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PC Security News

Do you feel safe online? Keep yourself up-to-date with online security and PC performance with the ParetoLogic Online Safety and ParetoLogic Performance Solutions. These monthly publications, delivered by email, are chockfull of interesting news stories, tips for protecting yourself online, ways to make your PC faster and more stable, and product information.
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Want to get up to speed and be more secure? Past editions of the ParetoLogic Online Safety and ParetoLogic Performance Solutions email newsletters are filled with interesting stories and great tips to enhance your computing experience and improve your PC's performance and optimization. Now you can check out past issues through our archives and never miss another edition!

 

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Pareto's Perks

February means Valentine's Day, which means it's time to talk about love. When you are in love, you want to share everything with your special someone.

However, one thing you don't need to share is spyware, adware and keyloggers. If you are using your sweetheart's computer, you never know what kind of threat could be on it, just waiting for the opportunity to steal your personal or business information.

ParetoLogic's XOFTspy Portable Anti-Spyware prevents spyware sharing from ruining your love affair. Loaded onto a U3 drive, XOFTspy Portable Anti-Spyware scans deeply for threats and removes them quickly. This ensures that whether you are working on your sweetie's laptop, an Internet café computer or even a PC at the local library, that you and your information are protected!

With its small footprint, XOFTspy Portable Anti-Spyware doesn't take up valuable room on your U3 drive that you need for your information. As well as making sure the computer you are using is clean, this sophisticated program will also eliminate threats from your U3 drive so that you are not infecting others.

Any computer that is connected to the Internet or used to share files is constantly at risk to such web-based threats as spyware and adware. With XOFTspy Portable Anti-Spyware, you don't need to worry. You can clean every computer you touch and go about your business with confidence.

ParetoLogic has built its reputation as a leader in Internet security with such great products as XoftSpySE Anti-Spyware, ParetoLogic Anti-Spyware. You can put all of that experience and proven technology to work with you in an innovative, portable form.

Keep your love strong! Protect you, your information and your loved ones with XOFTspy Portable Anti-Spyware.

Click here to learn more about XOFTspy Portable Anti-Spyware or select this link to find out about ParetoLogic's other products.

 

Internet Security

Tip of the Month

Remember to diligently patch your common third party applications. The automated updates take care of your operating system, (you DO have it enabled, don't you?) but what a lot of users fail to realize is just how many automated exploits take advantage of vulnerabilities in commonly installed applications. Here are the ones I would recommend updating now, and enabling self update features. or at the very least, trying to stay on top of: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Quicktime, Winzip.

 

Questions & Answers

Q. I keep hearing these words "spyware" and "virus." What's the difference?

Signed: "Confused"

A. Dear "Confused"
That is a great question! One of the biggest difference between these two computer threats is that viruses self-replicate and try to infect as many computers as possible. A virus tries to spread from one computer to another, while spyware is distributed through the Internet.

As well, viruses generally carry a "payload" that is designed to damage a computer, make it available for remote intrusion or some other type of function meant to cause harm. Spyware can also cause harm, but more frequently brings with it pop-up ads, slowdowns and browser instability. Spyware ranges from data collection programs to Remote Administration Tools (RATs) that can seize control of your machine. Viruses do not present the same surveillance, advertising or data mining threats spyware do.

ParetoLogic would love to hear from you! Please submit your questions or comments to: newsletter@paretologic.com

*Please note: Due to available space, questions may not appear exactly as originally written.

 

Top Story
Aussie net filters: Protection or censorship?

Aussie net filters: Protection or censorship?

A plan by the Australian government to filter the Internet has the Internet community - and many others - talking. Will the "clean feed" initiative by Aussie Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who swept into power in late 2006, and his Labor government protect children from pornography? Or, as some detractors claim, is it a move toward net censorship?

"It has serious implications for freedom of expression," said David Bernie, vice-president of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, in a Jan. 1 Sydney Morning Herald article. "When you start filtering material on political grounds - even if the material is objectionable or quite awful - we're heading in the same direction as China and Singapore."

Backers of the plan, however, reject the notion the Australian Labor Party is seeking to control the Internet like the Chinese government and others
reportedly do.

"Labor makes no apologies to those who argue that any regulation of the Internet is like going down the Chinese road," said Stephen Conroy, Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in the Sydney Morning Herald article. "If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd Labor Government is going to disagree."

The proposed plan mandates Internet service providers (ISPs) implement filters that would deliver a "clean feed" to customers, according to a Jan. 3 article on the Australian IT website. The proposal is reportedly to have a blacklist that is used to block sites identified as extremely violent and pornographic. The list of banned sites would be prepared by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, according to the Sydney Morning Herald article. If customers don't wish to have the content filtered they must contact their ISP and opt out.

"We have an opt-out provision, so for X-rated (content) they can opt out, but for child porn and violent sites, they're completely blocked, there's no opt-out," Conroy told the Courier Mail in a 2006 interview.

When Rudd was campaigning, he vowed to introduce filters to protect children. However, he also pledged to increase the speed of Internet connections, which reportedly lag behind other developed countries. Opponents of Rudd's plan say the filters will scuttle his pledge to increase connection speeds.

"The more sites you attempt to block the greater the effect on the network performance and speed," Peter Coroneos, spokesman for the Internet Industry Association, told The Australian newspaper, as he noted every site will need to be checked against the blacklist.

Learn More »


Facebook posts possibly break Canadian law; jeopardize trials

Filled with emotion following the slaying of a Toronto 14-year-old, people
of all ages headed to Facebook, a social networking site, to post tributes to Stefanie Rengel and make comments about her accused killers.

Many did not know that they were possibly breaking the law. According to a Jan. 4 article on the CBC News website, police and legal experts are concerned that by identifying the victim (during a publication ban) and the accused that the right to a fair trial for the 17-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl might have been jeopardized.

"We simply have no control," Mike Pugash, a spokesman for the Toronto Police Service, was quoted as saying. "I think what the events of the last few days have shown is that there are many people who are part of the criminal justice who have to look and see whether changes are necessary."

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) states information cannot be published "... if it would identify the child or young person as having been a victim of, or as having appeared as a witness in connection with, an offence committed or alleged to have been committed by a young person." As well, a 24-hour prohibition ban was in effect for the release for Rengel's name, which mainstream media followed.

While some have questioned whether posting on Facebook is in fact publishing. However, Alain Charette, media relations spokesperson for the Department of Justice, was quoted in a Jan. 4 Toronto Star article as saying the restriction "does apply to the Web, including Facebook . generally publication covers a wide spectrum."

The Rengel case is not the only legal situation in early 2008 where Facebook postings and the YCJA have clashed. According to the Star, Facebook users posted the name of a 13-year-old Mississauga boy and the youths charged in relation to his death, which occurred in hospital following an altercation, while the media was abiding by a publication ban.

In Camrose, Alberta, four teenage boys accused of breaking into a home and killing a cat by placing it in a microwave were also identified on Facebook pages, according to a Jan. 7 CanWest Media story. Their names, which were pulled by the police, appeared on several group pages which condemned their actions.

The boys allegedly vandalized the home and stole some items. Someone allegedly wrote in felt pen on the kitchen cabinets: "Nice cat, look in the microwave." The pet's owners were away and its remains were found by a friend looking after the home, according to a Jan. 7 story on the AFP website.

Some of the posts about the three 15-year-olds and one 13-year-old who were charged are threatening. According to the CanWest article, one stated "They will all get their faces smashed in by January 6th," while another read "I would say these monsters should be tortured, let society at them."

Learn More »


Trojan horse galloping away with loot from banking customers

Banking customers all over the world are experiencing a bit of the plight of the mythical city of Troy.

A Trojan horse is being downloaded by unsuspecting Internet surfers. It doesn't cause any problems until customers head to their bank's website. Then the "Silentbanker" actually places itself between the site and the client. This allows those who are pulling the Silentbanker's strings to take all the cash they want. More than 400 banks worldwide have been targeted by what is being billed as "one of the most sophisticated cyber attacks to hit the Internet," according to a Jan. 17 CanWest News Service story.

"I'd have to say it is one of the most sophisticated we have seen. What makes it more dangerous is it seems to be staffed by professional software developers," said Al Huger, vice-president of security response and services for Symantec, in the CanWest article. "They are writing this and maintaining it just like they would a piece of software you might buy."

When Silentbanker was first reported in December of 2007, Symantec classified it as a "very low" Risk Level 1 threat. It was originally thought that Silentbanker only did key logging, capturing screen images and stealing confidential financial information, according to a Jan. 14 story on SC Magazine online. However, it has been revealed the malicious program allows it to change the user-entered destination for the dough to the attacker's account. As well, if the criminals are missing some information they need, they appear to be able to alter the bank's authorization page to ask the customer for it.

"What they are doing is they are already on your computer, and when you type on your computer, they are sitting between your keyboard and the bank," Huger said. "They are intercepting everything you send to your bank and everything your bank sends to you. It is called a man-in-the-middle attack."

The Trojan horse seems to be downloading onto computers from a variety of websites. "It is the complete gamut - from gaming sites to porn sites to home-craft sites," Huger stated in the CanWest story. The article also states people not using up-to-date anti-virus software or who have not updated their web browsers could be susceptible to Silentbanker.

Learn More »


ParetoLogic will be a proud sponsor at the Virus Bullentin’s 2008 conference in Ottawa, Canada.
ParetoLogic will be a proud sponsor at the Virus Bullentin’s 2008 conference in Ottawa, Canada.

Serious about viruses

Earlier this year ParetoLogic released its Anti-Virus PLUS software. This fall ParetoLogic will be a proud sponsor at the Virus Bullentin’s 2008 conference in Ottawa, Canada.

Industry leaders meet – watch out viruses!

The conference brings together many leaders and experts in the industry and is known by many as the anti-malware event of the year. It is an opportunity for the sharing of research, discussion of methods and the setting of new standards. Catering to both technical and corporate audiences, the conference features a variety of anti-malreward and spam-related topics.

Virus Bulletin Ottawa 2008 »

Geek Speak
Geek Speak

Does it all sound Greek to you?

Don't worry! Each month we will explain a word or phrase connected to the Internet. As well as giving you a better understanding of the Internet, you will also be able to impress your friends with your newfound knowledge.

Browser Help Object (BHO)

BHOs are not always dangerous. They can just be files executed by your browser that are helpful to its operation, such as the Google toolbar. However, many BHOs act like spyware. They can track what web pages you go to, record your private information and even show you ads.

Community Forum

"Many thanks for your prompt reply and sympathetic response. At first I was worried by my situation, but I can now see by your response that you do genuinely care about your customers and I will have no hesitation in recommending your excellent software to others in the future."

Martin H.

"I recently purchased your registry cure (RegCure Registry Cleaner). I can't believe the difference that this has made. My computer is as fast as it was when I first bought it. I am truly amazed. Great product. Will use your product from now on.

Thanks again"

Nate J.

Click here for more information on ParetoLogic RegCure Registry Cleaner or any of ParetoLogic's other great products, please click on the links.

Team Player
Team Player

Here is your opportunity to get to know a member of Team Pareto!

Each month we feature a different member of the ParetoLogic team. As well as telling about their role in helping make your PC safer, we provide a little insight into the away from work lives of our team members.

Team Player - Jean Taggart is a fan of the Manchester United team soccer


This month the ParetoLogic newsletter gives you a glimpse into the life and work of Jean Taggart.

Jean is a security analyst with our great SWAT team. He is one of the key players in analyzing new threats so that ParetoLogic software can continue to protect your PC.

How he plays

Current favourite song: Hurt, Johnny Cash's version of the Nine Inch Nine's song
Current favourite book: Secrets and Lies, Digital
Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier

Current favourite movie: Nerdcore Rising

Where he plays

Favourite website: Sans Internet Storm Centre (http://isc.sans.org/)

To keep his PC and information safe, Jean uses ParetoLogic XoftSpySE and ParetoLogic Spam Controls, ParetoLogic Anti-Spyware and ParetoLogic Data Recovery Pro. Please check out Jean's Internet Security Tip of the Month » in the sidebar to the left.

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