Monday, March 30, 2009

The Conflicker Worm

I don't usually pay much attention to news about widespread computer virus attacks because it's mostly corporate computers that get infected. Before I retired, there was a risk of carrying or sending a virus home from the office. Now my home PC is reasonably secure. I don't download music, movies, or games, and I have no kids at home doing that.

I'm rather careful about opening emails with attachments. I have stopped opening all those Powerpoint presentations that people send me in email. Most I have seen years ago anyway. And I know that even a "trusted" friend can unknowingly pass on viruses, or that a trusted friend can have her email hacked and taken over by people sending bogus emails.

My husband calls me "Chuckie" after the Rug Rats character. You know the one who says, "I don't know, Tommy, something bad might happen." That's me. In my last job before I retired, one of my areas of responsibility included Disaster excuse me..."Business Recovery." I was good at thinking of worst-case scenarios, and preparing for them

If you're bored already reading this, scroll forward to the photo down below, and I'll be here when you come back.

I use Mozilla Firefox as my preferred browser, and I control the cookies that are saved on my PC. Each time a new attempt to write a cookie occurs, I have to respond whether to accept it, accept for this session, or deny. It's my habit to deny anything that has "ad" "Click" "zedo" in the cookie name. Some cookies are good, the site keeps them to identify you, and save information about you, like your password if you want them to save it.

I use McAfee for virus protection, and it includes McAfee SiteAdvisor. This may sound like advertising for McAfee, but they help keep me out of bad sites as well. The McAfee SiteAdvisor has a green light in the corner of sites they have checked out, a yellow light if they haven't checked it and a red light for sites to beware. And on my Google search results, McAfee gives the green check for trusted sites.

A couple of weeks ago I signed on to Blogtalkradio for a friend's radio show. A few of my internet pals have radio shows. I had been on BTR many times before but on this particular day there were some new advertisers. There's no such thing as a "free" web-site. Somebody has to pay for hosting it, and many sites get revenue from the advertising. On that particular day, I had pop-up after pop-up from Mozilla notifying me of another attempt to write a cookie. I denied them all. And then this screen appeared.

I got out of there fast, and restarted my computer. I went back into BTR, and it happened again. I saved the screen image, and I was out again. I didn't tell my online friends about it, since they were still online talking. Then I forgot about it until CBS started talking about the Conflicker worm on 60 Minutes last night.

I tell you, Chuckie got busy and deleted ALL cookies last night. I usually clean up cookies once a week and keep selected ones. Last night, they all had to go. Now I have to re-enter every password for every site that I frequent, but it makes me feel like I tried to protect myself. It's very possible that this worm doesn't even travel in cookies. Maybe I'll get past April Fools' Day without incident.


Cherished said...

I do the Web site updating for my job. Last week I couldn't do any updating and contacted the host administrator. He said that every page on our Web site was infected and he shut down access via FTP.

I watched that show yesterday on 60 minutes and I am very concerned about the Conflicker Worm and I'm wondering why we are just now hearing about it now..WTF?. I think our server may be infected as well here at work...

saraphen said...

@Cherished...The stories of this worm started a few weeks ago, but I didn't pay much attention.

JulieB said...

It is good being a CHUCKIE as Tinker calls you. It will cheaper in the long run, if your harddrive gets infested.

When I was on BTR yesterday I was getting tons of popups. Netflix etc. I use Mozilla as well. I think it is more stable than IE. I had just installed a new harddrive on my laptop, I put Nortons on it as soon as I got it going. You are so right about the cookies, asking you first before it saves it.

Do you use any of the "addons" for Mozilla? I really like the Firefox for bookmarks. No matter what computer I am on, I can log into my bookmarks plus another one that allows me to look at a link without actually going off the page I am on.

Well hopefully BTR doesn't get alot of like Blackplanet. :)

JulieB said...

*Foxmarks for Mozilla...