A free security tool is slaughtering the Zbot botnet, having cleaned the malware responsible for harvesting zombie computers from almost 280,000 machines.

In just a few days, MSRT has delivered a heavy blow to the network of zombie computers, with a few hundred thousand PCs having been cleaned.

MSRT was refreshed and offered to all Windows users via Windows Update on October 12, as a part of the company’s monthly release of security bulletins.

“Since the release of MSRT on Tuesday we have removed Zbot 281,491 times from 274,873 computers and is the #1 family of malware removed (which is not uncommon the month a family is added),” revealed Microsoft’s Jeff Williams. More »

We always hear spy ware but what basically is it? It is a type of malware that is being installed on computers and collects information about users without their knowledge. These are typically hidden from the user, and are difficult to detect. on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.

While the term spy ware suggests that software it secretly monitors the user’s computing. Spy ware programs can collect various types of personal information such as Internet surfing habits and sites that have been visited. Spy ware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages or loss of Internet or functionality of other programs.

In response to the emergence of spy ware, various tools are being designed in order to protect from the spy ware attack.One of them is the Spy DLL Remover. More »

Microsoft has released an advisory confirming a previously unknown vulnerability in the way Windows processes shortcut files. The critical bug is trivial to exploit, affects all versions of Windows and allows for arbitrary code execution.

The vulnerability (CVE-2010-2568) came to Microsoft’s attention after Belarusian antivirus vendor VirusBlokAda discovered a new piece of USB malware that was actively exploiting it in the wild. The bug allows an attacker to create a special shortcut file (.lnk), that will execute an executable, when the folder containing it is opened in Windows Explorer, or another file manager able to process shortcut icons.

The Microsoft advisory is a bit confusing, the “Executive Summary” section stating that “malicious code may be executed when the user clicks the displayed icon of a specially crafted shortcut. More »

Microsoft has reacted rapidly to public reports of a zero-day denial-of-service vulnerability in its latest iterations of the Windows client and server operating systems, and is providing customers with guidance on how to block potential attempts to take advantage of the security flaw. In this regard, the Redmond company has underlined that no exploits or attacks have been detected for the denial-of-service (DoS) hole in the Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol impacting both SMBv1 and SMBv2 in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. However, Proof of Concept (PoC) code was irresponsibly published in the wild, making it extremely easy for attackers to build exploits putting at risk users of Windows 7.

“Microsoft is aware of public, detailed exploit code that would cause a system to stop functioning or become unreliable. If exploited, this DoS vulnerability would not allow an attacker to take control of, or install malware on, the customer’s system but could cause the affected system to stop responding until manually restarted. It is important to note that the default firewall settings on Windows 7 will help block attempts to exploit this issue,” Dave Forstrom, group manager, public relations, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, revealed. “The company is not aware of attacks to exploit the reported vulnerability at this time.” More »

For most PC users, the migration to Microsoft’s new version of Windows will go smoothly with a little preparation.

Spending a few minutes getting your system ready before you insert that Windows 7 installation disc may save you hours of troubleshooting and repair afterward.

- “If any of your products have a limit on the number of times they can be installed with the same serial number, you might be denied permission to install them as part of a fresh install of Windows 7. Most of the time, there’s nothing you can do about this. You just have to try the installation and hope that you’re under the limit.

“However, some software companies allow you to deactivate the serial number from your old computer and reactivate it when you reinstall. This keeps you under the limit. Adobe in particular does this. For example, in Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional, you can go to Help, Activation and click Deactivate. By doing this, you’ll stay under the limit and you’ll be able to reinstall the product.”

A reader who goes by the name Alrock discovered a couple of quirks when he used Microsoft’s Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor: More »