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Microsoft has warned the public of the new scareware spreading the Internet which mimicked Microsoft Security Essential Suite. The rogue anti-malware tells the user that the system if infected with a lot of viruses and spyware and then asks the user to pay for a fee for the purchase of a full version of Microsoft Security Essentials. However, Microsoft Security Essentials are given free to genuine Microsoft users.

The fake “Security Essentials 2010” claims to unlock removal and cleaning functionality if the user will pay up. Actually filling out this information puts a user at risk of fraud (stolen credit card details) and of course, identity theft. The malware changes the users’ Desktop background, alerting that “YOUR SYSTEM IS INFECTED”. “System has been stopped due to a serious malfunction. Spyware activation has been detected.”

Microsoft Malware Protection
center have identified it as Trojan:Win32/Fakeinit. Fakeinit’s downloader not only installs the fake scanner component – it also monitors other running processes and attempts to terminate the ones it doesn’t like, claiming that they are infected.

Here’s a picture of the fake MS Security Essentials compared to the original one:

Moreover, the rogue security essentials lowers a number of security settings in the registry, and changes the desktop background to display the message that your computer has been infected with a virus.

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For some reason or another you do not want to remove a spyware using an anti-spyware software (even the free antispyware downloads). Either you do not trust the software or it is not installing on PC due to a malware or virus that is already installed. Here is a video from Exids detailing on how you can manually remove a spyware using Process Explorer from Microsoft and HijackThis.exe that generates a report of registry and file settings.

The video tutorial is a bit challenging if you are new to processes that is running in your computer. The good thing though is Exids has explained it very well in a step by step manner.

Exids – Learn how to remove any virus, spyware or malware manually using the Botts Technique. No software to buy and takes only a few minutes.
The Botts Technique is a ground breaking virus and spyware removal method that every technician should know about. It requires only two free software programs no more than 2 MB in size and that are found everywhere.

Part One:

Part Two:

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A Judge has finally dismissed a lawsuit case against software giant Microsoft over its much-criticized Windows Genuine Advantage program in 2006.

Although the judge has finally dismissed the case, it is not clear as to whether Microsoft has agreed to pay for settlements. The lawsuit case fundamentally characterised Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) as a spyware, accusing Microsoft of not telling the tool’s functionality before downloading it onto the plaintiffs’ computers. WGA is specifically designed to determine whether the user’s version of Windows is genuine or it is pirated. It posted regular data back to Microsoft about user’s hardware and software and reminded computer users of piracy violations.

“Contrary to the express statements Microsoft made in the insufficient disclosures that were offered, the software collected and communicated private identifying information from consumer’s computers and sent that information back to Microsoft on a daily basis,” the complaint read.

In January, the plaintiffs failed to have the suit certified as a class action, a blow to their case.

Shortly after the suit was filed, amid a storm of criticism, Microsoft released a new version of WGA with a reduced schedule of reporting user data back to the software giant. Afterwards, Microsoft revised again the WGA so as to not disrupt users of Windows XP who had uncertain licenses. Most of the times, legitimate buyers of Windows XP were being labeled as having illegitimate software and were regularly demanded to reinstall or buy a new version, even though in most instances the software was legitimate.

WGA caused other problems as well. Once, after a worker accidentally loaded software onto the live system, Windows XP and Vista users were told via the WGA system that they had pirated copies of their software. The problem lasted more than a day before it was fully corrected.

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The successor program to the notorious Zango spyware toolbar is being used to target users of Mozilla’s Firefox with fake browser updates, a security company has alleged.

According to a warning put out by eSoft, the reprised Hotbar app, run as of May last year by a new entity called Pinball Corp, is being fed to users via a fake but convincing Firefox update page. The update page – which users would come to through a search engine for the latest updates – looks identical to the genuine page in everything bar the version it is claiming to offer (3.5 where the most recent is 3.6) and some misspelling.

Windows users fooled into downloading and installing from the fake page will actually be getting a toolbar app that also hits the user with pop-up ads and a weather application in the system tray.

According to eSoft, the software is actually being fed without the direct knowledge of its creators, Pinball, which will likely be a third party affiliate for every install. As with the distribution of the original Zango Toolbar, how that install gets on to a user’s PC is not their business.

Read the article at: PC World

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Many of us have used the term adware, spyware and malware interchangeably but what really is the difference between these terms. In this post I will differentiate the meanings of the adware, spyware and malware for us to have a good understanding of finding a solution to our computer related problems.

What Is an Adware?

Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are showed when the program is running. The authors of these applications include additional code that delivers the ads, which can be viewed through pop-up windows or through a bar that appears on a computer screen. The justification for adware is that it helps recover programming development cost and helps to hold down the cost for the user. Most of the time adwares are being displayed with the proper consent of the user..

What is Spyware?

Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user’s personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.

Although spyware technically falls into the category of adware (advertising supported software) it differs because of key factors. Spyware can be used correctly, as pc surveillance software for example: by parents, to see what there computers are being used for by their children. This is a positive side of spyware.

However, Spyware can be used by companies to spy on you without you realising. A lot of it can come from downloading and installing freeware programs or software downloaded from shareware and p2p sites. This sort of unwittingly installed software is known as trojan horses. In itself, spyware from more reputable companies, does not infect or harm your computer but is used for marketing, to better see your surfing habits and thus present you with highly targeted ads.

On a darker side however, spyware can also be used to track and record person information such as bank details. Redirect web browser activity to designated ad sites, change computer settings and preferences, change homepages, slow down internet and pc performance, cause multiple unsolicited pop-up advertisements and so much more.

What Is Malware?

Malware is a short term for malicious software. It is designed to penetrate a computer system without the owner’s informed awareness. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The term “computer virus” is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, including true viruses.

Software is considered malware based on the perceived intention of the creator rather than any particular features. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware and other malicious and unwanted software. In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, for instance in the legal codes of several U. S. states, including California and West Virginia

In conclusion, adware is basically safe and is done on users content, however when softwares or scripts started to get information from your pc without you knowledge then it becomes a spyware and malware. I hope you have gained an basic understanding of the different between an adware, spyware and malware.

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