Sixteen-year-old Emily has known her way around a computer from a wee age, but remains a bit naive when it comes to file-sharing safety. Ill-advised downloading practices from P2P networks compel her to restore her system three times. Is all the drama worth it for this teen computing queen? This week's Spyware Horror Story tells all.
As a computer tech, Jack's used to helping families evict unwanted malware.
What he's not used to is having to perform the same service three times in as many months for the same family. Is malware overpowering their defenses, or is the family relying too heavily on professional services as their safety net for chancy online behavior? Find out in this week's Spyware Horror Story.
William is philosophizing to his toothbrush one minute and contemplating practicing shot put with his computer the next. What burst his bubble?
William blames a virus, and in his tussle with the malignant malware, he learns a few lessons about the risks of sharing a computer with family and friends. But was it actually a virus that got him, and are the lessons he learned the right ones?
After the frustrations of dealing with damaged data, it's easy to generalize about past and future behavior. Set the record straight in a thrilling malware true-and-false in this week's Spyware … Read more
My father's Motorola E815 from Verizon is suffering chronic SMS, or text message, spam. At first, the unwanted messages trickled in--religious messages with pictures of saints one time, pharmaceutical marketing another. Then the spam rate escalated. After one spammy text message yesterday and two this morning, Dad decided he wanted out.
"Out" in his case, and in the case of most North American mobile phone users, is as much about the phone bill as it is receiving unwanted texts. Service providers like Verizon and T-Mobile charge for inbound and outbound SMS activity, either per message, generally 10 cents to 15 cents per outgoing text message, or as part of a larger service, usually between $5 and $10 more per month depending on the plan. Data downloads cost extra too, so spam texts with image attachments ratchet up the bill. "This was becoming an expensive habit," says Dad.
The kicker, of course, is that it's not his habit.… Read more
Pornographic pop-ups have plagued users since the early days of adware. While the serving methods may have changed since then, the damage these Trojans can do to a person's standing when porn shows up in the wrong place has not.
Users in past Spyware Horror Stories have been branded as smut lovers by family, classmates, and co-workers. In some cases, their jobs or grades were questioned.
In Tom's story, a misclicked link results in an academic toll that far outlasts the threat posed to his data. Find out how Tom saved his files even as his scholastic status … Read more
The FBI used a novel type of remotely installed spyware last month to investigate who was e-mailing bomb threats to a high school near Olympia, Wash.
Federal agents obtained a court order on June 12 to send spyware called CIPAV to a MySpace account suspected of being used by the bomb threat hoaxster. Once implanted, the software was designed to report back to the FBI with the Internet Protocol address of the suspect's computer, other information found on the PC and, notably, an ongoing log of the user's outbound connections.
The suspect, former Timberline High School student Josh … Read more
A cheesy, old security riddle goes like this: how do you protect your bagels? Put lox (locks) on them. Ha, ha. Ha. I can see you rolling your eyes, and I understand. Smack-you-over-the-head Brooklyn humor isn't for everyone. Yet when the nitty gets gritty, this easy-as-smoked-salmon-pie security technique must not be as obvious for mobile phone users as it should be, because although mobile attacks have been steadily rising, users have been more interested in games, ringtones, and customization apps for their PDAs than in protecting mobile data. (See the related CNET News.com article.)
Last December, I put together a little something with tips on how to secure your wireless mobile device. I've updated that below, because it never hurts to rediscover some good security "lox."… Read more
It's unsettling to think of malware as cutting-edge technology, but its trickery has evolved alongside Internet trends like instant-messaging services Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Chris discovered this relationship when he clicked a faux-photo link in an IM message, letting loose a worm that instantly hijacked his buddy list. Would his friends now think he was perpetrating malware?
Find out Chris' defense and get the lowdown on IM spam (also called "spim") in this week's Spyware Horror Story.
David's friend calls him in a panic. There's something wrong with his computer, and it's clearly malware.
However, when David attempts to reboot the Windows machine, he discovers that the problem lies much deeper--the whole operating system, it seems, has been corrupted beyond repair.
How does David resuscitate his friend's computer and save his important data in the process? Learn David's creative solution in this week's Spyware Horror Story.
Tom is your average computer user with antivirus protection that does just fine until the day it all comes crashing down. When a lovepostcards.net link automatically appears on his forum posts, Tom knows he's been pummeled by Trojans.
What got him? How did he oust the intruder? What insights from the CNET Download.com editors can keep you from a similar fate? Find out in this week's Spyware Horror Story!