protection against web-based attacks including phishing attempts, scare tactics and silent automatic malicious downloads.

IntelliGuard™ technology stops potential threats before they infect your PC.

Automated Firewall defends against cybercriminals seeking to gain access to your PC. It analyses network traffic and automatically makes intelligent decisions for you to reduce annoying alerts.

Advanced spam filtering utilizes intuitive behavioral technology to detect spam and effectively block phishing, unsolicited and malware emails.

Smart Updates provide automatic updates to combat the newest malware by silently installing product updates and upgrades that keep you protected without interrupting your online activity.

24/7 Global Malware Research Center constantly tackles the latest threats and implements new technology to quickly combat cybercrime, keeping your online network safe.

Network Awareness: Set “trust levels” for each network you connect to and let the firewall automatically adjust rules to match.

Designed to reduce impact on your PC system and your network – perfect for memory-intensive tasks such as playing games, watching movies and streaming content online.

Improved AntiSpam features. Improved accuracy and performance give you better and faster filtering of unwanted email.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 , which is available in 28 languages, offers all of the protection that a top notch anti-malware suite should, in an easy installation package leading to a “dead simple” interface, and then does what it sets out to do – protect the user efficiently, against the epidemic of malware and additional dangers circulating on the Internet waiting to trap the under protected, and the unaware.

System requirements: Microsoft Windows 7 (32bit, 64bit), Windows Vista SP1+ (32bit, 64bit), Windows XP SP2+ (32bit)

You may buy PC Tools Internet Security 2011, ($59.95 direct, for three licenses), or you may download a free, limited, trial version , at PC Tools. Please note that the trial version offers time unlimited real-time protection (free threat blocking), but does not remove threats detected during on-demand scans.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antimalware Suites, Contests, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Giveaways, PC Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, Software Trial Versions, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

PC Tools Says – Sorry I Spammed You!

This past week, I received an email from PC Tools advising me that my subscriptions to their products were about to run out. Pretty cool – except for one thing; I don’t have any PC Tool’s products installed.

I didn’t really pay that much attention to this email, although the though crossed my mind, that PC Tools should be a little more careful with a broad scale mass mail out which I understood this was.

A few days later, I received the following email which I’ve reproduced in this screen capture –

image

Now, that is pretty cool. Not only did PC Tools issue an apology for spamming me (their view), but they offered to give me a free copy of their PC Tools Privacy Guardian application. To be sure that they calmed the waters, they offered an additional sweetener – 30% off any of their products.

I’m very unsure about this whole thing. What I mean is – it crossed my mind that this whole episode is a marketing ploy. If it is, it’s a good one.

If it’s not a marketing ploy and PC Tools is sincere, then I’m impressed. I’m hopeful there’s a lesson here that other software developers could put to good use.

Well, I can dream, right?

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Filed under Email, email scams, PC Tools, Point of View, spam, Windows Tips and Tools

Google: Fake antivirus is 15 percent of all malware – Is this NEWS?

image When I get into one of my “what the hell is going on” moods, I can’t help but consider mainstream media, and what a pathetic job it does when it comes to informing Internet users of critical consumer safety issues.

Part of my distain for so called News organizations, is based on mainstream media’s habit of consistently “coming late to the party”, when dealing with a technology issue that demands an immediate response.

Take Google’s recently released (April 28, 2010), 13 month study of Fake antivirus software, for example. Immediately upon release of this study, this “news” was everywhere on the NEWS.

So, what’s wrong with this “news” story? Well, how about this – This is NOT news! Certainly not “late breaking news”. Simply because this study is not news of course, doesn’t mean that it can’t be MADE news.

Here’s a clue for these News organizations – every day, for years now, typical Internet users’ have been exposed to this type of sophisticated malware and penetration attempts, just by surfing the Web. Oh, by the way, when you’re giving advice to consumers as to how they should deal with these issues – get the underlying technology issues right. That’s a minimum expectation!

The Google report is only marginally informative, contains limited new Internet security information of any value, and is, on the face of it, not news to anyone who has been even marginally aware of security conditions on the Internet during the past two years. Despite this, I found that every News channel that I generally watch, had a story in which the Google study was quoted.

