In the old days, getting infected was a war of young kids trying to undermine Microsoft. Today it is a matter of stealing credit card or other private information or even taking control of your computer to turn it into a SPAM machine, generating fake emails while you are trying to surf the Internet. In addition to falling for the email trick, there are also other ways to download these bad files, including warnings while using Internet Explorer.
The biggest question is – How can these virus and Trojan writers be stopped? The complication is that many of these groups live outside of the US, many are specifically from Russia. This means they cannot be subject to the Rule of Law within America.
Social Engineering is used to put fear into people and to convince them to update their computer, their personal information or to download special scanning software. Recently they arrive as emails in marked as Delta Airlines ticket problems, UPS package tracking issues, and today, a critical update for Microsoft Outlook.
According to a recent article, there is a security alert from the Trend Micro security center, the Outlook Critical Update will entice the end users to click on the link, allow a download to happen, and then install a user name and password catcher to send to a server, to steal your information and your bank account. This particular variant, once installed, will “contain a list of targeted banking institutions, social networks and other sites for the Trojan to monitor, including Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Bank of America and Wachovia, Macalintal’ Once it has these user names and passwords, it is thought to save them and attempt to use them on accounts to steal as much private information as possible.
So if you have avoided downloading or using or Opera, please consider clicking on those names and downloading them, and installing the latest flash player to make these alternative browsers function properly with most web sites. Also, avoid ANY unusual warning email or critical update notice.