Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yahoo Messenger Virus Becoming More Of A Problem For Unsecured Computers

In my last blog, http://lennyvasbinder.blogspot.com/2010/07/some-computer-security-programs-that-i.html, I listed some of the FREE computer security programs that I use and recommend. What I didn't post in that blog was the question that prompted my answer.  Also, see that blog for any updates I have done and may do about "Some Computer Security Programs That I Use And Recommend".

Since then, more and more of my Yahoo Messenger (YM) friends have become infected and then their YM program starts sending out IM's with a malicious link and if any of their friends click on the link, they can then become infected if their computers are not properly secured.

Below, is the original question in the Yahoo Messenger Yahoo Group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yahoo_Messenger, and my reply...

-----Original Message-----
From: Yahoo_Messenger@yahoogroups.com
On Behalf Of
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2010 7:43 PM
To: Yahoo_Messenger@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Y!M] virus I think

Every time I use messenger I get a window popping up giving a message, Is this your picture and a address (link)... This same thing is going to everyone in my address book for the messenger.. The address does not open up anything but it keeps duplicating itself.

How do I find out if this is a virus and help to get rid of it?


-----Original Message-----
From: LNVTM1 - Lenny Vasbinder
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2010 8:23 PM
To: 'Yahoo_Messenger@yahoogroups.com'
Subject: RE: [Y!M] virus I think


Whoever is sending you those IM's is infected by having clicked on the link and now their YM is sending out malicious IM's to everyone on their friends list... and probably every other person out there as well.

If you've already clicked on the link, you are likely infected as well, unless you are absolutely, positively sure that your computer is super secure.

Since I do keep my computers super secure, I did test the link when I got one of those IM's from someone on my friends list and it immediately tried to start downloading a file which my security software promptly stopped and alerted me to the malicious attempted download.

If your computer security programs did not alert on the file and allowed the file to download, then you are infected.

You should update all of your computer security programs (antivirus, antispyware, antimalware, etc.), disconnect from the internet, re-boot your computer into safe mode and run scans until you have removed or quarantined all traces of the infection.

With Yahoo Messenger and EVERY other IM program that I've ever used, you will get a certain number of malicious IM's, mostly from strangers but occasionally from infected friends. If you get an IM with a link, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK without first asking your friend if they sent the link and ask them what the link is to (usually they have no clue they are infected and their YM is sending out these malicious IM's). When they say "Huh???", you know they are infected and you can forward these same instructions to them.

The prevalent use of URL shortening services is making this even more of a problem as hackers who start these virus campaigns can use a URL shortener so folks don't even know the real URL that they will be sent to. I ONLY use http://TinyURL.com and use the PREVIEW mode so when I click on a TinyURL link, it will open to a TinyURL page that shows the full sized link and then I can choose to go to that link once I know where it will be sending me.

BTW, there is no need to spend a single penny on security programs. ALL of the *good* companies make their programs available to home users at no charge, either by a fully or mostly functioning download or as an online scan.

I use and recommend:

Comodo Internet Security http://www.comodo.com/ as a FREE and fully functioning security suite that has a professional featured, award winning firewall, good antivirus with real-time and scheduled scanner and good real-time antimalware protection.

MalwareBytes http://www.malwarebytes.org/ as a backup scanner for when needed or folks that surf the net wildly, they can do weekly scans just to make sure that their main security didn't miss anything. NO SINGLE PROGRAM IS 100% EFFECTIVE.

SuperAntiSpyware http://www.superantispyware.com/ as another backup scanner for when needed as above.

a-Squared FREE http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/antimalware/ as another backup scanner for when needed as above.

SpywareBlaster http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html - This doesn't do any scanning or use any system resources. You simply download the updated definitions on a weekly basis and enable them to protect your computer from LOTS of malicious websites, adding them to your Hosts file, and also block LOTS of malicious drive-by software.

Spybot http://www.safer-networking.org/ - I really only use the Immunization feature on this program although it does have a scanner as well. The Immunization feature will build a nice Hosts file to supplement the one with SpywareBlaster and also further protect your Registry. I do use the scanner from time to time to look for Flash Cookies that CCleaner might miss.

I haven't used this next program but I have read lots of good reviews about Microsoft Security Essentials. I think Comodo is TEN TIMES better especially as far as the firewall since MSE only uses the standard Windows Firewall which I find to be NOT very good. You can get MSE for FREE and also use the FREE online scan from Microsoft, called Windows Live OneCare. http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm - RUN the FULL SCAN once a month and it will check your system online for virus/malware and also do a cleanup and tune-up of your computer, repair your registry and also defrag your hard drive.

NOTE - See the UPDATE that I did to my main blog about security programs that I use and recommend here...  http://lennyvasbinder.blogspot.com/2010/07/some-computer-security-programs-that-i.html


Lenny Vasbinder
http://lennyvasbinder.blogspot.com/ (Rants, Raves, Opinions & Information)

FREE and automatic online remote backup of your documents, photos and files... https://mozy.com/?ref=SY4ZSI  Check out how simple and secure it can be to use the Mozy remote backup system. Mozy will back up your most important files and folders every day/night while you aren't using your computer.


Click this link, http://lennyvasbinder.blogspot.com/search/label/Yahoo%20Messenger for more of my blogs about Yahoo Messenger and this link, http://lennyvasbinder.blogspot.com/search/label/Computers, for all of my blogs about Computers.

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