Selected outtakes from the Google study:

A rise in fake antivirus offerings on Web sites around the globe shows that scammers are increasingly turning to social engineering to get malware on computers rather than exploiting holes in software.

Once it is installed on the user system, it’s difficult to uninstall, you can’t run Windows updates anymore or install other antivirus products.

Fake antivirus is easy money for scammers.

On this site, (like many others), we have been reporting on Fake AVs (rogue security software) since the first day essentially – more than 100 articles to date.

Additionally, guest writers on this site have addressed the fake AV issue. Guest writers such as Sergei Shevchenko, Senior Malware Analyst at PC Tools, who, in his guest article, “Be Prepared for 2010’s Malware – PC Tools Malware Trends in 2010”, offered readers a peek into the 2010 malware landscape and made the following observations respecting Fake antivirus applications – long before Google’s report.

Cybercriminals operate in the same way as legitimate organizations – they’re looking for the best return on their investment. It’s therefore inevitable that as we move in to 2010 there will continue to be increased interest in producing malware that brings swift and healthy dividends, with a focus on new and diversified rogue security solutions and in continuing to employ social engineering techniques.

When the initial “accumulation” phase of the rogue security software businesses comes to completion, we might expect cybercriminals to start using their budgets for establishing call centers, support lines, virtual offices, registering off-shore companies, and even launching advertising campaigns.

Users who keep an eye on the range of security software solutions on the market will be aware that many vendors already provide at least one of these services. The difficulty lies with making an informed choice on which offers the best protection – and that’s where the independent anti-malware testing labs come to the fore.

I’ll stop ranting now.

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Filed under Bill's Rants, cybercrime, Google, Interconnectivity, Internet Security Alerts, Rogue Software

The Winners in the PC Tools Internet Security 2010 Free License Giveaway Contest Are….

I’m happy to announce the 10 winners of a free license for PC Tools Internet Security 2010 , a superior application that is easy to setup, customize and run, for both less experienced, and expert users alike.

Congratulations to the winners: David Revie, Hkw, abhijit, Michael, Sudip Kumar Das, Olga, Sarchez, Angel, k19s, RHH.

The winners will receive official notification, directly from PC Tools, within the next 3/5 days, which will include the free license.

Thank you, to all those who participated.

If you are not a winner, you can of course, download a 30 day trial of PC Tools Internet Security 2010.

PC Tools Internet Security 2010 Review:

It’s now more difficult than ever, to enjoy the benefits of the Internet as it was designed to be experienced. Unfortunately, the present Internet is a world that is full of cyber criminals, scam and fraud artists, and worse. A world that reeks of tainted search engine results, malware infected legitimate websites, drive-by downloads and bogus security software.

Regular readers of Tech Thoughts are familiar with this advice: “To ensure maximum safety on the Internet, it’s important to have layered defenses in the ongoing fight against malware”.

For example, layered defenses on one of my home Windows 7 machines, until recently, consisted of the following PC Tools free applications – Firewall  Plus, ThreatFire, Spyware Doctor , and Free AntiVirus. So, when I was given the opportunity to test drive PC Tools Internet Security 2010, which combines all of these antimalware tools, I jumped at the chance.

I’ve been testing PC Tools Internet Security 2010 since early December 2009, in order to get to the heart of the matter – does this application work in the “real world?”

I’m pleased to report that PC Tools Internet Security 2010 does work in the “real world”. By combining the highly regarded technologies of Spyware Doctor, a highly efficient Firewall, an antivirus engine, and ThreatFire’s heuristic detection engine, PC Tools has built a suite of applications that provides powerful Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Firewall and Spam protection.

Experience has taught me that typical computer users require a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface in order to get the most out of a security suite, and PC Tools Internet Security provides that. The application is straightforward to setup, customize and run as the following graphics illustrate.

image

You’ll notice that the install applet recognized existing PC Tools software already on the test machine.

image

image

Fast facts:

Built on a modular architecture which utilizes a diverse range of Windows PC internet security tools that detect, block and remove threats attempting to compromise your PC.

