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FileZilla Has an Evil Twin That Steals FTP Logins

Many people download FTP clients so that they can manage their websites and servers. FTP clients can be an easy way to upload, download and otherwise manage the files that exist on a person’s personal servers. Unfortunately, hackers have a way of transforming innocent FTP clients into harmful programs that damage the user’s credentials. Anyone who is thinking of downloading the FileZilla client should be aware of the following warning: FileZilla has an evil twin that steals FTP logins.

filezilla evil twin

People who download the malicious version of FileZilla are often unaware of its foul intention. The malware versions resemble the regular versions so closely that downloading them by mistake is easy. In fact, the user may not realize what has happened until someone steals his or her login information and begins making changes to the website. To avoid website destruction, theft and other mischievous activities, a user should pay close attention to the following clues:

Fake download URLs: The first clue to look out for is a download URL that looks suspicious. The person might notice pictures instead of the normal user comments and texts. He or she may also notice a slight difference in the version numbers. The official version number of a FileZilla download is v2.45. A malicious version may have a Unicode such as 2.46.3.

Suspicious dll libraries: Fake versions of FileZilla will have dll libraries that do not exist in the original versions. For example, bgcc_s_dw2-1.dll and libstdc++-6.dll are not in the real versions of FileZilla. Additionally, one might notice that the phony versions of FileZilla are smaller than the original versions, which are approximately 6-8 MB in size.

The best way to protect oneself from downloading malicious software is to visit the official websites to download FileZilla. One should avoid unfamiliar territory and websites that look suspicious in any way.

Filed in: Security, Software
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Google Bans Chrome Extensions Purchased to Deliver Adware

chrome extensions
Add to Feedly and Tweet This Page are two of the most popular extensions for the Google Chrome Browser, they have made it easier for users to share information online. The simplistic function and ease of use have a great deal to do with why they have become so popular with people all around the world. However, these extensions have become a problem for users looking for a clean and problem free experience when using a web browser. Subjecting users to pop ups and ad ware has resulted in removal from the Google store. It is very likely that the developers of these extensions did not engage in the creation of the extension for the original purpose of serving advertisements to users without their knowledge. Instead, this likely came as a result of the extensions being picked up by other companies and turned into a source of revenue at the expense of the user.

It is very likely that these are not the only extensions that attempt to serve advertisements in a way that harms the user. In fact, we are likely to see the removal of additional extensions over the next few weeks. In the event that you have noticed a computer slowing down without a hint of what may be going on, it may have to do with the extensions that you are using in order to add to your Google Chrome experience. If this is the case, you may want to remove the extensions that you have been using in order to see if it gets rid of the problem. If you discover an issue, reporting it to Google would be the best course of action. Reading Google bans Chrome extensions purchased to deliver adware is a simple way for you to say informed and avoid the unwanted influx of advertisements at the same time.

Filed in: Software
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How to Uninstall a Toolbar from Your Browser

Toolbars can be helpful but they can also be a nuisance. Most browsers like Google and Firefox offer toolbars that users can customize to make surfing easier. However, there are also toolbars that install themselves without your permission and only serve to clutter your desktop. Here are basic tips on how to uninstall a toolbar from your browser.

Using the Windows Add/Remove Programs Utility

The easiest way for Windows users would be to use the Windows Add/Remove Programs option. To do this, you have to:

(Continue reading…)

Filed in: Computers, Software
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Dr. Web CureIt! Is a Winner

If you haven’t tried this program, you simply must. Run Dr.Web CureIt!® (no need to install it) to quickly scan your computer and cure it of any malicious objects. It’s completely free for home use, and believe me, it works. All you have to do is go to http://www.freedrweb.com/cureit/?lng=en and follow the instructions. It’s very simple. Want to know who Dr. Web is? See below.

Doctor Web is a Russian IT-security solutions vendor. Dr.Web anti-virus software has been developed since 1992. The Russian IT security services market leader, Doctor Web was the first vendor to offer an anti-virus as a service in Russia. The company also offers proven anti-virus and anti-spam solutions for businesses, government entities, and personal use. We have a solid record of detecting malicious programs, and we adhere to all international security standards. Doctor Web has received numerous certificates and awards; our satisfied customers spanning the globe are clear evidence of the complete trust customers have in our products.

Enjoy!

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Tips for a Healthy Computer

Driver ErrorOur computers have become a mainstay in our homes and offices, and we rely on them to perform well to keep the rest of our lives motoring along at peak efficiency as well. One of the most common problems people encounter with their computers has to do with their drivers. These tiny bits of software are responsible for many of the communication connections within our computer systems. When communication is hindered, the entire system can be affected. We have some tips to keep your computer in top health by keeping your drivers in top form.

Click Here To Download Your Drive Analyzer Report

First, make sure you perform periodic updates on your drivers. Just like the rest of your system, drivers need to be equipped with the latest and greatest technology to allow them to communicate effectively with the rest of your updated system. In some cases, you will know your driver is due for an update because your computer will slow down or a particular piece of hardware no longer works as well. However, it is best to perform updates before these types of problems arise, so maintaining a regular update schedule may be the best approach.

