The Computer Doctor of Richmond is in the news!

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Our Chief of Computer Medicine was recently interviewed by our local CBS affiliate’s Jake Burns.  Jake wanted to know more about the FBI DNS changer issue that hit the news in a big way.  Doctor Kevin informed Jake and CBS’s viewers that this was not a very big issue for most of the US and that many news outlets made a mountain of a mole hill.

http://wtvr.com/2012/07/09/internet-blackout-begins-are-you-impacted/

The Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down Internet servers that it temporarily set up to support those affected by malicious software, called DNSChanger. Turning off those servers knocked all those still infected offline.

Over the past five years, a group of six Estonian cybercriminals infected about 4 million computers around the world with DNSChanger. The malware redirected infected users’ Web searches to spoofed sites with malicious advertisements.

In November 2011, the FBI and some overseas partners arrested those responsible, commandeered their servers, and attempted to warn those affected to get rid of the virus.

The FBI did not immediately take down the rogue servers, as infected computers would have lost Internet access, an FBI spokesman said.

To remedy the problem, the FBI had the nonprofit Internet Systems Consortium set up temporary servers. That way, computer owners would have time to get rid of their malware.

The servers were supposed to be shut dowan in March, but hundreds of thousands remained infected. Nearly 211,000 computers worldwide (about 42,000 in the United States) still have the virus, according to the FBI’s latest count on Monday. That’s a large number, but it’s a very small subset of the 1.6 billion PCs worldwide, of which an estimated 339 million are in the United States.

Still, the FBI decided to give people even more time to check for the malware, extending the deadline until July. The agency now says the time has come to cut the cord, and the emergency servers were shut down Monday morning.

Though the FBI tried to send notifications to those infected, it could not identify all of them, a spokesman said.

To help the users still infected, the agency laid out a step-by-step plan on how to check to see if your computer has the virus. The quickest way to see if your system is OK is to go to dns-ok.us, a site set up to check for the infection.

How did this all happen?

The servers the cybercriminals set up redirected search traffic to their own rogue servers, bypassing Google, Microsoft’s Bing or other search engines’ servers. Users would be shown fake search results that sent them to spoofed websites with manipulated online ads.

For example, when a user searched for Netflix and clicked on the fake search result, he or she would instead be redirected to an unrelated website called “BudgetMatch.” If a user searched for ESPN and clicked through, DNSChanger would replace Dr. Pepper 10 ads on ESPN’s website with an ad for a timeshare business.

The fraudsters made $14 million through those illegal ads, the FBI said.

The malware also prevented users from updating their operating systems or anti-virus software, which may have detected the virus.

Facebook and Google joined the awareness efforts by alerting users whose devices appear to be infected. Both sites display warnings and provide links to help get rid of the malware.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)
™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Some users experience issues with a recent Vipre definition update

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As many of you know, Vipre is our preferred antivirus for most home and small business users.  Its effective, affordable and easy on your computers horse power.  However, on June 14 GFI (the company that owns and produces the Vipre product line) released a definition update that in some cases was causing Vipre to become unresponsive.  Some users reported crashes or internet connectivity problems.  In a recent post on Vipre’s support site the posted an article describing the problem:

Starting late yesterday the 14th of June 2012, some VIPRE customers experienced a shutdown alert when running scans or browsing the web. This was due to an issue with a definition set that caused the VIPRE scanner to stop and restart itself. The definition versions that cause this were 12057, 12058 and 12059.

Once we learned of this, we posted a corrected set of definitions (version 12060). VIPRE users still experiencing any issues during scans should ensure their definitions are up to date (version 12060 or higher) by checking the Updates section of their VIPRE agent. This update also will be distributed to all VIPRE agents scheduled for automatic updates.

If your machine is still using one of the bad definitions please reboot it then follow the instructions below.

How to apply a full definition update for VIPRE Antivirus and VIPRE Internet Security:

  1. Open the VIPRE software
  2. Click Settings in the Updates section
  3. Check the box next to Completely refresh my definitions
  4. Click Check for updates
How to apply a full definition update for VIPRE Business:
  1. Open the VIPRE Business Console
  2. Select the agents that need to be updated
  3. Right click the selected agents and under Agent Updates and select Force Full Threat Definitions Update
NOTE: If you have a large number of agents, you may want to perform the above steps by only selecting a small group of agents at one time.

If you are still experiencing a problem with the service crashing after the agent definitions are on version 12060, please open a case with support directly.

