Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Storm Worm Virus Warning

If you have ever been a victim of email malware, you might agree that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. It can be quite valuable to be alerted about them before you mistakenly open a storm worm spam email that is making the rounds on the Internet. I thought that this alert was important enough to pass along.

FBI Warns of Storm Worm Virus

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 2:18 PM

By: Newsmax Staff

The FBI and its partner, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), have received reports of recent spam e-mails spreading the Storm Worm malicious software, known as malware.

These e-mails, which contain the phrase “F.B.I. vs. facebook,” direct e-mail recipients to click on a link to view an article about the FBI and Facebook, a popular social networking website. The Storm Worm virus has also been spread in the past in e-mails advertising a holiday e-card link.

Clicking on the link downloads malware onto the Internet connected device, causing it to become infected with the virus and part of the Storm Worm botnet. A botnet is a collection of compromised computers under the remote command and control of a criminal “botherder.”

Most owners of the compromised computers are unsuspecting victims. They have unintentionally allowed unauthorized access and use of their computers as a vehicle to facilitate other crimes, such as identity theft, denial of service attacks, phishing, click fraud, and the mass distribution of spam and spyware.

Because of their widely distributed capabilities, botnets are a growing threat to national security, the national information infrastructure, and the economy.

“The spammers spreading this virus are preying on Internet users and making their computers an unwitting part of criminal botnet activity. We urge citizens to help prevent the spread of botnets by becoming web-savvy. Following some simple computer security practices will reduce the risk that their computers will be compromised,” said Special Agent Richard Kolko, Chief, FBI National Press Office.

Everyone should consider the following:

Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.

Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting personal information via e-mail.

Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.

Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.

Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the organization's website rather than following an alleged link to the site.

Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits information.

I have also learned that it is important NOT to click on every link to your blog that pops up on an Internet search. I don't know what the "techie" word for it is (maybe "phishing?"), but some of them are "traps" to get you worried about viruses, worms, spyware, malware being "detected" on your computer. Usually, there is some sort of "counter" running madly along - deceiving you into thinking that their "product" is detecting - and accumulating via a counter - viruses being found on your computer. The thing is, it's all just a "show." Has this ever happened to you? Maybe I'm the only idiot who has fallen for that type of ruse. The first time it happened to me I got scared! I admit it, I'm just not very tech savvy.

I hate this kind of stuff...don't you? What an empty life these people must have who think up and do these types of destructive things on the Internet.

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