ThreatFire Behavioral Intelligence features next-generation technology to block new threats faster than traditional signature methods.

Advanced rootkit detection technology identifies and removes hidden threats from your PC.

Multi-layered browsing protection against web-based attacks, including phishing attempts, rogueware scare tactics and silent drive-by downloads, using a combination of reactive blacklists and proactive dynamic content analysis technologies.

  • Site Guard blocks you from visiting potentially unsafe or phishing websites and from downloading threats through your browser, IM or email.
  • Cookie Guard automatically removes potentially malicious tracking and advertising cookies.
  • Browser Guard stops ‘drive-by’ downloads of fake AV or malicious files from compromised or exploit websites.

Constant real-time IntelliGuard prevents known and new malware threats before they can install and cause any harm to your PC. IntelliGuard monitors for malicious activity involving spyware processes, viral activity, tracking cookies, suspicious ActiveX objects, browser hijackers, keyloggers, Trojans and more.

Intelli-Scan swiftly hunts and kills active spyware threats – utilizes patent-pending spider scanning technology to quickly identify and remove threats.

Automated Firewall to defend against cybercriminals seeking to gain access to your PC. It analyses network traffic and makes intelligent automatic decisions for you to reduce annoying alerts.

Advanced spam filtering utilizes intuitive Windows PC internet security tools to detect spam and effectively block phishing, unsolicited and malware emails.

Includes AntiSpam toolbars for popular email clients including Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird.

State Awareness Modes intuitively detect how you are using your PC and adjust to minimize performance impact and reduce interruptions.

  • Game Mode automatically detects your PC switching into full-screen mode for games, movies or presentations and ensures an uninterrupted experience.
  • Idle Mode automatically runs resource intensive tasks when your PC is not in use.
  • Power Saving Mode postpones power-intensive tasks until your laptop is plugged in, extending battery life.

Protection Statistics Report informs you of how PC Tools has protected your PC over the last 30 days.

24/7 Support available.

PC Tools Internet Security 2010 , which is available in 14 languages, offers all of the protection that a top notch anti-malware suite should, in an easy installation package leading to a “dead simple” interface, and then does what it sets out to do – protects the user efficiently, against the epidemic of malware and additional dangers circulating on the Internet waiting to trap the under protected, and the unaware.

System requirements: Microsoft Windows 7 (32bit, 64bit), Windows Vista SP1+ (32bit, 64bit), Windows XP SP2+ (32bit)

You may buy PC Tools Internet Security 2010, ($59.95 direct, for three licenses), or you may download a trial version , at PC Tools.

Please note; the trial version offers time unlimited real-time protection (free threat blocking), but does not remove threats detected during on-demand scans.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

11 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Contests, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, PC Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, Software Trial Versions, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

PC Tools Internet Security 2010 – Free License Giveaway

image As part of Tech Thoughts “Stay Safe on the Internet campaign”, PC Tools has generously provided us with 10 free licenses for PC Tools Internet Security 2010, (retail value $59.95 U.S.).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply add a comment at the end of this article. On January 29, 2010, all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 10 names that come up, will win a free license for this award winning security application.

As with previous contests, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me in the contest” is enough. Good luck!

Today, we announced the 10 contest winners (Mal, Aurel Moroseanu, Bori , Louis Gordon Jr., HarleyBBorn, as77, CE, Ahmed, springboy, and Adrian), of a free license for Spyware Doctor with Anti-Virus 2010, PC tools superior anti-malware application.

Read the following review, and I’m sure you’ll agree; this is a contest worth entering!

PC Tools Internet Security 2010 Review:

It’s now more difficult than ever, to enjoy the benefits of the Internet as it was designed to be experienced. Unfortunately, the present Internet is a world that is full of cyber criminals, scam and fraud artists, and worse. A world that reeks of tainted search engine results, malware infected legitimate websites, drive-by downloads and bogus security software.

