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By Izah Morales INQUIRER.net YOU may be too trusting as you go and click on the link that you see on your fr iendâs site only to find out that the link was a malware. During the Cybersecurity: Protecting the Business forum, Vu Huy Nguyen, field r esearch consultant of McAfee Avert Labs said that social networking sites are n ow becoming more vulnerable to attacks since the users within the networks are trusted. âBe suspicious. Be wary. Itâs more of protecting yourself. Users should be awar e and beware. When they let the guard down, thatâs when attack happens,â Nguyen said. According to Nguyen, Asia faces these unique threats because users are often na ïve. He also said that the high growth in Internet users in Asia resulted in higher rate of cybercrimes. âEighty percent of the malware attacks are money-motivated,â explained Nguyen. Nguyen attributed the high rate of cyber crime to the lack of government regula tion and laws for some Asian countries. Also, he related that governments react to cybercrimes depending on its severit y. In the United States, the National White Collar Crime Center, The National Publ ic Survey on White Collar Crime in August 2005 stated that regulatory agencies attended to only one out of seven incidents of Internet fraud. In the 2007 Internet Crime Report, the National White Collar Crime Center, Bure au of Justice Assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded 206,88 4 cybercrime cases, with Internet auction fraud as the most reported offense, f ollowed by non-delivered merchandise. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the anti-cyber crime bill also known as "Cybercrime Prevention Act o f 2008" is yet to be passed into a law.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net FOR the nth time, I got hit by a computer virus. This time, though, it was a na sty hit. I was happily surfing the Internet last weekend when my antivirus software star ted detecting it. I am not yet sure if it is a Trojan (a malicious program that leaves a backdoor open in your system for hackers to take control), or a compu ter worm (self-replicating malware). But it was clear. It was annoying and it t ook control of my laptop. As one saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. The most effective and y et desperate way to get rid of a computer virus is to format the computer. Wipe the hard drive clean, and start afresh. But that would mean losing all your im portant files, data, and programs -- not to mention wasted man hours in reinsta lling the operating system, drivers, etc. So that wasn't an option. I had to fi nd a way to take out the computer virus with surgical precision. A friend who is computer virus expert told me that getting rid of a computer vi rus is like peeling an onion. No, it does not make you cry. You have to pass th rough several layers to get to the juicy part. Hmmm, I hope that makes sense. A nyway, it took me and "Ownyot" (our in-house techie) to kill da bastard . We ra n full scans, using both my existing antivirus software and an online free serv ice from Trend Micro. The software was able to detect it. It was called CRYP_NSANTI. It was a Trojan. But when we chec ked for a solution, there was none at this time. I Googled it and found that ot hers have recently been hit, and were asking how to get rid of it. Ownyot eventually found a two-punch solution, thanks to the Internet. He used a free trial antivirus software version from Avira and launched a Filipino-made solution called Noob Killer, which fixed Windows registries in my system. You c an Google both and find a way to download the software. Noob is apparently a so lution developed by Pinoy techies, according to Ownyot (that's another story, t hough). The free antivirus detected 30 more infected files. They were all quara ntined. The Noob Killer was then launched, correcting registries affected by th e computer virus. I asked what Noob Killer did to the nasty computer malware, a nd our in-house techie said that it "patched" the damaged "autorun" configurati on of my system, and sought other computer viruses/worms that are spreading thr ough removable medias. Lessons: if you're patient enough, there are free and effective fixes online. B ut you have to have an expert with you when using such software. Also, numerous free trial versions of antivirus software are on the Internet. You can downloa d them and use them to scan and quarantine computer viruses. Finally, it is bes t to update your antivirus software. If it's a corporate account, then ask your network administrator if it comes with the latest fixes. More lessons: be careful in deleting files during computer virus scans. It is b est to quarantine them first. Also always make sure that you scan removable med ia you plug in to your computer. That means USB thumb drives, external hard dis k drives, and other media. Computer worms are now spreading through removable m edia, and it can be a nasty problem. Finally, I learned that today's computer viruses will not necessarily render yo ur system useless. But when not dealt with quickly, it would. In past discussio ns with computer virus experts, computer malwares are increasingly being launch ed to steal passwords, usernames, and other personal information on an infected system. So when you're infected, it is best to seek the help of an expert. You would never know that they are just sitting in a little corner in your office. Thanks, Ownyot!

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