COMPUTER, INTERNET VIRUS AND HOAX DATA
TOGETHER WITH ITEMS OF INTEREST TO LOCAL COMPUTER USERS
THOUSANDS OF WEB
SITES ATTACKED - BIGGEST EVER!
April 2nd 2011 - but this is NO April fool!
A huge attack has compromised quite literally thousands of web sites all
over the internet. When you visit one of these sites you are directed to a
fake page that shows your computer as being infected with a huge number of
viruses. It's all fake as I have explained before.
First look at this BBC News web page to convince you that this is not a scam
to see what happens please look at this You Tube video
If you see the events shown above happening on your computer, PRESS NOTHING
except for turning your computer off IMMEDIATELY. This is one time when you
can force a shut down. Try pressing the power button on your computer then
HOLD IT DOWN for 5 seconds. You might lose some work but you will NOT lose
When you restart just do NOT visit that
web page again. Your computer was NOT infected but had you left in on the
page it would soon have been so infected you might have had to have Windows
reinstalled losing all your work in the process!
You can run an anti-virus scan if the mood takes you but it is not essential
as you should be ok.
2010 - ANOTHER NASTY COMPUTER VIRUS STRIKES IN THE VILLAGE
It was only on the BBC web site today
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8634356.stm but we have
already seen the latest internet computer virus in the village. This is a
nasty one called "Zeus 1.6" which cleverly monitors your keyboard all the
time, making a copy of every press, and then sends a full copy to an
overseas web site. The crooks then work out your bank log in details and
steal your money!
Until now users of the less well known browsers went
along with a smug smile on their faces as most viruses were directed at
Internet Explorer users, however Zeus 1.6 seems to work with other browsers
such as Firefox as well.
Do please be careful and ensure that your anti-virus
software is up to date! There are plenty of free suppliers if you want to
By the way please don't be fooled into thinking that
if your computer is infected with a virus it will inevitably slow to a crawl
and you will instantly notice something wrong. That used to be true, but
some modern computers have so much spare capacity they take the extra work
that viruses generate in their stride, and you can easily not notice
In fact the infected computer that we found was
running pretty normally when we looked at it. We visited for a completely
different problem and it was just good luck that caused us to check the
number of processes running.
There are clues that can point you to an infection.
Perhaps the easiest is if you see the hard drive light flickering a lot more
than usual - although this isn't a definite guarantee of an infection!
Another thing you can do is ensure that you have your network connection
icon visible. If this is flickering when the computer is at rest it can be a
clue to look into your system a little more deeply.
We will give fuller details a.s.a.p.
BEWARE - Emails headed
"Governmental registration program on the H1N1 vaccination"
We have received a number of
emails all of which ask residents to register their details so that they can
receive a swine 'flu vaccination.
Now these are all obviously fake
- not the least of which is because they claim to come from an American
organisation! However they have caught out at least one local resident who
not only gave his name and address but also his date of birth and even his
National Insurance number! That is just about all that is needed to steal
So plaese do be very careful
with all emails that you receive. More information soon.
Want some anti-virus
software that actually works and costs you nothing?
No it's not a scam and this isn't a trick. At HorstedKeynes.Com we
have been advising local villagers about their computer problems for ages
and we have found that many people who had Norton anti-virus have been
unhappy with the way it slows down their computers. Our research found a
programme called AVG Free Edition which is a compact, quick and FREE
AVG Free works, and works well, we have it running on all our
computers and servers here in the village. Try it for yourself but please
heed this one warning. When you look on the internet you will find sites
that look as though they are genuine AVG sites but in fact contain viruses
or try to sell you software. They are NOT to be recommended!
If you are looking for the free version of AVG anti-virus please
download it from here and only here
http://free.grisoft.com/ . This is the site run but the software authors
and it contains no nasties.
HARD TO FIND MODEM EXTENSION LEADS
NOW IN STOCK NOW IN THE VILLAGE
We have a supply of hard to obtain broadband extension leads right here in the
village. If you need to put your broadband modem more than 2 metres from the
telephone socket we have the parts to make it work!
Also Filters, Routers, and Modems and other parts.