Next, make sure your system remains clean by removing unused and outdated drivers as necessary. Just like any other excess files cluttering your system, unused drivers can take up valuable computer space, which can slow down the performance of your system. If you have an automated driver program, this software will often remove these unwanted drivers automatically for you. For more about these programs, click here:

Click Here To Download Your Drive Analyzer Report

Keeping your drivers working at top capacity makes a big difference in the performance of your PC. You can handle these tasks manually or invest in an automated driver software program that can take care of these jobs for you. Check out this automated program here:

Click Here To Download Your Drive Analyzer Report

Filed in: Answers, Software, Tips
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A Holiday Giveaway

First of all, I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season. I also want to thank you for being a loyal Ask the Geek subscriber. I hope you continue to find the site useful. You’ll be happy to know that in 2010, I’ll be making some major improvements to both the layout and the content, so stay tuned.

As you know, I cover all the costs to bring you Ask the Geek. My hosting, domain names and my mailing list management services aren’t free. Your generous donations have kept me going for the better part of five years and for that I am truly thankful. So, I want to give you a special opportunity.

Everyone who makes a donation of $20 or more to Ask the Geek between now and December 31st, 2009 will receive a 2GB flash drive loaded with literally hundreds of security, system maintenance and productivity tools that have been part of my Geek arsenal for more than five years. All of them are safe, proven, and malware-free. It would literally take you hundreds of hours to research and compile this collection on your own and I won’t be making this offer again, so jump on board while you can. Just hit that “Donate” button over there to the right and follow the instructions.

And don’t forget, “14 Golden Rules of Computer Security” will be released in January and will be free to my subscribers, so be sure to sign up to my list, whether or not you decide to donate.

Again, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a Safe, Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Cheers!

Ken “The Geek” Harthun

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Panda Cloud Antivirus Emerges From Beta

I reported on Panda Cloud Antivirus back in June and July in my Security Corner posts, Panda’s Cloud Antivirus (Beta) is a Winner! and Panda’s CloudAntivirus Update.

I tested Panda Cloud Antivirus extensively on my systems while it was in beta and only recently switched to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) for evaluation. Today, I’ll switch back to Panda on my older, slower system to compare performance of each one. I have noticed a slight performance degradation with MSE that was all but non-existent with Panda. Now that Panda Cloud Antivirus is out of beta, I can make a fair comparison which I will report on later. Check out the full report in this Security Corner post.

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Get top rated Bullguard Internet Security Suite for FREE!

“Although not so well know in some parts of the world, Bullguard Internet Security is a top level security suite from Denmark. With firewall technology licensed from Agnitum (Outpost) and anti-malware components from BitDefender you will appreciate the pedigree of this software. One of the product’s most interesting features is the way support is provided. Bullguard support staff can be contacted directly from the GUI and response times are reputed to be amongst the fastest in the industry.

“The vendors are generously offering a full 12 month licence for Bullguard Internet Security free for all Gizmo’s Freeware visitors for two days only commencing at 00.01 PST on Thursday 5th November and closing at 23.59 PST on Friday 6th November 2009. This offer comes with full support from Bullguard.”

Click here to get it: http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/get-top-rated-bullguard-internet-security-suite-free.htm

Cheers!

The Geek

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Make a USB Thumb Drive Laptop Theft Alarm

Picture this: Someone tries to steal your laptop off your desk and as soon as they pull the plug from the wall, your latpop emits a screaming siren that won’t quit until your password is entered to unlock the laptop and disable the alarm.There’s another scenario: You take one of your old USB thumb drives (maybe the one you used to make an anti virus bootable scanner) attach a chain to it and secure it to your desk; if someone tries to move your laptop, unplugging the USB thumb drive in the process, the alarm goes off.

This is possible because of an interesting piece of software called “LAlarm.” It’s free for personal use and there’s a nominal fee for commercial use. Download LAlarm from this link: http://www.lalarm.com/en/index.htm.

I tested this software by installing it on my Dell laptop. It works. You simply install the software, configure the options you want and restart your laptop. To set the alarm, you just press Windows key + L to lock the workstation. If anyone pulls the plug or removes the thumb drive, the alarm sounds.

There’s much more to the software than just an alarm. You can set the software to destroy your data in selected folders in the event of a theft. You can also set zones based on IP addresses and cause an alarm to sound if the IP address changes.

The theft alarm is not affected by the system volume control setting–it’s screaming loud no matter how you have your volume set.

It’s a very cool tool.

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Prevent Online Banking Fraud with a ROBAM

What’s a ROBAM? you ask. Check out this post: Protecting Your Business from Online Banking Fraud. SANS says, “The number one recommended mitigation [to online banking fraud caused by infostealer infections] is to use a read-only bootable alternative media (ROBAM) as an isolated environment for financial transactions.”

You can use a USB thumb drive instead of a CD if you do the following:

1. Download your alternative Linux OS choice (I prefer Ubuntu or Knoppix) in .iso format
2. Download UNetbootin from http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
3. Create a bootable USB thumb drive using UNetbootin
4. Set the properties of the drive to “read only”

This should have the same effect as using a Linux live CD.

I haven’t tried this, so comments welcome.

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