We have heard a few reports from some customers experiancing similar issues.  In most cases they simply had to apply the update and reboot their computer.  After that, all was well.
As always, should you have any questions or problems, you can feel free to contact us.  Vipre also has great free tech support if you need it.
Vipre Tech\Viral Support:
If you want to chat with them online go here and click on vipre

antivirus

You can also fill out a support request form here (email):
If you prefer to call them, you can do so by dialing the following.  Their hours are M-F 9am-9pm

The Computer Doctor of Richmond in the news “Cold calling Microsoft phone scam”

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“I would once again like to thank Gray Hall of WWBT NBC news 12 for the opportunity to share important information with the good people of Richmond. The information in the video below is very important and should be shared with your friends, especially the retirees and the elderly.”

original news story here

Thank you
Kevin Boynton
Chief of Computer Medicine
The Computer Doctor of Richmond

The Computer Doctor of Richmond is in the news!

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Be sure to tune into NBC 12 news at 6pm on Wednesday the 16th and see our very own Chief of Computer Medicine, Kevin Boynton talk about scare-ware infections.  He was interviewed for a news piece on fake anti-virus infections, scare-ware tactics and methods to try an protect yourself.

Web Of Trust, it will help keep your web surfing safe

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Let’s face it, the internet is a wild, fun, remarkable and dangerous place. On one hand it is the most amazing tool ever created that can open doors for research and worlds that would never have been seen by billions of people. But like any tool, it can and is used for hostile reasons by evildoers everywhere. We have seen too many customers lately that have been infected by those nasty fake anti-viruses we are trying to help them keep it from happening again. The first step is to get an antivirus if you don’t already have one, or get rid of Norton or McAfee and get a good AV like Vipre. Keep reading below for step two.

We recently started examining a program called Web Of Trust (WOT for short). WOT is a web community program that “plugs into” your Internet browser. WOT installs into your Internet Explorer and/or Firefox and gives you guidance. It is kind of like a traffic light for cruising the information highway. Meaning when you google/yahoo/bing or whatever something, you get a little red, yellow or green light beside the links letting you know if you’re safe to cross the road or if you should run away.

WOT traffic lights

WOT traffic lights

These are google sponsored links and you’ll notice several of them are not exactly on the up and up

These “traffic lights” are based on a community of millions of other WOT users that have already rated these links on a 4 distinct qualifications. These four qualities are trustworthiness, reliability of the vendor, child safety and privacy. Trustworthiness includes if the site has been known to be hostile or infectious. WOT uses a very sophisticated algorithm and gets data from the users on each link rated. It then averages many user ratings to create the WOT rating you see. You can create a WOT account if you’d like to start rating sites if you’d like to help give back while surfing.

WOT blocked site

WOT blocked site

So you’re thinking, “there is no way WOT has a rating for every web page out there in the world.” Well of course you are right. If WOT has not created a rating for a site, it gets a grey light, so proceed with caution. And then you may want to rate the site yourself. In fact, if you google Computer Doctor of Richmond you will see a grey light. Meaning we have not been bestowed with a WOT rating. After you’ve installed WOT, we’d appreciate it if you’d give us a good rating (we’re safe, trustworthy, help keep your private data safe, and very reliable!).

WOT unrated site, The computer doctor of richmond

WOT unrated site, The computer doctor of richmond

Our site is currently unrated. Wont you help us get a rating?

After testing it on numerous computers in our office and having a handful of customers try it out, we are confident in our recommendation for all to use it. This is by no means a replacement for an antivirus or firewall. This is simply one more GREAT tool to put on your computer to help prevent infections before it even starts. Any tool that can “foreshadow” your risk before clicking on a link it worth putting on your computer, especially since it is free! WOT works very well with no adverse side affects or performance issues like some similar pay services or the ones that come with some anti-viruses.

So how do you get it? Go to their site at mywot.com and click on the free download button. Then simply go through the quick installation. This works on both Internet Explorer and Firefox (safari is in the works and chrome is just around the corner). It also works on both Mac and PC.

A few other things you can do to help keep yourself safe is make sure you popup blocker is turned on. If you use firefox, you can also install an additional plug in called adblock plus that will block 99.9% of annoying web based banner ads. This will help speed up your browsing and keep the garbage off your screen.

WOT rating of a trustworthy adult site

If you hover over a WOT light, you’ll see what it was rated the way it was. This is “safe” adult site.

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