Regular readers of Tech Thoughts are familiar with this advice: “To ensure maximum safety on the Internet, it’s important to have layered defenses in the ongoing fight against malware”.

For example, layered defenses on one of my home Windows 7 machines, until recently, consisted of the following PC Tools free applications – Firewall  Plus, ThreatFire, Spyware Doctor , and Free AntiVirus. So, when I was given the opportunity to test drive PC Tools Internet Security 2010, which combines all of these antimalware tools, I jumped at the chance.

I’ve been testing PC Tools Internet Security 2010 since early December 2009, in order to get to the heart of the matter – does this application work in the “real world?”

I’m pleased to report that PC Tools Internet Security 2010 does work in the “real world”. By combining the highly regarded technologies of Spyware Doctor, a highly efficient Firewall, an antivirus engine, and ThreatFire’s heuristic detection engine, PC Tools has built a suite of applications that provides powerful Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Firewall and Spam protection.

Experience has taught me that typical computer users require a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface in order to get the most out of a security suite, and PC Tools Internet Security provides that. The application is straightforward to setup, customize and run as the following graphics illustrate.

image

You’ll notice that the install applet recognized existing PC Tools software already on the test machine.

image

image

Fast facts:

Built on a modular architecture which utilizes a diverse range of Windows PC internet security tools that detect, block and remove threats attempting to compromise your PC.

ThreatFire Behavioral Intelligence features next-generation technology to block new threats faster than traditional signature methods.

Advanced rootkit detection technology identifies and removes hidden threats from your PC.

Multi-layered browsing protection against web-based attacks, including phishing attempts, rogueware scare tactics and silent drive-by downloads, using a combination of reactive blacklists and proactive dynamic content analysis technologies.

  • Site Guard blocks you from visiting potentially unsafe or phishing websites and from downloading threats through your browser, IM or email.
  • Cookie Guard automatically removes potentially malicious tracking and advertising cookies.
  • Browser Guard stops ‘drive-by’ downloads of fake AV or malicious files from compromised or exploit websites.

Constant real-time IntelliGuard prevents known and new malware threats before they can install and cause any harm to your PC. IntelliGuard monitors for malicious activity involving spyware processes, viral activity, tracking cookies, suspicious ActiveX objects, browser hijackers, keyloggers, Trojans and more.

Intelli-Scan swiftly hunts and kills active spyware threats – utilizes patent-pending spider scanning technology to quickly identify and remove threats.

Automated Firewall to defend against cybercriminals seeking to gain access to your PC. It analyses network traffic and makes intelligent automatic decisions for you to reduce annoying alerts.

Advanced spam filtering utilizes intuitive Windows PC internet security tools to detect spam and effectively block phishing, unsolicited and malware emails.

Includes AntiSpam toolbars for popular email clients including Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird.

State Awareness Modes intuitively detect how you are using your PC and adjust to minimize performance impact and reduce interruptions.

  • Game Mode automatically detects your PC switching into full-screen mode for games, movies or presentations and ensures an uninterrupted experience.
  • Idle Mode automatically runs resource intensive tasks when your PC is not in use.
  • Power Saving Mode postpones power-intensive tasks until your laptop is plugged in, extending battery life.

Protection Statistics Report informs you of how PC Tools has protected your PC over the last 30 days.

24/7 Support available.

PC Tools Internet Security 2010 , which is available in 14 languages, offers all of the protection that a top notch anti-malware suite should, in an easy installation package leading to a “dead simple” interface, and then does what it sets out to do – protects the user efficiently, against the epidemic of malware and additional dangers circulating on the Internet waiting to trap the under protected, and the unaware.

System requirements: Microsoft Windows 7 (32bit, 64bit), Windows Vista SP1+ (32bit, 64bit), Windows XP SP2+ (32bit)

You may buy PC Tools Internet Security 2010, ($59.95 direct, for three licenses), or you may download a free, limited, trial version , at PC Tools.

Please note; the trial version offers time unlimited real-time protection (free threat blocking), but does not remove threats detected during on-demand scans.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

80 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, PC Tools, Software, Software Trial Versions, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP