Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day – Malware Love Is Coming Your Way

From the – here we go again files. Love in your inbox – malware on your computer.

imageLike clockwork, spammers and cybercrooks ramp up the volume of Valentine’s spam emails aimed at unsuspecting users – every yearstarting just about now.

You know the ones –  “Falling in love with you”, “Sending you my love”, “Memories of you”, “I Love You Soo Much” …………. (saccharin sells I guess  Smile  ). Since cyber crooks are opportunity driven, you can expect much more of this type of cybercriminal activity again this year.

Maybe you’re a very cool person who’s significant other is always sending you neat little packages in your email. MP3 files, screensavers, cartoons, YouTube videos, and the like. You get them so often, that you just automatically click on the email attachment without thinking. If you are this type of person, here’s a word of advice – start thinking.

The hook, as it always is in this type of socially engineered email scam, is based on exploiting emotions. The fact is, we’re all pretty curious creatures and let’s face it, who doesn’t like surprises. I think it’s safe to say, many of us find it difficult, if not irresistible, to not peek at love notes received via *email.

The reality.

The truth is, these emails often contain links that deliver advertisements – or worse, redirect the victim to an unsafe site where malware can be installed on the soon to be victim’s computer.

Would you be fooled?

A couple of years back, a friend, who is an astute and aware computer user, fell for one of these carefully crafted teasing emails. Clicking on the link led him to a site which had a graphic of hearts and puppies – and of course,  the teaser.

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Luckily, common sense prevailed and he backed out of this site. If he had clicked on the teaser, he would have begun the process of infecting his machine with a Trojan. A Trojan designed to connect to a remote command and control center.

Unfortunately, being smart is often NOT enough to protect yourself. At a minimum – make sure you have an effective security solution installed; capable of detecting both known and new malware strains.

You know what to do, right?

Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.

Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.

Don’t click links in emails. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar.

If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them – they could take you to a web site designed to download malware onto your computer.

* Cyber crooks have moved on from using just emails as a malware delivery vehicle. So, be on the lookout for fraudulent Valentine’s Day greetings in:

Instant Messenger applications.

Twitter

Facebook

Chat forums, etc..

6 Comments

Filed under Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, email scams, Malware Alert

Giveaway: Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO – Valentine’s Day Feb 14, 0:00 – Feb 14, 24:00 PST (24 Hours Only)

imageIObit has been offering a comprehensive PC care utility (Advanced SystemCare), that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer, since 2006. IObit continues this strong tradition with Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO, which will be available for download on Valentines Day.

Heads up: The free offer is available starting at 12 am PST, February 14, and will last 24 hours only.

Visiting the download site prior to, will generate the following notice.

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Regular readers will know, that I have tested and recommended previous versions of both the free, and pro versions of Advanced SystemCare. While I haven’t yet had a chance to comprehensively test Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO, I have little doubt this version continues to provide a super convenient solution for PC maintenance and protection.

I did however, start it up – perform a quick scan – and was not surprised to see the “Poor” PC Health notice, since this particular test platform is scheduled for an OS reinstall later in the week.

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Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO integrates IObit’s latest Toolbox, which has more than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance – including tools for system cleaning, optimizing and repairing, tools for security enhancement, and tools for full control over the system.

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Fast facts:

Keeps your PC running at peak performance – Fully optimizes Windows for ultimate system performance and top Internet speed by unleashing the built-in power of your system, based on how you use your PC and your network configuration. It turns your PC into a business PC, a productive workstation, an entertainment center, a game machine, or a scientific computing PC.

Defends PC security with extra protection – Detects and analyzes Windows security environment. Scans and removes spyware and adware using up-to-date definition files in order to prevent spyware, hackers and hijackers from installing malicious programs on your computer. Erases and updates your PC’s activity histories.

One click to solve as many as 10 common PC problems – Advanced SystemCare 5 inherits the ease-of-use from previous versions, with more powerful capabilities. With one click, it scans and repairs ten PC problems and protects your PC from hidden security threats.

Real-time optimization with ActiveBoost function – ActiveBoost, technology that actively runs in the background intelligently managing system resources in real-time, constantly detecting inactive resources and optimizing CPU and RAM usage.

More than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance – Advanced SystemCare 5 integrates IObit’s latest Toolbox which has more than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance or advanced needs, including tools for system cleaning, optimizing and repairing, tools for security enhancement, and tools for full control over the system.

Cloud technology to keep database up-to-date – The new “Cloud” technology ensures the database is kept updated at all times so that you can benefit from the latest definitions and configurations.

Boost your PC for working and gaming – You now have two Turbo Boost options, Work Mode and Game Mode. In addition, you can now adjust the configuration of each mode from the main screen.

Next-generation registry deep clean and optimizer – Safely cleans registry junk, compacts registry bloats and defragments the whole registry for maximum performance. Finds and fixes the registry errors that other utilities miss with “Deep Scan” technology.

Automatically works in the background – This powerful utility works continuously, automatically and quietly in the background on your PC. You can set it as your schedule or just let it work automatically when your PC is idle.

Powerful hard drive defragmentation – Fast, powerfully and incredibly effective Disk Defrag function to defragment hard drives – up to 10 times faster than other defragmentation tools.

Bottom line: As well as keeping your machine physically clean, it’s always good practice to keep your computer’s operating system and subsystems clean, so that you can get maximum performance from your machine. This application can certainly help you do just that.

System requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), XP (32-bit and 64-bit).

Download: You may download a fully licensed free version of Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO, starting at 12 am PST, February 14, 2012 at: iobit’s Valentines Day Giveaway

Update: February 14, 2012.

Unless you’re prepared for a very long wait for a response from IObit’s mail server, you might be better off avoiding this offer.

28 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, IObit, System Utilities

Valentine’s “Love” In Your Inbox – Could Be Malware On Your Computer.

imageValentine’s Day will be on us before we know it – so, it’s not too early to get ready for the deluge of  “I love you”, “Wish you were mine”………………., and of course, the customary – “Happy Valentine’s Day” emails.

Hopefully, you will have a Happy Valentine’s Day – but, that happy feeling could be ruined, if you fall victim to the explosion of “spam and scam” that’s aimed at lovers, this time of year –  every year. Much of it designed to take a swing at unsuspecting users machines – leading to a malware infection.

In previous years, starting  just about this time, we saw abnormally high rates of this type of spam and, since cyber crooks are opportunity driven; we’ll see much more of this type of cybercriminal activity this year, I expect.

Perhaps you’re a very cool person who’s significant other is always sending you neat little packages in your email. MP3 files, screensavers, cartoons, YouTube videos, and the like. Could be – you get them so often, that you just automatically click on the email attachment without even thinking. If, you are this type of person, here’s a word of advice – start thinking.

The hook, as it always is in this type of socially engineered email scam, is crafted around exploiting emotions. We’re all pretty curious creatures and, let’s face it, who doesn’t like surprises. I think it’s safe to say, we all find it difficult, if not impossible, to not peek at love notes received via email.

The unfortunate truth is, these spam emails often contain links that deliver advertisements, or worse – redirect the victim to an unsafe site from which malware can be installed on the victim’s computer.

Here’s a tip – If you see something along the lines of – This email contains graphics, so if you don’t see them, view it in your browser – consider very carefully – before you click on the link.

A couple of years ago, a friend, who is an astute and aware computer user, fell for one of these carefully crafted teasing emails. On opening the email, he was taken to a site which had pictures of hearts and puppies, and was then asked to choose which one was for him. You’ll notice that “choosing” involved opening an executable filea cardinal sin.

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Fortunately, he got his geek on in time – common sense prevailed, and he backed out of this site. If he had clicked on this executable file, he would have begun the process of infecting his machine with a Trojan. A Trojan which, in this case, connected to a remote command and control site – (effectively, turning over control of his computer to a cybercriminal). Nasty – I think you’ll agree.

Experienced users are on guard year round for these, and other types of scam/spam email.

You know what to do; right?

Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.

Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.

Don’t click links in emails. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar.

If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them, as they could take you to a web site designed to download malware onto your computer.

Cyber crooks have moved on from using just emails, as a malware delivery vehicle. So, be on the lookout for fraudulent Valentine’s Day greetings in:

Instant Messenger applications.

Twitter.

Facebook.

Chat forums, and so on.

This just in @ 11:56

Uzbekistan Government Cancels Valentine’s Day

That settles it – I’m not giving any Uzbek women my love in protest. Sorry ladies.   🙂

11 Comments

Filed under bots, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Email, Malware Alert, Social Networks, spam

Valentine’s Day Spam – Get Ready for the Blitz!

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In real life, love can sometimes leave you with a broken heart. But in Internet life (not that it’s not “real”), love can leave you with a broken heart, a broken wallet, and much more likely, now that Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, a broken/infected computer.

With just a week to go before this annual romantic holiday which celebrates friendship, love, and marriage, it’s time, once again, to be on the lookout for Valentine’s Day spam.

“Love” spam historically rises 700% or more, as we approach Valentine’s Day, and this year, I’ve noticed a definite increase in the “Russian Bride’” spam scam. I had to laugh, when I read one pundit referring to this type of invitation as, “male insecurity spam”.

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It’s estimated that this year, 8 per cent of “romantic” emails, or one in every 12 emails, is likely to contain malware. So, stay alert when dealing with emails that claim to be Valentine’s greeting cards, romantic videos, etc. Make sure you have an effective security solution installed, capable of detecting both known and new malware strains.

If you’re unsure if your existing AV solutions are up to the task, take a look at Tech Thoughts Top 8 Free Antimalware Applications.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Email, email scams, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Firewalls, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Advisories, Software, Windows Tips and Tools