Internet Security News For End Users,, September 22, 2003

New Windows/Office Alert! -- Hackers could target critical VBA flaw, John McCormick, ZDNet Australia, September 22, 2003. Applies to:

New Security Information Service -- Security Scout Keeps You One Step Ahead of Viruses, Robyn Peterson, PC Magazine, September 22, 2003. For subscribers to their utility library which costs $20 per year.

Hijacker Update -- We thought it was gone. On September 21, we requested help from experts on this type of problem. We got some from Merijn (the author of CWShredder) and the Privacy Software Corporation (PSC, makers of the BOClean anti-Trojan, etc.). The best forum we could find for help with this problem is SpywareInfo Forum for Spyware and Hijackware Removal Support. It is finally fixed. We used an updated version of CWShredder. Always check for an update first before using. PSC's BOClean was updated today too.

Replace MS Java VM with Sun's? -- As a general pro-active protective fix, both Merijn and PSC recommend replacing the Microsoft Java virtual machine with the one made by Sun.

Norton Antivirus 2004 Update -- We sent a copy of the Trojan to Symantec so that they can consider adding it to Norton Antivirus 2003 (if possible) or 2004 which is supposed to have new features to deal with other types of security problems -- See Types of non-viral threats detected by Norton 2004 Antivirus. For the time being, we intend to keep using specialized Trojan, worm and spyware pro-active and fix-it security software too.

Editorial Comments -- We appreciate the help that we received. Thanks. We are annoyed at ourselves for not having installed pro-active protection. We are unhappy that our installed security software did not protect us. We are really irritated by the browser hijackers who are updating their code so often that the security folks are having trouble keeping up with it. We are disgusted with the author of this Trojan because it did not affect our two "adult" Windows user accounts, only the two for our "kids". We doubt that was an accident. It may be too much to expect Microsoft to tell people to use Sun's Java VM (because of the lawsuit, etc.); however, when are they going to fix all of those unpatched holes in IE that allow these bad things to happen to all of us? We received our first virus in an email from the local PTA a few years ago and missed it because we did not understand the alert message from the anti-virus software, a year or two later we got our first worm which our anti-virus could not fix, and now we have had our browser hijacked. We started this website because our ISP at the time, excite @ home, refused to admit that there were Internet security problems or to provide help to their customers to get the protection they needed. They went bankrupt.

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