Can This Hacker Really Fake Windows Update?

If you use Windows, you depend on Windows Update. You trust it to download and install the latest fixes and patches, which make your system less buggy and less vulnerable to malicious attack.

But what if the attack came from Windows Update? What if cybercriminals found a way to disguise their malware as a legitimate Microsoft update?

A Tom's Hardware article brings us some possibly very bad news. An individual who goes by the nom de hacker Comodohacker, claims that he can issue fake updates that Windows sees as the real thing.

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Android Trojan Turns Up

You know that your personal computer is vulnerable to Trojans, worms, and other nasty malware. But at least your smartphone is safe. Right?

Think, again. As reported in this MSNBC.com article, Trend Micro researchers have found a data-harvesting Trojan lurking in Android Market.

The Market is supposed to protect you. By default, it's the only place where an Android phone or tablet can download an app. Unlike iOS, Android has an option that allows you to download apps from "Unknown sources," but that option comes with a warning that such apps make your phone more vulnerable.

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DNS Breach Shows We're Less Safe

This one is really scary.

In early September, criminals successfully hijacked the domain name server (DNS) records for some major Internet players, including Microsoft. This allowed them to redirect Web traffic to their own sites, and do so without having to first infect either the user's computer or the website the user was trying to get to. This has the potential of making the Internet less safe and useful for all of us.

Domain name servers play a vital role in keeping the Internet working. When you enter a URL into a browser, one of these servers looks up the domain name in its database and figures out where in the world (the real world, not the virtual one) the actual Web pages are stored. It does this by turning a human-friendly URL like pcworld.com into a computer-friendly IP address like 70.42.185.10.

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"Lost Message" Facebook Spam

If you get an email telling you you’ve “lost a message” on Facebook, guess what? The person who sent it to you isn't a friend.

In a new kind of phishing tactic, the email message (described here by Spamfighter) tells you that "Facebook sent you a notification" and "You have 1 lost message on Facebook, to recover a message follow the link below."

Don't do it. If you do, you'll be infected by malware. Before you know what’s happened, it’ll hit you again.

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Don't be a Victim of Identity Theft

Remember when only superheroes had to keep their identities a secret? Now everyone has to. In today’s world, where criminals who may live on a different continent can access your bank and credit card accounts, or create new credit card accounts in your name so that they can make the purchases and you can lose your credit rating, guarding your identity is a top priority.

And it's not just individuals who fall victim to identity theft. One set of crooks purchased $70,000 worth of goods on a California law firm's line of credit, while another took 10 times that amount from a Pennsylvania school district's bank account.

If identity thieves can rob law firms, and are willing to steal from school districts, you know that ordinary people like us are in plenty of danger. You need to be proactive, doing everything possible to keep your personal information secure.

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