Conficker Worm expected to evolve April 1

Your best defense? Make certain your PC is up to date on all critical patches for your version of Windows. Microsoft has modified it's free "Malicious software removal tool" to detect and eliminate Conficker.

How dangerous is Conficker? Dangerous enough that there is a $250,000 bounty on the heads of those responsible. It's the potential for havoc including password and identity theft that has IT departments scrambling to get a handle on this. Read more about this extremely dangerous worm here

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Today's Tip: Virtual Memory, do you have enough?

Physical RAMSo you've just added additional memory to your computer because a friend told you it would help speed things up, but you haven't seen any improvement whatsoever. This could be because even though you've added more physical RAM to the computer, you haven't adjusted your operating system's virtual memory settings. Virtual Memory settings are usually created automatically at the time your Operating System is installed on your computer, so if you've upgraded with more physical RAM, you need to adjust the virtual memory settings accordingly. So how much virtual memory should you have? General rule of thumb is 1.5 times the value of physical RAM in the computer. This means if your computer has 2 GB Physical RAM (2048MB), your virtual memory (also known as a pagefile) should be 3 GB or 3072MB. Set this value by right clicking on "My Computer" Select the "properties" option and from there, the "Advanced" tab. Click "Settings" in the Performance section, and when the resulting dialog box appears, select the "Advanced" tab once again. Here you will see "Virtual Memory" in the bottom half of the window with the option to "Change". Follow the prompts to set your pagefile or virtual memory to the approriate value. I've provided a couple of screen captures below to point you in the right direction. If you're still uncertain, send me email and I'll be happy to guide you through!

Advanced System Properties






















Advanced Performance Options

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Today's Tip: Update to AntiSpyware XP2009

Last week I alerted you to a common trojan trap that is surfacing all over the web under a variety of names. AntiSpyware XP2009 is just one name. Rather than update the original post, I have decided to post this once again because of the EXTREME DANGER this type of threat poses.

A colleague of mine recently passed away. While searching for news about him, I navigated to a site where I was greeted by this pop-up window:

AV360 Pop Up

Pretty scary huh? It gets better. It matters not how you exit the pop-up message, as soon as you do, a fake "scan" animation is displayed that makes it appear your system is being scanned. It is important to note that the script is NOT PERFORMING A SCAN. What you see is only an animated webpage made to resemble an actual scan. A full size screen capture of this scan animation is displayed here
So how do we know the scan is a fake? Well for starters, the fake animation displays only 2 Local Disk drives and a DVD-RAM drive. In reality, there are 9 Disk drives on my computer and one DVD-RW drive. Secondly, while "local disk" is the name Windows assigns Hard Disk Drives during installatioin, I rename all my drives to unique names. It's a neat little trick that can help you spot these fake screens. Renaming HDD's to a friendly name will be the subject of a future post. And lastly, we know this is a fake screen because the layout is based on a Windows XP Explorer window, I'm actually using Windows 7 Beta on this computer.
Finally, take a close look at the final screen capture below:

AV360 Pop Up

Under no circumstances should you select the "OK" option to install. Clicking on the X, or the Alt-F4 keystroke combination just puts you in a repeated error message loop. Close the actual BROWSER window to cut this trojan off at the knees.
It's easy to be fooled by these tricks and a lot harder to clean up after, so surf smart. Don't panic when you see a pop up like this, but if you get taken in, call the St. George UT PC doctor for disaster cleanup.

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Disabling IE8 in Windows 7

Published by dave at 2:15 PM under Windows 7 | Daily Tips

There's been a lot of buzz in the last week about Microsoft making it possible to disengage Internet Explorer from Windows 7. This is largely seen as a move to satisfy EU regulators so that launch of the new OS is not hampered by regulatory questions.
Not only do I like to talk about present technologies, but those that are emerging as well, and the ability to disable IE8 is certainly something that a lot of people will want to know how to do. If you're running the 7048 beta build of Windows 7, below are the steps and screen capture of how IE8 is disabled. Credit of course goes to Bryant at Aeroexperience and Chris at Chris123NT for the discovery and original post of instructions on how to remove.
See the original articles in full here or here



Disable IE8

To Remove IE8 from Windows 7, enter the Control Panel and look at “All Control Panel Options” Click “Programs and Features” In the left sidebar, click “Turn Windows Features On or Off” (you will be thrown a UAC prompt if you elevated UAC) Wait for the list to load. Look for Internet Explorer 8 in the list and uncheck it. Click OK. You will see a prompt notifying you of a reboot. The machine will reboot once, configure things, and reboot again. Upon completing the second reboot, you will notice that Internet Explorer 8’s components are actually still in Windows. The major changes will be that IE8 will be missing from “Set Program Defaults,” Windows won’t complain about IE8 being missing, and iexplore.exe will no longer exist underneath the Internet Explorer directory even though the directory and every IE8 dependency therein will still exist.

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