How to Remove Privacy Center

The other day I fixed a computer infected with Privacy Center. The name made me laugh since the privacy offered by this rogue program is like walking naked downtown and handing out your credit card numbers, e-mail address, and cell phone number at the same time. Malwarebytes cleaned it up quite easily. All you have to do is download, save, and run Malwarebytes. It should update automatically the first time you use it but after that you’ll need to click the Update tab manually to get the updated malware definitions. Run Malwarebytes once a week or more to protect yourself.

And as always your comments are very welcome.

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Hallmark Card Virus (Again) and the Evil AntivirusOn.com

Ms. Ducktoes really feels for the readers whose computers have the Hallmark card virus. So many of you are still coming to this blog for a fix. This has been going on for months.

Since so many of you are still getting infected, today I went on-line to do a more research. I was wondering if there were any new variants etc.

What I found troubled me:
This Google search result for

The links lead to a Youtube video which pretends to be a Tutorial but really is an ad for AntispywareOn.com, a rogue anti-virus site that will give you–you guessed it–more spyware and viruses. You can play the video without getting infected but don’t go to AntivirusOn.com. The video’s not much to see; it’s mostly obscured by big letters telling you to go to AntivirusOn.com. Click here to see the video.

Now here’s a video that’s more interesting. The video maker “Video search engine” infects a virtual machine with what you get on AntivirusOn.com and makes a video of the result. And, oh dear, the result looks surprisingly familiar: like another variant of the Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009!

Ms. Ducktoes wants to stamp her (web) foot, she’s so sick of the Hallmark card virus and the Windows XP Anti-virus!!!

If you have the Hallmark virus, don’t go to AntivirusOn.com and even get more spyware and viruses. I’m sure some of you have already.

If you need to remove the Hallmark Card virus, the Windows Xp Anti-virus 2008/2009 or any other spyware, try this first.

If you already have bad spyware problems and can’t download the anti-spyware abovego here for a fix.

Good luck and as always your comments are most welcome.

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Are you feeling like a Zombie? Then remove that Botnet!

A botnet uses spyware and malware to lure you into being one of its zombie computers. And then uses your computer for spamming, storing credit card numbers and other personal data such as passwords and account numbers, distributing illegal types of porn, and creating a its own captive and huge search and advertising network. If you are part of that type of botnet, you can’t search on Google or Yahoo or other legitimate search site, you are captive to that botnet’s search engine and their dedicated services and ads.

Also as a zombie your computer will be strange and slow. You’ll be forced to use a bogus search engine and ads you don’t want. It will seem as if something has taken over your computer. It has. A botnet!

Here’s a free tool RuBotted from Trend Micro that will remove your computer from the botnet, and the botnet from your computer.

Ms. Ducktoes used it on a computer that was so slow it took 20 minutes to boot. And found and removed a botnet from Russia caused by Windows XP Antivirus 2008!

So try it out and let me know if you discover a botnet on your computer. Click here to leave a comment. Ms. Ducktoes wants to hear from you.

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Best Free Anti-Spyware of 2008

This year Ms. Ducktoes has added more free anti-spyware to our regulars: Spybot and Ad-Aware SE, which have been on our best anti-spyware list for years.

At Ducktoes we fight spyware on computers everyday and these are our the most potent and useful.

1. Malwarebytes
Our top best free anti-spyware of the year is this newbie (at least to us).
This free-antispyware is the newest and trendiest trick Calgary techies have up their sleeves. At all the tech workshops I’ve been to, everyone’s talking about it. And what’s more, Malwarebytes lives up to the hype, since it is like an avenging angel against potent malware. It nails it!!!

2. SuperAntiSpyware
Here’s another new-to-me and probably new-to-you anti-spyware that is true to its name. It’s a Super hero – really effective against the Hallmark card and other difficult malware.

3. Dr. Web Cureit. Dr. Web Cureit is a dynamo against some of the new malware. Dr. Web is from a Russian company and is endorsed my the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. Since so much spyware and malware is coming from Russia these days, I imagine the Dr. Web people have prior first-hand exposure to it and fight it effectively sooner than some other anti-spyware fighters. It worked well against many nasties for me.

4. Spybot Search and Destroy – Some techs talk about this tried and true anti-spyware (an experienced anti-spywre, no actually, the archetype) as no longer as effective as the newer malware fighters. However this just ain’t true. Spybot’s version 1.6 has a much improved detection and faster scan speed. And the new version 2–almost ready for release–will knock our socks off!

5. Ad-Aware 2008 Another familiar favorite that has gone through a major overhaul. Ad-Aware is the most popular anti-spyware on CNET’s Download.com, no mean feat! All those people must know something we ought to get in on.

And of course there are a few best anti-spyware that aren’t free. But I’ll have to save those for a different post.

To use these best anti-spyware, it never hurts to run more than one, or even, run them all. One at a time. In fact sometimes that’s an excellent way to fignt the Worst Spywares of the year Windows XP Anti-virus 2008/2009 and the Hallmark Card virus. See the post.

And as always, I treasure and welcome your comments.

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Worst Spyware of 2008

The worst spyware of 2008 (in my experience) is certainly Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 or one of its many variations. This malware invades a computer in one of many ways, usually bundled with a video codec, or freeware or shareware, or sometimes when you accidentally go to (drive by) a bad website.

Infected computers display warnings and scans that look like Window alerts. They lead you–the besieged users–to buy the rogue product for $40. If you buy the rogue software then the fraudsters now have access to your credit card. (Call your credit card company immediately if this is the case.) And the purchase of the rogue anti-spyware does nothing to relieve the infection, in fact it takes over your computer to make it part of its botnet. This is the part I don’t understand. From my experience the infection makes the computer so totally crippled it can’t function, and for this reason I question how well it would serve even a botnet. But that according to this article is the intention.

And here’s another article about it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/technology/internet/30virus.html?th&emc=th

I find Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 extremely difficult to remove. Sometimes it comes back even after a Windows Repair from the cd.

Here’s a post that tells how to remove it.

The spyware that seems to have affected the most readers of this blog, is the Hallmark Card virus. So it is the 2nd Worst Spyware of 2008. Here’s how to remove it.

And here’s a great slideshow by Channel Web showing the top ten malware in the news.

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