It all started with a number of news agencies running a story claiming that a virus was found on the MSN chat account of a popular online blogger. Her name wasNatasha Herrick, and the virus was a trojan horse. This trojan horse was designed to spread spam messages to the friends of the compromised user.
The problem was, it was not clear how this happened, whether it was from a hacker, or simply a commentor hacking her MSN account. Information was sketchy at best, as the websites were soon blocked by ISPs. It took a while for the story to spread, and by that time, many of us had already moved to other ways to deal with spam on our own.
The live discussion forum became a clearing house for information like never before, but even this was not clear. chat rooms like those hosted by chat rooms near you, are not trustworthy as they are clear chats.
It took me a long time to realize that although the website had been hacked, the person who had done it, was not going to reveal any of the secrets of the hacker. In fact, he promised to give us the key to the email account of the blogger who was hacked. If we had the key, we could upload our own message folders and send out attachments, and the key would finally prove his point.
What he didn’t mention was that the key would only work for him and he would not be able to send a file to us using it. Not at all satisfied with this revelation, we finally decided to take a critical look at our own security procedures. No point in wrecking our own computers, after all, if we can use someone else’s?
My solicitor went through every computer in our house and asked me which had done what, and which was vulnerable. She picked up a file on one of our computers that had a message attached to it. This clearly bothered her, and she was going through our files to show me. Disconcertingly, when she opened the file, she found a several hundred dollar bill charged to my account!
Teenagers are also not known for their swift fingers. The details of this particular escapade were covered by the parental controls on my laptop. Message or the other, it did not matter. The fact that my computer was now bugging did not matter. As I later found out, this particular teenager did indeed have some very specific and disturbing instructions for me.
Before I was able to act, the fraudulent activity had already moved on to another computer. This was a smart move on his part. The stolen information was now all over the internet. In fact, about an hour after I checked into this problem, McAfee (one of the world’s leading security software providers) declared that their computer system had been infiltrated by “a widespread network of malicious software”.
DO YOU KNOW WHO MA ADMINISED THIS ATTACK?
As you can see, this was a serious security threat to my computer. But you can’t be too careful. Perform these two simple steps to keep your system clear of adware and spyware every time you connect to the internet:
1. Update your operating system and web browser software regularly.
2. Delete all executable files from your computer that are identified by your antivirus software.
To sum up, pay attention to the details and symptoms of this particular attack. If your computer is doing any of the aforementioned things, it might be infected by adware or spyware. Take a look at my list of best practices to clean your computer of viruses and malware.