| Print 06/29/08 - by Steven Winslow
| Click on image for full size PopUp.|
Once Upon a time, on a website far, far away... (Paraphrase from Star Wars Into)
*Sigh* Being a techie these days just aint what it used to be... PCs used to be simple. Very few people were on the internet. Modem speed just didnt make it possible to do alot of the things we take for granted today. You were lucky if you could get on and stay on long enough to browse a forum. Picture sharing was almost unheard of. Viruses pretty much only came from sharing disks.
Today, everyone is on the internet. Download speeds are about 100x faster than we used to have with modems, and alot of people leave thier PCs on constantly. There are millions of websites, with more coming online every day. All of this has attracted the attention of some pretty ill ententioned people...
About 2 weeks ago, I was doing some routine maintence when I noticed something strange. The file sizes had bloated and there were upload times that didnt match what I had remembered. Delmarvabikers had been hacked! I immediately cleaned the site, called my provider and did a complete review of security on the site. There were a few places that needed tightening, which was done and I hoped all was well with the world. I watched the site like a hawk, and a day later the same thing! The site got hacked again! YIKES!
To make a long story short, the last 2 weeks have been a complete nightmare. The site has been patched and patched and patched, so much so that the forum finally died. Oh well, I was going to change it at the end of the season anyway. A new forum will be online shortly. Hours upon hours of haggling with the provider. A server change. More software changes. Finnally, the sites are back online and being watched even more closely.
In the end, we found out via IP trace what has been happening. Seems the $#@%ing Chinese Hacker Mafia has been hard at work making my life a living hell. Why do they do it? Simple - MONEY. By loading adware up, they get higher site rankings, more visits and more money. What can we do to thwart this treat? Here are a few simple things we can all do to make the internet as unfreindly as possible for hackers...
1) NEVER EVER EVER BUY ANYTHING FROM HACKERS OR SPAMMERS! As long as they are making money, they will keep at it! No matter how good that cool fake watch sounds or that get rich quick scam appears, all you are doing is feeding the people who are making your life hell!
2) TURN YOUR PC OFF! If you do happen to get some adware, odds are good your PC will become a spam broadcaster, or even worse a zombie bot. (A zombie or bot computer is one that is controlled by hackers. They can get any info on your PC or even worse, use your PC to stage attacks on other PCs!)
3) BE CAREFULL ABOUT FREEWARE! This means being very selective about freeware. Read the fine print, alot of these freeware programs will load neat little software packages that mine your PC for email addresses or worse!
4) USE AN AV PROGRAM! There is a great free one available here: http://free.avg.com/. Let it do its thing and update often. It may slow your PC down some, but you will be thankfull in the long run!
5) WATCH OUT FOR DOWNLOADABLES! Most system these days will prompt you before allowing a program download. Be aware of these and be sure to click NO.
6) IF YOU NEED HELP ASK! If you think you may have something and would like some help, please feel free to email me. Im more than happy to talk to anyone and offer what assistance I can. Another great free resource to help you is: http://www.trandmicro.com/ Hit the Free Housecall link and let it do its thing. You may be surprized what you find!
By Steven Winslow
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