Downandup or Conficker USB Worm Prevention and Removal

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Ms. Ducktoes is really busy removing spyware and replacing power supplies today, but I’ve noticed an influx of this new worm. So I thought I should warn you. It’s called the Downandup/Conficker worm. Millions of computers are infected. To avoid getting it, turn off Autoruns on your computer. Click here to learn how to turn off Autoruns.

To fix or remove Downandup or Conficker worm, there are these free removal tools:
ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/anti-virus/tools/beta/fsmrt.zip
ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/anti-virus/tools/beta/f-downadup.zip

Then run the usual Malwarebytes et al as in this post on Free Anti-spyware just to get rid of any remaining spyware. More later, my chickadees.

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Spying on Spouses or Lovers with Keyloggers

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Sometimes computer repair jobs turn into something else. Sometimes Ms. Ducktoes is sitting quietly, concentrating on a computer and the client starts to talk, and before Ms. Ducktoes can say, “I think your hard drive is going bad,” she finds herself in the middle of a sensitive personal disclosure.

Other times people request services that Ms. Ducktoes doesn’t do. Like installing spyware.

Yesterday, Friday, a man called Ms. Ducktoes. I’ll call him Henry. Henry said he was worried about spyware on his computer. But when I arrived at his door, it turned out what Henry really wanted was a program that would secretly track everything done on his computer, all e-mail, all websites visited, all Instant Messenger chats. So he’d have a backup, he said.

I stared. “You want a keylogger for a backup?”

Henry, probably hearing the incredulity in my voice, turned pale. “What’s a keylogger?” he said.

“A keylogger is a type of spyware that records every keystroke typed on the keyboard and sometimes take screenshots of websites visited and e-mails viewed.”

He said, “Yes, that’s it, a keylogger.”

When I sat down in front of his computer, the screen displayed only one user: Naomi. “Who’s Naomi?” I asked.

“My wife. It’s her computer.”

“Does Naomi know you’re making a backup of everything she does on-line?”

His voice came out shaky. “Yes,” he said.

“Okay,” I said, “but. it can’t be secret. It has to give Naomi a warning the keylogger is recording her every keystroke.” I sat up straigher. “Otherwise it’s spyware.”

Henry raised his voice. “But I need to see what -.” He screwed up his face like he might cry.

“You need to see what she’s doing?”

He nodded and started to cry into his hands. “I think she’s seeing someone. Having an affair. She instant messages until late at night. She takes long lunches and is really distant. But she denies it so I need proof.”

I patted his shoulder. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Henry, but surely that’s not the best way.”

“I’m in so much pain,” he said.

“Yes, I’m sure you are. That’s a terrible thing to go through.”

He looked up, surprised.

“I’ve been down a road or two,” I said. “Or three. But can I tell you something I’ve learned from lots of counseling?”

Henry nodded.

“Spying isn’t going to relieve your pain or solve your problems. Spying just makes you a victim, too needy, too wrapped-up in Naomi’s activities, and too desperate. You need to do something positive, something for you. Something to raise yourself out of the emotional muck. Something to give you your dignity back.”

Henry nodded solemnly. “Like what?” he said.

“Well, you could exercise, and get buff, or take a class in something you like, or take a trip. Maybe get counseling.”

“I don’t feel like doing anything,” Henry said.

“No, probably not. But doing something fun or positive would relieve your obsession about your wife a bit. Would make you more attractive.”

“To Naomi?”

“To yourself. To heck with Naomi.”

He looked farway. “Maybe I’ll go skiing for the weekend. By myself.”

“Good idea,” I said. “Now give me some computer work to do.”

“Why?”

“Because I have to charge you my minimum charge anyway.”

So I took Henry’s own computer back to the shop and removed 259 spyware and viruses from it and really sped up its boot time. Then I called his cell. He didn’t answer but he did eventually call back from a hot tub in the mountains. His voice sounded quite serene. He said that his wife kept calling but he wasn’t returning her calls yet.

I know how tempting it can be to spy on your spouse’s or partner’s computer if they seem to be straying from you and the marriage. But its not an action that will help. If a marriage isn’t working for you don’t need spyware to act. Act from your own needs and desires. Do something to enhance your interest and joy in life and the world. Something positive and life-affirming. Your new outlook will be attractive to others.

You don’t need to buy spyware to save your marriage. An alternative might be the wonderful newsletter from the “Keep your Marriage” website. I’ve found it quite helpful and interesting. Their book was good too. It really helped me in making it through a bad time in my marriage and life.

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How to Prevent the USB Worm

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There’s a new USB worm about. It loads on your computer when you stick an infected USB drive (Flash memory drive) into a USB port or an infected CD into the CD drive. Since it installs through the Autorun function on Windows, this type of worm is easy to prevent. Simply turn off Autorun.

To turn off Autorun do this:

1. Go to Start button then Run.
2. Type in “gpedit.msc” without the quotes.
3. The Group policy window will open.
4. Choose “System” under “Administrative Templates.”
5. Find “Turn off Autoplay” and double-click it.
6. You’ll see three choices with radio buttons (round check boxes) in front of them: Not configured, Enabled, Disabled. Pick “Enabled.”
7. Underneath the radio buttons you’ll see the words “Turn off Autoplay on.” Choose “All drives.”

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Not only will this prevent the USB worm, it will also let you play some CDs without all the manufacturers’ restrictions.

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Did you get Koobfaced on Facebook?

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Yes, it’s true, there’s a virus from Facebook called Koobface. If you haven’t noticed, Koob is “book” backwards. If let to run it’s course, Koobface will turn your Facebook account backwards too, or at least inside out. It’ll also infect your computer system. You’ll notice it takes longer to go from website to website. And sometimes when you search on Google, you may get a different search engine instead, a lame, bogus search engine whose primary purpose is to promote its ads. It’s adware.

Facebook suggests you immediately change your password and run a good anti-virus. A GOOD one. If you want the best try Spyware Doctor with Antivirus, the highest rated anti-spyware around.

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Here’s a site that tells you how to fix your system.

Please feel free to comment and let me know how Koobface affects your Facebook account and your computer.

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Be Careful on "Hallmark and Postcard.exe virus removal" Searches

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I’m concerned. Today while researching the Hallmark card and postcard.exe virus, I got these results on Google.

Google Results for

Image of Google Results

The highlighted result in the middle leads to a download site for Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009, a rogue Antivirus that is really a deadly virus for your computer. I mean a nasty.

So this is the dramatic scenario, my innocent ducklings, you receive a Hallmark card or other e-card e-mail. You know you are not supposed to open attachments on e-mails especially those ending with .exe or .dll but on this e-mail there are none. So you feel safe. There is a link, however, for you to see the Hallmark card (or other e-card) someone sent you. You click the link. Instead of an ecard, your computer fills with the Hallmark card virus, and depending on what variant you download, a pretty bad virus.

Your computer is now looking and acting strange. You’re worried. You search online for solutions. You search for “Hallmark card virus removal”. You get results such as the ones above. You may luck out and click Ducktoes or another legitimate antispyware site or you may click a link to the fraudulent rogue anti-virus Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 above. Immediately your computer starts to fill with an even more lethal virus. So now you have one bad virus and one very bad virus.

The fraudulent website looks like this:

Bogus Antivirus Site

Bogus Antivirus Site

Now Ms. Ducktoes has to go to her day job fixing computers and get back to this later. Please be careful until then. Let me know what’s happening to your computer right now, so I have more information on what new variants there are and the type of frustation and problems you’re having, so I can help you more effectively.

Click on the Comment or No comment tag below. Or e-mail me at [email protected]

And the virus removal techniques in yesterday’s post about How to Fix Vundo in Safe Mode should also be quite effective agains the Hallmark Card and Windows XP Anti-virus. Give them a try. Until later.

Also I’m curious. What spyware or virus are you struggling with right now? Or if you don’t know, what symptoms do you have? I invite your comments. Comment here.

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