Metropolitan Virus

Remember the last time I wrote about ransomware infection, back in September? Well, you know, they haven’t disappeared anywhere. There are still tons of ransomware infections around and Metropolitan Virus is just one of them. It is called Metropolitan Virus, because, you can see a message from the Metropolitan Police forces on its intmet_policeerface, when the fake notification is slapped across your screen. To be honest, I really hate these ransomware infections, because they are COUNTLESS and they are frustrating in a way that they lock you out of your desktop.

So imagine simply browsing the net one day, when you get infected with Reventon Trojan, that subsequently brings on Metropolitan Virus. The same Trojan is responsible for spreading Ukash Virus, FBI Moneypak Virus and other infections from the Ukash group. So there, once the Trojan is inside, it infects you with the ransomware program and POOF~! your desktop gets locked and all you see is a huge notification that – oh my gosh – your computer is locked because of illegal cyber activity: Continue reading

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Microsoft and Skype privacy reports

I sometimes still find it hard to believe that Skype is owned by Microsoft, but here we are, and I am constantly reminded of it, whenever I try to log in to my MSN account and it screeches back “CHANGE TO SKYPE MSN WILL BE GONE SOON!”. In my personal opinion, it is SAD, because I will definitely miss my custom emoticons. But if we look forward, we see that Microsoft is already pressured about the way it manages Skype. This time, a number of campaign groups is requesting Microsoft to reveal various details about how it stores confidential information. Considering that Google and Twitter had provided such transparency reports already, it’s only natural that Microsoft does that as well, right?built-in-androidIf you are wondering whether Microsoft can access the video or audio data of your Skype conversations, then, according to the company, Skype-to-Skype calls are not directed through its data centers, and they are also encrypted. So, if someone else taps into your conversation, it would not be possible make sense of the data. Nevertheless, things change when you are using the group chat function, then the data go through Microsoft’s servers, so that it would be possible to “aggregate the media streams”.

Aside from the official Microsoft policies, it also depends on which country you reside in, and what the governmental policies towards Skype are. They might want to access Skype data, and let Microsoft know about it. So, naturally, the more we know of where our Skype conversations go to, the better.

Security Defender

Lately, as far as computer security is concerned, I was mostly discussing toolbars, because there’s been an increase in user queries, searching for the ways to remove them. However, after a long while, I’d like to focus on a fake antivirus program. Security Defender is a rogue antispyware program (fake AV) that belongs to Braviax group of fake antivirus applications. It has the same roots as PC Defender Plus that I’ve talked about back in November. It means that just like any other rogue, Security Defender pretends it’s a goody-2-shoes applications to convince the infected user that the program in question is legitimate and it can protect you from harm, IF you pay for the license.SCR_Security_Defender_8

Security Defender sells its lifetime license for $89.95 (that’s with a discount!). And supposedly, the moment you active this program, your computer will be protected from all the dangerous infections you can think of. You see, when Security Defender gets into your system, it generates a list of infection symptoms, making it seem as though are you infected with Trojans, worms, viruses and so on. Here’s an example, of one fake security alert displayed by the rogue: Continue reading

Extra slim tablet from Sony

Sony boasts it has created the thinnest tablet to date. Xperia Z is 6.9 mm thick so it makes it SLIGHTLY thinnier than iPad Mini, although it has a bigger screen. As far as I gather on a news article here, not all details are clear on the worldwide release date yet, but Sony has already set the date for Xperia Z’s release in Japan.sony-xperia-tablet-z

Being slim is not the only thing that Xperia Z boasts of. According to Sony, this tablet is also the lightest of its kind, considering its size. The official reports claims that it weighs 495 g, which is an average weight of 2 oranges. Aside from that, it introduces plastic covers that are supposed to make it water and dust-resistant. You know, so that no foreign substance would get into its ports.

Ready for more additional features? Xperia Z tablet can work together with Xperia Z smartphone via “one-touch sharing” facility.

Analysts say that the success of Xperia Z tablet will depend on its price. The thing is that most of the tablet manufacturers are moving to smaller screens, because it cuts down the price of their products. Also, it would be a bonus if Sony did incorporate some of its music and gaming division contents into this new product.

To be honest, I’m not much of a tablet user, but if I was given one of those, well, why not!

Certified Toolbar

It seems like we’re getting loads of these toolbars nowadays, ain’t it? They’re kinda annoying, because they’re sort of useful, and yet they’re not exactly, so why on earth should we have on our computers, right? Well, this time it’s Certified Toolbar. If you access the official website for this toolbar at certified-toolbar.com, Certified Toolbar will present itself as a “simple, light-weight tool that features tested and proven applicationsddd“. Well, basically, you install it on your browser (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, you name it), and then all of your favorite apps (Like Facebook, Skype, Twitter etc) are just one click away.

Huh, sounds very nice and all, but why then I see a soar in “Remove Certified Toolbar” searches this January? Clearly, not everyone is satisfied with this browser extension. To be a devil’s advocate here, I have to say that Certified Toolbar is not a virus. You can’t really classify it as a computer threat, because the official website offers instructions on how to uninstall Certified Toolbar. So there, fair and square. Continue reading

Gozi virus creators charged

You know I always get the impression that hackers and cyber criminals simply get away with what they do, and they simply hide in the vast spaces of the Internet. However, that does not seem to be the case as three Europeans are now charged for having created and spread the Gozi virus. In between 2005 and 2011 this virus infected more than a million computers worldwide, extorting personal information and stealing millions of dollars. A Latvian, a Romanian and a Russian are now being prosecuted for having run a “modern-day bank robbery ring, that required neither a gun or a mask”.gozi24n-1-web

The 25-year-old Russian national, Nikita Kuzmin, pleaded guilty to the charges back in May 2011, while the extradition procedures for Mihai Ionut Paunescu (28) from Romania and Deniss Calovskis (27) from Latvia are already being undertaken.

The news goes on to say that at one time more than 190 computers at Nasa. It is genuinely disturbing considering that Gozi is a banking virus that targets financial information, but it managed to get into Nasa computers as well. What is more, according to government officials these hackers managed to make as much as $50 million in illegal profits. Mr Preet Bharara, who’s the US attorney in this case, said that “This case should serve as a wake-up call to banks and consumers alike because cybercrime remains one of the greatest threats we face, and it is not going away anytime soon.”

And you know what, he is 100% right. Perhaps finally the general public will understand how dangerous cyber criminals are, because so far it seems they think that online bank frauds is something that “happens to everyone else but me”.

SweetIM Search

I was talking about Yontoo Layers Client yesterday, and today I need to say a few words on SweetIM Search. Call it an adware or a browser extension, or whichever way you prefer, the fact remains that SweetIM Search is a troublesome piece of software. I’m not saying that it is a computer virus, not by a long shot. But when you see that your home page is being changed to search.sweetim.com and you don’t remember having it done yourself, something is off, right? Well, that happens because SweetIM Search gets installed on your computer together with other freeware, and you probably don’t even notice when that happens.search

We can clearly see that SweetIM Search is directly related to sweetpacks.com website, and my recommendation is to steer away from it. Yeah, it’s not packed with viruses or any of the sort, but when a browser plugin does not want to be removed easily? I’d say something’s fishy about it. Especially, as SweetIM Search kind of tries to conceal the fact that your Home page and the default search provider are being changed. Hmm… Suspicious, isn’t it? Continue reading