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Tuesday, May 24

Just a little advice

Additional Info:
There are a lot of sites where you can check to see if a file you have has problems or not. One of the better is:

Jotti

Upload the file you want tested for bugs and 20 different anti-v's will check it...FREE!; But be warned, because of coding in programs, not everything that checks as a virus or trojan or worm really IS one! There are a lot of false positives because of compression techniques used in certain coding. But it still is rather nice when all the checkers come back with "nothing found."

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I’d like to take a minute away from all the religious praise of the wonderful government of our Corporate States of America to offer a little advice to you computer users. For many of you, this is probably not necessary but for the general user it could mean the difference between ID Theft and/or a Hi-jacked Computer or even losing all your data.

There’s been a recent exponential increase in computer invasion attempts from some of the ne’er-do-wells, especially from China. They have these quaint programs that send out “pings” or sort of like requests on the net to IPs around the world, In particular, they seem to really like us. These are automated robotic programs or “bots” or spiders or a number of other names.

The nasty people start these programs and let them run to find any computer that won’t reject their advances. It’s entirely possible that your computer could be attacked many times a day or hour or even many times a minute.

If your anti virus software is up to date, it MIGHT stop these. Most firewalls can stop them…provided people configure them properly – which 90% DON’T! The result? You might just as well put a sign on your front lawn telling everyone where you keep your valuables in your house. It’s the same thing.

To give you an idea, I am getting hit over 40 times an hour from a few provinces in China (and that doesn't count the ones from Eastern Europe, Sweden, Netherlands, Russia and of course the good ol' U.S. of A. among many others) What can be done? Well if you call your provider you’ll find out just how much they care about anything concerning you except the money you pay them.

For example, my wonderful people are CommieCast. IF I were to contact CommieCast and tell them these intruders from China were hitting my computer relentlessly, they will tell me unless the intruding IP is from a CommieCast affiliate, all I can do is contact the provider of the intruder! Ain’t that sweet? They won’t do anything about Chinese hackers trying to get into my computer, but they will joyfully and freely cooperate with the RIAA, MPAA , Local and State Law Enforcement Agencies and even the BurgerKing down the road to make sure I ain’t doin’ anything Corporate America doesn’t like.

So, you contact the provider of the offending IP and of course they take care of it right away! NOT! The providers in China have a fantastic way of ignoring requests like these. And the offenders continue their merry intrusions. So what can you do about it?

There’s a fantastic program called Malwarebytes that is quite reasonable, $24.95 for a one time shot, that can protect your computer maybe better than some of the very expensive Anti-V programs out there. And you don’t have to be a Chinese hacker to configure it on your computer. Actually, you install it, turn it on, and set automatic updates, and voila! It protects your computer from those pesky intruders. Of course, no program is completely safe. But this one is the best I’ve seen in many, many years.

For what it’s worth, I don’t work for Malwarebytes, don’t know anyone who does, don’t have any stock in the company and don’t get a penny for this post. Once you try it or buy and install it, it’ll block unauthorized attempts to get into your computer from outside nasties. As a bonus, it’ll also tell you when something ON your computer is trying to send data FROM your computer. A little window pops up in the lower right of your screen to tell you it stopped something from some IP attempting to access your computer or connect to another one on the net.

But a nice thing it does is it gives you the IP of the attempting intruder. With that data, you can go to one of the sites that can identify IPs and see who and from where someone is trying to access your files. If you know the site is safe, like maybe you get updates from Benny the 16th every day, you can add that IP to an ignore list and it’ll let all his wisdom right on through.

Sorry about the length of this but I think it’s rather important.
Here is the url for Malwarebytes. You can try it for free, but the free version doesn’t do all the stuff you really, really need. (That’s typical business, but they want to make money to and they DO offer a great product).

Malwarebytes

Once you Buy IT and install it and find a neat little IP that is blocked, here is a url you can use to check who is at your front door.

What's My IP Address

Just type in the IP you get from Malwarebytes and you can see where your intrusion is coming from. You just might be surprised.

One of the nice things about this program and the people who run it is the fact that they update it literally many times a day. You can set the automatic updates to monthly or weekly (wouldn’t recommend that!), daily (ok) or even hourly!
Do yourself a favor, at least try it out. Once you see how many times your computer is getting hit from everywhere, you’ll want to buy it.

Here’s an example of the log files this morning from my computer that shows how many times an intrusion has been attempted just in the space of 30 minutes

08:08:27 IP-BLOCK 221.192.199.48 (Type: incoming)
08:19:26 IP-BLOCK 58.218.199.227 (Type: incoming)
08:19:26 IP-BLOCK 58.218.199.227 (Type: incoming)
08:19:26 IP-BLOCK 58.218.199.227 (Type: incoming)
08:19:26 IP-BLOCK 58.218.199.227 (Type: incoming)
08:19:26 IP-BLOCK 58.218.199.227 (Type: incoming)
08:36:32 IP-BLOCK 221.192.199.43 (Type: incoming)
08:36:32 IP-BLOCK 221.192.199.43 (Type: incoming)
08:36:32 IP-BLOCK 221.192.199.43 (Type: incoming)
08:36:32 IP-BLOCK 221.192.199.43 (Type: incoming)

If you’re interested, go to the above url, type in any of these numbers to see where they’re coming from.

You may or may not be getting hit as much. This intrusion started with me about a month ago although some friends have had it happen since January. If you aren’t getting hit now…YOU WILL BE. Be prepared.

Unfortunately, I don't believe it's available for the Mac but you might email them and ask. (You Mac-ademians never have to worry about viruses or bad stuff anyway, right? That's why you bought a Mac!)

This has been a PSA from your friends a Blondesense!

(Oh...and if you already use Malwarebytes...never mind!)

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