Tag Archives: Windows Essentials Codec Pack

Scareware Video Codecs – Another Money Maker For The Bad Guys

imageScareware and Rogue applications (essentially one and the same), once installed, are usually in the victim’s face with an immediate demand for money. Pay me nownot later, is a common theme encountered by those unlucky enough to be trapped.

The ever creative malware clan though, which seems to be always tinkering with delivery methods, has just released a combo threat in an effort to enhance what is already a mature and lucrative business model.

This time around, the bad guys have combined the ever popular missing codec scam (see – Video Codecs – Gateways to Malware Infection – March 2010), with the more usual “Hey, you’re infected” scareware shakedown.

Initially, the unlucky victim gets the usual blunt, and very convincing warning – much like the one below.

image

Courtesy – GFI.

You’ll notice, that unlike the usual “click here to buy” or similar come-on, the potential victim is simply instructed to “Remove all” Trojans. Sounds pretty upfront don’t you think? OK, maybe not to you as an experienced user but, what about your friends/relatives who aren’t as aware as you are? The sad reality is – the victims continue to pile up.

Unfortunately, clicking on “Remove all”, will install a series of malware infected files. The (innocent?) victim will not notice that he’s just been bamboozled – not yet. The victim won’t get the “but wait, there’s more” message, until the time comes to play a Web video.

image

Courtesy – GFI.

And then – booom. Time to pay – as shown in the following screen shot.

image

Courtesy – GFI.

Worth repeating:

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.

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.

There is an epidemic of 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.

Some good advice from popular guest writer Mark Schneider – “My general rule of thumb for video is: If VLC won’t play it don’t bother.”

So that you can avoid the “missing codec scam”, and 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

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.

6 Comments

Filed under Codecs, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Internet Security Alerts, Online Safety, Rogue Software, scareware, Software, trojans, Windows Tips and Tools

To Watch This Video You Need To Install A Codec – DON’T DO IT!

image

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.

image

image

image

image

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

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.

10 Comments

Filed under Audio Software, Codecs, cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Malware Advisories, Rogue Software, scareware, Software, Utilities, Video Tools, Windows Tips and Tools

Video Codecs – Gateways to Malware Infection

image 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 – your 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.

image

image

image

image

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

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.

18 Comments

Filed under cybercrime, Digital Media, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Malware Advisories, Media Players, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Software, Video, Viruses, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP, worms

Movie or Audio Not Playing? – Get Essentials Codec Pack Free – Play 99% of Movies/Music

codecpack.jpgWhat can be more frustrating than gearing up to play a movie or audio file, only to find out you don’t have the right codec? I’m familiar with this type of frustration, since this has happened to me from time to time; but no more. 

Some time ago I discovered Windows Essentials Codec Pack, a must have collection of Video Codecs, Audio Codecs and tools, that are needed to Encode / Decode (i.e., play), audio and video files. With Windows Essentials Codec Pack you should be able to play 99% of all the movies and music files that you download from the internet, and better yet, stay up to date with the latest Codecs through W.E.C.P’s Audio / Video Codec Update Service. 

W.E.C.P is extremely easy to use: a couple of mouse clicks and you’re finished. 

According to the developer, W.E.C.P. is designed as a nearly complete solution for all video and audio needs. With W.E.C.P installed you can play Audio CDs, DVDs, (S)DVDs, and more. I must admit, that in my case, the mystery of the missing Codecs has been solved since I installed this neat Codec pack. 

Included in the Codec pack are the following Codecs / DirectShow / VfW Filters

           APE Source Filter: DirectShow audio decoder filter used to decode Monkey’s Audio files (APE files) 

           AC3 Filter: DirectShow audio decoder and processor filter used to decode audio tracks in movies (DVD, MPEG4 and others) 

           AVI Splitter: Replacement for DirectShow’s default Audio Video Interleave (AVI) Splitter (It can open many broken files and can re-index when needed) 

           CDDA Reader Filter: DirectShow audio decoder capable of reading Audio CDs 

           CDXA Reader Filter: DirectShow video decoder capable of reading (S)VCDs and XCDs 

           CoreAAC Filter: Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) DirectShow audio decoder capable of reading AAC files 

           CoreFlac Decoder: DirectShow audio decoder for the Flac audio codec 

           FFDShow: DirectShow decoding filter for decompressing DivX, XviD, H.264, FLV1, WMV, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and various other audio and video formats. It uses libavcodec from ffmpeg project for video decompression, postprocessing code from MPlayer to enhance visual quality of low bit rate movies, and is based on original DirectShow filter from XviD, which is GPL’s educational implementation of MPEG4 encoder 

           FLV Splitter: Capable of splitting Flash Video files (FLV) and decoding On2 VP62 Video streams (notable users of the FLV format include YouTube, Google Video, Reuters.com, Yahoo! Video and MySpace.) 

           OGG Splitter: DirectShow OGG Splitter capable of splitting OGG and OGM file(s) and enables to play / create .ogm wrapped video 

           GPL MPEG-1/2 Decoder: DirectShow MPEG decoder filter can be used to play MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 streams 

           MOD Source Filter: DirectShow filter decoder capable of decoding Tracker files (MO3, IT, XM, S3M, MTM, MOD and UMX) 

           MPEG Splitter: DirectShow splitter capable of splitting MPEG1/MPEG2 files (MP(E)G, VOB, DAT, TS, TP, etc.) 

           MPV Decoder: DirectShow decoder capable of decoding MPEG1/MPEG2 Video streams, and DVDs 

           MPA Splitter: DirectShow Splitter capable of splitting MPEG Audio files (MP3) and MPEG4 Audio files (AAC) 

           MPC Source Filter: DirectShow decoder filter capable of decoding MusePack Audio files (MPC) 

           MP4 Splitter: DirectShow Splitter capable of splitting MP4, M4A, 3GP and HD-MOV files 

           Matroska Splitter: DirectShow splitter capable of splitting Matroska files (MKV and MKA) 

           Media Player Classic: an open source media player that looks just like Windows Media Player, but has many additional features. It has a built in DVD player with real-time zoom, support for AVI subtitles, QuickTime and RealVideo support 

           OFR Source Filter: DirectShow filter decoder capable of decoding OptimFROG Audio files (OFR) 

           RealMedia Splitter: DirectShow splitter that allows you to play RealNetworks audio/video files 

           SHOUTcast Source Filter: DirectShow decoder filter capable of handling internet radio stations streams

           WV Splitter / Decoder: DirectShow WV Splitter and decoder capable of splitting and decoding WavPack Audio files (WV) 

           VobSub Filter: DirectShow Vob Subtitles filter capable of displaying (embedded) Subtitle files (SRT, SUB, IDX, etc) 

Operating System: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/2003/Vista 

Download at: CNET 

6 Comments

Filed under Audio Applications, Audio Software, Freeware, Graphic Software, Multimedia Tools, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools