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Viruses and Malware
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
Thank you, Leo!
I teach intro to computer science at a local junior college. You wouldn't believe how much information I get from your columns to pass on to my students. I certainly do appreciate it.
Leo, have a look at this: http://www.switched.com/2008/11/03/sneaky-trojan-horse-swipes-data-on-500-000-bank-accounts/?icid=200100397x1212392818x1200794898
It's not new, but how many get caught and how do you know if you are going to a dangerous site? With IE7 I use a free program named CallingID. It's from Microsoft and although slow sometimes, warns about known sites one doesnt' need to visit.
Haven't seen an equivalent for other browsers, though.
the article was helpful but not so explanatory. how do i know a 'picture that is not a picture?'. and if i were the guy who asked the question, how do i get rid of the virus? do i have to reformat my system?
This article helps with my comprehension. Thanks a lot!!!
I definitely have a worm on a CDR with some very valuable pictures on it.
What do I do now?
In an explorer window go to Tools->Folder options->view and un-check "hide extensions for known file types" option. This is one of the most dangerous defaults settings of all time.
It's possible to name an executable file as for example picture.jpg.exe and if the extension is hidden you might be fooled into thinking you have a picture file. If you have a file with a double extension where the final extension is executable odds are high its a virus.
Also beware of screen saver files .scr. The name means screen saver but your computer handles it exactly the same as an .exe file.
ANY file can contain a virus, even picture files. An infected picture file would exploit a known weakness in your file viewer (the application that opens the infected file) to cause the viewer to execute malicious code stored in the picture. Software manufacturers are well aware of this and have taken steps to remove those weaknesses in mature applications.
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