Sunday, April 19, 2009

Patch Tuesday Happens - Make Sure You Patch

Well this past Tuesday, Microsoft pushed out 8 security patches that corrected at least 23 security vulnerabilities in Access, Word, Internet Explorer just to name a few. With all the talk in the national media about the April 1, Conficker Worm, this should make people check and verify that your updates have worked.

It is very important that patches happen, and the Conficker Worm should be your example. Microsoft came out late in October of 2008 with a patch (MS08-067). Many folks didn't update with this patch. Actually, millions of PC's didn't have the patch. So this allowed the criminal element behind Conficker to spread itself so fast and so successful.

So this is your reminder that patching is extremely important. Make sure your PC is set to download your Microsoft updates automatically. You can either select to install them automatically or notify you when updates are needing to be applied.

Another weekend is drawing to an end so lets get ready for the new week. Stay safe and be careful out there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Conficker Update

I wrote on March 31 about my thoughts on what would happen on April 1 when the Conficker Worm was supposed to come to life and melt the Internet as we know it. All the major media outlets running stories on this major outbreak of malware on the it just started. I say to this, welcome major media outlets. The Internet has been infected for a long time. Taking steps to protect yourself should be done in order to not have personal information about you stolen by cyber criminals.

Why all the hype? Probably the main responsibility for spreading the hype was all the security vendors such as AV vendors, and other companies dealing in computer security. Nothing really happened April 1. Now on Thursday of this past week, the Conficker Worm started to push payloads to the infected hosts out there on the Internet. Things that were seen included keyloggers, rootkit functionality, and rogue anti-virus or fake AV which has been common in the past 6 to 9 months.

If you patched your Windows OS when they came out with updates in October of 2008, and use strong passwords, and disable autorun, you are probably just fine. You must always be on the lookout for new attack vectors. The bad guys are out there and they want to gain financially at your expense. Learn to protect yourself. I have many posts in the past that should help you in taking the steps to stay safe.

Stay safe, hope your weekend was fabulous and bring on the new week!