Computer Viruses– What to Watch Out For

Computer Viruses– What to Watch Out For

March 12, 2021 Off By Tammy Schneider

The internet and PC viruses users face in the course of ordinary browsing or computing keeps on evolving. The perpetrators change from teenagers to enemies doing this for money. The threat has changed from attachments in email to links in email, leading people to click on the links, leading them to going to websites where virus spreaders do what can be called “drive-by downloads.” Using different exploits to get malware onto the PC, it turns the PCs into zombies or bots that send more spam. More malware is pushing—very often nowadays–fake PC security products (to ‘fix’ a problem that the malware itself caused), so make sure you get your security product from a trusted vendor.

Conficker, the big, big network worm that effects over 10 million computers around the world, has been doing so since November 21st 2008, when the first outbreak of it occurred. The Conficker gang (of virus spreaders) has been very innovative in coming up with solutions or techniques to making our lives as hard as possible. For example, instead of using 250 websites per day, they’re now using 50,000 websites to drop trojans, just an extra measure of mayhem from them to make our computing life harder.

Other things to look out for right now is social media. A lot of the email threats use Facebook, or Twitter as a good social engineering scam to get people to click on links. Email used to be trusted, as a message might be titled from a person you knew (you trusted, you clicked on the link…infected). People now are more wary of suspicious types of ‘from a friend’ links but, if you get them in a social media environment like on Facebook, if it’s someone you specifically approved as a friend, you tend to click on it more. Same for Twitter, and many other social sites.

PDF (Adobe Acrobat portable document format) files are vulnerable. You see PDF files being used now in more attacks than ever before, and it’s gone up by twenty times, since 2008. Even if you get a PDF in an email, you can’t necessarily trust it. It’s recommend that people stay away from Adobe Acrobat Reader, and without mentioning a specific replacement, just use something else. Let’s get away from everyone using Adobe Acrobat Reader! We don’t want to go back to the old “Internet Explorer being the majority browser” now and people are using many other browsers, which is great. But let’s do the same for PDFs.

The same goes for the full Acrobat Pro. It doesn’t really serve a much of a general purpose, and if you just want to read PDFs…why do you want a tool or application that’s 35 Megs (Megabytes) in size, when you can have a tool one meg in size that does exactly the same thing? So, just to clarify, the PDF format is fine, just don’t rely on the Reader! The most worrying parts about it remains—especially since the last year or two—the different browser plug-ins that can exploit it to spread a virus.

Source: Wikipedia, Conficker Virus