Just how valuable is a Hacked PC?

The massively informative “Krebs on Security” Blog published this graphic which is a startling depiction of just how valuable a compromised PC can be to cyber criminals.

Often the owner of such a PC does not even know that this has happened, and there are millions that have. Check your own PC regularly for oddities and update your malware/virus/firewall softwarre to prevent your own machines becoming a tool of scammers.

From Krebs on Security blog, a graphic showing the value to hackers, scammers and cyber criminals of a compromised (Hacked) PC.

Debunking Some Common Online Security Myths

The US-CERT Logo

There are some common myths that may influence your online security practices. Knowing the truth will allow you to make better decisions about how to protect yourself.

How are these myths established?
There is no one cause for these myths. They may have been formed because of a lack of information, an assumption, knowledge of a specific case that was then generalized, or some other source. As with any myth, they are passed from one individual to another, usually because they seem legitimate enough to be true.

Why is it important to know the truth?
While believing these myths may not present a direct threat, they may cause you to be more lax about your security habits. If you are not diligent about protecting yourself, you may be more likely to become a victim of an attack.

What are some common myths, and what is the truth behind them?


Who owns

Why do I ask? Well, I got a spam/scam email today that pretends to be an alert from Microsoft, via the Secret Service that a backdoor has been found in Windows XP and that a patch has been released which will ‘fix’ this vulnerability.

Well, as you can imagine, the ‘patch‘ turns out to be a trojan/virus/worm thingy itself.

interestingly, this scammer uses to host his images. Here’s one:
Scammer ImageThe download site was WWW.WESTPAC-SITE.ORG which is hosted by one-and-one, a huge internet web hosting company and the rest of the details are probably spurious (Ian Arend from Victoria, Australia).

If you go to the website, you find the beginnings of a Pharming operation, attempting to extract the PIN numbers of people’s credit cards for Bank of America accounts.

I have send emails to the relevant ISPs to try to get this site down as soon as possible, but people will get burned (unless that is, they see this posting first!)

New Email offers Registration (with Virus Payload)

I’ve received several emails today, all matching the same pattern. The email comes iwth a range of subjected and from a range of senders but the enclosed web link, when clicked brings you to the same html, all located on different IP addresses. The few ip addresses I looked up seemed to be typical home computer users which probably means that they are infected machines running spam bots .

Here’s one – Subject is ‘Registration Details


We are so happy you joined Ringtone World.

User Number: 8191539133
Temorary Login: user4089
Your Password ID: ce630

Be Secure. Change your Login ID and Password.

Use this link to change your Login info:

Thank You,
Technical Services
Ringtone World

Going to the link brings up this webpage (it also loads a fake video viewer window with no content):

If you do not see the Secure Login Window please install our [malware removed]

Clicking on the link will download the file applet.exe which my Fprot antivirus recognised as a virus but failed to identify the name.

Other subjects
‘User Services’, ‘User Info’, ‘Internal Support’, ‘Technical Support’, ‘Registration Details’

Other Sites
‘Pet World’, ‘Ringtone World’, ‘Funny-Files’, ‘Recipies-Galore’, ‘Ringtone Heaven’ and plenty more.