Give us a ring.
p.s. If you ask nicely we'll even plug it all in and set it up for you too!
WOULD YOU LIKE US TO WIPE YOUR OLD HARD DRIVE CLEAN?
If you are worried about disposing of the old hard drive
in your computer then we are happy to help you wipe it clean. Just give us a
ring. Incidentally the recent BBC report was (as usual) didn't tell the
whole story. They didn't mange to get hold of bank log in details, did they?
DON'T INSTALL SPYAXE! READ ON...
December 13th 2005 (updated 10 February 2006)
when the BBC caught on to the problem!)
new and very nasty programme type called
In the notes that follow we have tried vary hard not
to swear or be abusive to the "people" who write the sort of programme that
we are about to discuss but from our attitude you may gather that we don't
think much of them.
So what is "hijackware"?
Quite simply you download what seems like a helpful
free programme like SpyAxe which purports to scan your computer for nasties
and then remove them - do NOT at any time even visit the SpyAxe page by the
You install this programme and suddenly your computer
slows to a crawl, your internet home page is fixed on some very odd site,
you get a pop up every 15 seconds often showing a couple of people who are
obviously very much in love and when you try to delete the programme you
find that you can't!
Well actually you can delete the programme but a
second later it reappears in your task bar and the whole sorry state of
affairs starts all over again! Your home page is locked, you can't alter any
of your internet browser settings, and you can only visit certain internet
Being well versed in internet affairs you do a Google
search for something, anything that will help you, and find adverts for one
of several programmes that claim they can help you. So in desperation you
send off your 49 USD and eventually (if you are lucky) get a removal
programme that restores your computer. (But be very careful as the restore
programmes often contain spyware themselves!)
The unfortunate thing about this is that the people
who write the removal programme are the same people who wrote SpyAxe in the
first place! It is a complex scam to separate you from your money and far
more worryingly to get hold of your credit card numbers! Be VERY, VERY careful! If you even see anything about
SpyAxe KEEP AWAY!
Unless or until the major market players do something
about this new internet threat do NOT rely on Norton or AdAware to get you
out of trouble!
So, aren't we going to tell you how all this works and
how to remove this stuff? We wish that we knew. There ARE ways to remove
this stuff without paying out money but they involve hard registry hacking,
something that we don't recommend unless you are VERY careful. Even then two
of the programme parts are named EXACTLY the same as vital Windows files. Be
very, very, VERY careful!
If you feel brave try looking here for impartial
There are rumours that the new version of Microsoft
Anti Spyware tool may help stop this nasty. By all means try it if you
Windows is 100% legal as you will need to verify your installation before
downloading Microsoft Anti Spyware! Look at...
More as soon as we have it. Please look back.
MoviePass at work!
Following on from the Spyaxe problems (see above)
comes another nasty from the American internet this time one called
MoviePass. The main trouble with this software is that it is legal - well
sort of - and THAT is what causes the problems!
Lets say that you download a movie clip and it says
that you require a certain piece of software to make it watchable. No
trouble you click the suggested link and install the recommended viewer,
in this case one called MoviePass.
On the way through the installation it asks for your
name, street and email address, and you then get a page of conditions,
never read them do we, and they are in legalese anyway so you press
"accept". All very simple, and all very legal, but that is where they have
You see the terms and conditions that you just
legally accepted allow the programme writers to say that you have 3 days
to try out their software and if you don't want to keep it you must delete
the installation within that self same 3 days. Not only that you also have
to telephone the customer service centre in the USA BEFORE uninstalling
the software or it self-reinstalls.
Don't do it in this order, or plain don't bother and
the next term or condition is enforced. This says that you have accepted
that you owe them nearly $400 for a years' “service”, that they can use
ALL of your hard drive for whatever they wish, that they can use ALL of
your broadband bandwidth for whatever they wish, that they can take a note
of ALL the software on your computer “top prevent conflicts”, PLUS they
can keep putting "reminders to pay" on your screen with such rapidity that
in the end it effectively makes your computer lock up!
Now, because you have "accepted" all these
conditions it appears that you can do nothing to complain, and if you
don't pay your $400, and pretty dam quick in the USA anyway they, quite
literally, "send the boys round". Debt collectors who demand payment, plus
their costs and they also put a mark on your credit rating as a "default"
(remember this is a perfectly legal debt!)
I know, I know, you have read these warnings before
on all the scam emails except this time it IS true, and at the moment it
IS legal (in the USA anyway), and who cares whether it is legal, the
programme writers have put at least 5 extra programmes on your computer
which ties it in knots anyway!
Before people say that the software can be easily
removed or to do a simple system restore then I'm afraid the virus, oops
sorry programme writers, have thought of all that. In the second version
of their software anyway it's just like SpyAxe very, very hard to remove.
This has now happened to two of my customers, both
gentlemen who I introduced to computers and both men have paid up!
This warning IS genuine, try looking here,
NEVER, EVER download MoviePass!
PC WORLD ARE AT IT AGAIN!
Last year we complained to the
Authority about an advert from PC World where they claimed that their
computer would connect to the internet faster when in fact it wouldn't. PC
World were made to pull the advert and promised to be more careful in the
future. Well they haven't learned much as PC World are at it again.
In their recent advertisement (September 2005) PC
World are advertising a Packard Bell R4 laptop PC with a standard Wi-Fi
wireless connection. Nothing wrong in that except that they state that
this standard wireless connection computer can connect to the internet
Now if you are new to computers you may not
understand that you have to have a nearby
access point to actually connect to the outside world. As you may know
we run a free wireless access point here in Horsted Keynes but they are
few and far between - indeed we know of only half a dozen other free
access points in the whole of Sussex!
If you prefer to pay for your internet access then
you choice is wider, indeed there are pay as you surf points 5 miles South
of Horsted Keynes in Haywards Heath, 6 miles North in East Grinstead, 8
Miles West in Crawley and 11 miles East in Uckfield. These BT Open Zone
points have a range of a couple of hundred metres but that isn't what
anyone could describe as ANYWHERE! Certainly isn't like a mobile 'phone is
So if you are thinking of buying the PC World
EasyNote R4 range of notebook computers please be aware that to connect to
the internet you will either have to have a wireless network at home or be
within range of another wireless network. Without these you simply cannot
By the way these computers are quite good value
except for the keyboard which is lousy! If you would like to read a full
review please get in touch and we will see what we can do for you.
March 22nd. 2005
Are you a zombie?
If you doubt our warnings about viruses just read
this BBC News Report!
After you have digested it get in touch if your machine is running slow!!
Updating Norton or any other
anti-virus program is NO LONGER enough. To protect your computer from viruses
and worms you MUST perform a "Windows update" at least every month. So far this
year we have visited 7 villagers who have NEVER updated their system since it
was new - ALL had a virus or worm (or both) on their computer, one unfortunate
local had 11 viruses and 17 processes running - a new village record! *RECORD
DECIMATED See here
This information has to brought to the attention of ALL local computer users,
which is why this page is here.
If you have no idea what a "Windows update" is or how to perform one, please
either visit http://support.microsoft.com
or give us a ring...we are here to help. If you have installed Windows
XP Service Pack 2 then you are much less likely to be affected. Install it (or
get us to do it for you) TODAY!
11% of our visitors now use Mozilla
Seems that Microsoft may be worried, as you will see
from above more than 9% of our visitors now use the Mozilla browser to
view our pages. Another interesting fact, can you guess what is the most
popular search term that brings users to our pages? Nope, it's not "Church
History", or even "Service Pack 2 information", neither is it a simple
"Horsted Keynes". The most popular search term is "Graveyard Pictures".
Yup, the internet IS mad!
DO NOT BUY
CHEAP SOFTWARE FROM AN EMAIL - IT WILL PUT A SPY ON YOUR DESK!
On our travels around the village we know that
residents sometimes buy cheap software from emails. PLEASE beware
as this BBC report
reveals. Most cheap software has spyware within. We know of two villagers
who have had their credit cards hi-jacked recently. They said that they were
always very careful with their numbers. NOW perhaps we know how it
HAS YOUR COMPUTER BEEN HIJACKED?
Take a look at
BBC news story and then ask yourself if your computer has been behaving oddly
lately. has it for example been taking much longer to start up or launch your
programme? If so you may have a worm which has hijacked your processor for a
nefarious purpose. If you do nothing else today download a copy of the free
which will check out your machine. One computer not 100 metres from the village
post office had more than 800 detections in a single session, can you beat that?
NEW VIRUS MAY
MISLEAD SEPTEMBER 15th 2004
A new virus sends an email which may just mislead you enough to run its
attachment. Of course YOU are now well aware that you must NEVER open an
unsolicited email, aren't you ;-)
The email appears to come from your own ISP
and it says "We have found that your email account was used to send a huge
amount of unsolicited email during the last week .... run the attached
instructions to keep your computer safe...."
Whilst we often get fake warnings from other
email addresses running it as though it comes from your ISP isn't used that
DON'T RUN IT, O.K. ? It's a nasty virus, so be
The latest Norton update will catch it another reason to make sure that your
anti-virus software is up to date.
ANOTHER virus called SOBER is hitting email users all over the world. This is
another one that tries to tempt you to open an attachment which you think is
from a friend - IT ISN'T!
PLEASE be very careful if you want to open any attachment particularly if you
are not expecting it or if the subject line looks "odd". What do we mean by
"odd"? Usually these viruses are translated from another language so you will
see thinks like "Look to this picture", or "Here is her sign". The best bet is
to just keep your anti-virus up to date. If in doubt update it and THEN try to
open the attachment. But please be careful out there ;-)
If you want to check up look at this BBC News report about the new threat.
Subscribe to our immediate virus warning email
For VILLAGERS ONLY we will be pleased to add
you to an email list letting you know when VITAL security updates are issued. If
you would like us to warn you when you need to check that your anti-virus and
Windows software is up to date please email virus-at-horstedkeynes.com.
PLEASE NOTE We will endeavour to warn you when
Microsoft or the major anti-virus companies issue "immediate" virus danger or
security warnings. This is NOT meant to save you the trouble of checking your
own computer security and we cannot be held responsible if for whatever reason
you fail to receive any warnings. It is just a "second string" to help villagers
with their computer security. There is no charge for this service.
|Here are the 10 latest virus HOAXES that are
doing the rounds at present. If you get an email warning you of one of these
IGNORE it - and do NOT pass it on"
|Now the 10 latest GENUINE viruses to be
detected by Sophos labs. Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date
A quick answer to a quick question *
What is the difference between Windows XP Business and
Windows XP Home? This is a question that we are always being asked and
interestingly the answer is nothing to do with what you use the
system for; it is all to do with where you run it!
If you are at home then you are unlikely to have data
that is so secret that it has to be double encoded. The password
protection offered by Windows XP Home is plenty good enough. This also
applies to a medium to small business. If you have real secrets don't
store them on the computer when not in use, burn them to a disk and keep it
in a fireproof safe. Remember if you have something on your computer that
could cause you embarrassment or worse if discovered, the authorities can
get at it no matter how hard you try to protect it - this applies to both
Windows versions, business is no safer as far as that goes!
If your computer is installed in a large organisation
then it will obviously be connected to a network system for file and letter
sharing etc. This is where the Business version comes into its own as it
includes lots of extra security devices. These do not protect your
system against viruses and worms any better but do protect your data
from being looked at by other people on the network.
So if your computer is set up in Microsoft House and you
as Bill Gates don't want your staff to see how much you earn use the
Business version. Everybody else, even those in business can save money and
use the Windows XP Home Edition!
*Please don't use
this answer to make business decisions, there are conditions and exceptions
to the above, get professional advice.
You are not reading this page,
you really should!
Villagers might think us a little forward in pushing
Windows updates at every opportunity, but visits to two local families both
with teenage daughters have proved our cautions right. Both children were heavy users
of the Kazaa song and file sharing service and both had worms and viruses on
their system - LOTS OF THEM! The effect was that eventually neither system would
connect to the Internet like it used to, cutting out at every opportunity
and flashing warnings over every programme at every opportunity.
Even typing a simple letter was impossible on one machine.
On investigation one family computer was found to have
just over 400 worms, on the other more than 830 nasties were found! Both had
more than 50 processes running when ctrl/alt/delete was pressed and it took
us a long time to restore their computers to good order.
PLEASE take in what you read this page, we don't get much out of it - in
fact it costs us money to run - but you might just save yourself the cost of
a new computer ;-).
If we do save you money then contributions to cover
our costs are always
welcome! (subtle hint) Your webmasters.
The "Teddy Bear" Email
It's funny how some people will do what an
email tells them without a seconds thought, isn't it?
Let's take one hoax that has been doing the rounds for the at least 5 years and
STILL catches people out. You get an email out of the blue from one of your
friends which tells you to delete some files on your computer. Now your friend
knows next to nothing about computers (we will see why in a minute) but because
it appears to come from someone who you correspond with on a regular basis you
do what he or she says, don't you? Why? Ask a psychologist!
The email says that there is this terrible
new virus which has just appeared and it is soo dreadful that nobody, not
Microsoft, nor AOL, or Intel, or even NASA can do anything about it! It goes on
to say that the anti-virus companies like Norton have just given up and are even
now shutting up shop.
However your "friend" says that they know
how to remove the nasty and all you have to do is follow thir instructions and
delete some files on your computer. Which you then do and surprise, surprise
your computer stops working! Sounds likely, doesn't it? Yet people STILL do what they
are told in this email and delete files on their hard disk!
Let's face it, new viruses DO appear, but if they are THAT bad then it
will have been mentioned on the news ; and even these are cured by Norton and the
other major anti-virus houses in a few
hours. So if YOU get such a warning email, do what others who follow like
lemmings don't do, DO NOT DELETE ANY FILES just delete the email before it can
do any more harm. REMEMBER NEVER delete files and NEVER ever pass the warning
If you HAVE fallen for the above scam and
have deleted files then unfortunately you will find problems on your computer
sooner or later. If you leave it until later then the re-installation job will
be the larger, the engineer will have to spend even more time and it will cost
PLEASE remember this BEFORE you
and if you HAVE been caught then get it fixed quickly!
Here is the wording of a typical scam email.....
Remember the following email is a
SCAM - IGNORE IT!
|I found the little bear in my machine because of that
I am sending this message in order for you to find it in your machine. It
is the worst virus ever seen and cannot be cured once activated. You
simply have to buy a new computer as your present one will become
procedure to fix it is very simple:
The objective of this e-mail is to warn all Hotmail users about a new
virus that is spreading by MSN Messenger. The name of this virus is
jdbgmgr.exe and it is sent automatically by the Messenger and by the
address book too. The virus is not detected by McAfee or Norton and it
stays quiet for 14 days before damaging the system. After that your entire
system will fail and you will have to buy a new computer! There is NO cure
to this evil virus and the anti-virus companies agree too! Microsoft have
ordered thousands of new computers to replace all the ones destroyed by
You MUST delete it NOW without waiting!
The virus can be cleaned before it deletes the files from your system. In
order to eliminate it, it is just necessary to do the following steps:
1. Go to Start, click "Search"
2.- In the "Files or Folders option" write the name jdbgmgr.exe
3.- Be sure that you are searching in the drive "C"
4.- Click "find now"
5.- If the virus is there (it has a little bear-like icon with the name of
jdbgmgr.exe DO NOT OPEN IT FOR ANY REASON
6.- Right click and delete it (it will go to the Recycle bin)
7.- Go to the recycle bin and delete it or empty the recycle bin.
IF YOU FIND THE VIRUS IN ALL OF YOUR SYSTEMS SEND THIS MESSAGE TO ALL OF
YOUR CONTACTS LOCATED IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK BEFORE IT CAN CAUSE ANY DAMAGE.
REMEMBER - DO NOT DELETE
FILE, JUST DELETE THE EMAIL!
You can check for the latest real
viruses together with the latest virus hoaxes at the top of this page
If your new modem came from PC World,
EBuyer, or any of the other major computer suppliers and is listed as a
NetoDragon modem then read on. These modems work immediately in some systems but
cause no end of trouble in others systems where they often refuse to connect,
refuse to detect a dial tone, connect at stupid low speeds, and are just a pain.
On one newsgroup there are 44 negative reports about this modem. Some people
just remove them and throw them in the rubbish bin!
If this includes you then try the
following, it has solved dozens of problems for us and other users too. Please
report your results back to us even if it doesn't work for you.
Open your system Control
Panel and then find the "Phone and Modem Options" button. Click there and look
inside for an entry for your NetoDragon modem. You MAY have inadvertently
installed the modem with the wrong identification especially if you bought it
from PC World who ship a disk containing lots of different drivers and don't
tell you which one to use! Now look for a "Modem country" or similar setting.
(In these instructions we are assuming that you are in the UK).
If your computer was
installed and set up properly your modem will be shown as being in the United
Kingdom. Change this setting to the United States of America. (We have NOT gone
mad and DO know that the US telephone system is nothing like ours).
Close the control panel and
reboot your computer (even if it is running XP).
Now try connecting with
your "unreliable" modem! We think that you will be amazed to find a connection
speed of at least 48k first time, every time. Not only that, your dial tone will
be detected first time, every time!
We believe that a batch of
these modems have been sold with wrongly configured firmware. Unfortunately you
can't "flash" these troublesome beasts so we have to "lie" to the modem to tell
it is in the wrong country to get it to use the correct protocol which is
wrongly labelled. (uh? - We know what we mean ;-) If you are not in the UK or if
the USA setting doesn't work for you and you have got time on your hands then
try setting the modem to each country in turn. You will need to restart each
time you change settings (even with Windows XP) to reset the modem internal
workings which only looks at its internal settings when it boots up. This
procedure WILL take time but it MAY save you having to buy a new modem.
We understand that Spanish
and Portuguese telephone system users need to set their modems to "South
Africa"! Yes indeed, this IS a strange beast! PLEASE report other countries back
to us and we will try to set up a list here of which country works on which
If the above works for your system (or even
if it doesn't work) please get in touch. Please email us at
webmaster-at-horstedkeynes.com (replace -at- with @)
How to change the
resolution of your computer display
We have always tried to arrange the HorstedKeynes.Com site
so that it looks best at the resolution used by most users. When the internet
started the setting of choice was 600 x 480, later 800 x 600 took over, and
lately with flat screen monitors becoming the norm 1024 x 768 is popular. If our pages don't line up or look "lop sided" then the problem may well be that you are viewing in a different
resolution to our optimum setting. We have tried to
accommodate all resolutions with our setup and try the pages on 800x600 and
1024x768 before uploading however some users like to change their setting. So how do you
change the resolution of your computer screen and will it do any harm?
If your computer desktop has been set up with lots of
icons then changing resolution will possibly rearrange the position of these on
screen links. If you are running Windows XP however the icons should return to
their previous position when you change resolution back after looking at the
internet. If you are not into computers then perhaps ask a friend to help you or
ring us where you will get computer help in the village.
So how do you change the resolution?
Close or minimise all open windows to show the computer
desktop (which is what you see when the computer is first switched on). Now
select a BLANK part of the desktop without any icons on it and right click, up pops a small list. On
this list left click Properties and you will see a page called Display
Properties. Click the right hand end at the top marked Settings.
Now you have reached the right bit! Make a note of what
the slider is set to so that you know what to go back to when you are finished.
Now just slide the slider on the bottom left to read 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768 and "OK" your
way out. If your computer is set up properly you will be shown the page at the
new resolution for 15 seconds to allow you to click that you like the new
resolution or reject it if you don't like it. If you don't click anything for 15
seconds then the display will drop back to what it was before and you will have lost
nothing, but if you are brave just click Accept, reopen your browser, and enjoy!
To get back to your previous resolution just go back to
the Settings page and return the slider to what it was before. Simple!
Although we hate to have to type this and are no fans of
Microsoft, our site is best
viewed with Internet Explorer! As an alternative you might like to try Mozilla Firefox to view the internet,
which is totally free and liked by many users.
link to download.