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A picture worth a thousand worms
Star Tribune ^ | October 7, 2004 | Steve Alexander

Posted on 10/07/2004 3:16:54 AM PDT by BillCompton

Picture this: Just viewing a photograph on the Internet could allow a hacker to take over your computer.

Such a thing hasn't happened, but computer security experts say this scenario is not only possible, but likely.

Hackers have found a security flaw in several types of Microsoft software that allows them to infect JPEG images with malicious code that opens a back door to computers. The flaw is in Microsoft's Internet Explorer, its Windows XP operating system and some of its other programs.

The scope of the vulnerability is dizzying: Just using Internet Explorer to view an infected JPEG image on a Web page would be enough to let a remote hacker take over the computer and run any program imaginable, experts say.

"JPEGs are everywhere," said David Perry, global director of education for Trend Micro, a computer security firm in Cupertino, Calif. "There are trillions of pictures on the Web."

Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and three weeks ago ...

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
This one could be the worse yet.
1 posted on 10/07/2004 3:16:54 AM PDT by BillCompton
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To: BillCompton

Its long past time to make virus coders spend a long stretch in prison.

Until we get serious about punishing the miscreants the problem will not go away...


2 posted on 10/07/2004 3:22:29 AM PDT by swilhelm73 (The road to heaven on earth always seems to detour to hell on earth. --Daniel J. Flynn)
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To: BillCompton

www.mozilla.org

A better browser. I don't know if it's vulnerable too, but I've found it to eliminate a lot of Explorer issues.


3 posted on 10/07/2004 3:25:46 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Remember: the Lord loves a workin' man, don't trust whitey, see a doctor and get rid of it.)
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To: BillCompton

Microsoft has been advising of this problem for weeks. This adversary is from Sept. 14.

http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/200409_jpeg.mspx

This flaw does not affect machines that installed Windows XP Service Pack 2. Most of the attacks from the summer didn't affect SP2 either.

They do advise to run Office Update, regardless of Windows version if you are running MS Office.


It's critical that if one is using Windows, that one get SP2 for XP. If you have a non-XP Windows version and dont have a hardware router/firewall, then take your machine off the Intermnet


4 posted on 10/07/2004 3:30:22 AM PDT by pacelvi
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To: pacelvi

My operating system is a relic from the Stone Age (Windows 98SE), and isn't vulnerable to the Buffer Overrun in JPEG Processing, mainly because no one cares enough to devise viruses for us anymore.. =(


5 posted on 10/07/2004 3:43:09 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: BillCompton; All
Help for viruses and malware:
 
 Ad-Aware ... Spybot ... Peper Uninstaller ... HijackThis... CWShredder ... Spyware Blaster ... IE Spyad ... Free online Virus scan ... AVG AntiVirus ... LSPfix ... How to Show Hidden Files ... How to boot into Safe Mode ... How did I get infected in the first place?


Things you need(all FREE)
Anti-Virus
AVG Avast
Firewall
Kerio(Direct Download) Zone Alarm
Misc.
IE Spyads SpywareBlaster Spyware Guard
Windows Update
get all CRITICAL Updates

Things you want(Still Free)
Mozillia Firefox
Google Toolbar (stops pop-ups)
Ad-Aware
Spybot S&D
MS MVP Hosts file

6 posted on 10/07/2004 3:49:27 AM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
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To: backhoe

When I use my Macs (I have 2, plus a brand new Dell Dimension) I sigh in relief!


7 posted on 10/07/2004 3:52:09 AM PDT by Blackenedadder
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To: Blackenedadder
When I use my Macs (I have 2, plus a brand new Dell Dimension) I sigh in relief!

I can't say a thing negative about that- I spent close to two weeks clearing garbage out of both home PC's last June, and briefly converted both systems to Linux/Win2000.

Unfortunately, the wife objected, so we're back to scanning and patching.

8 posted on 10/07/2004 3:57:27 AM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
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To: AntiGuv

Benefits of obsolescence?


9 posted on 10/07/2004 4:00:10 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: swilhelm73
"Until we get serious about punishing the miscreants the problem will not go away..."

Kind of like what has happened over the centuries as a result of not having a policy of hanging lying politicians? ;)

10 posted on 10/07/2004 4:14:39 AM PDT by G.Mason (John Kerry: He's mad as a hatter, all right, but he sure has a nice way of saying it.)
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To: BillCompton

I recommend Housecall which is a free virus can at Trendmicro.com My Gateway which runs Windows2000 PE was running slower than molasses and when I scanned it with Housecall I had more than 200 infected files - worms, viruses, Trojan horses- you name it Even my screen saveers were infected Housecall cleaned it right up -Good program But just as bad is finding 'Elite Toolbar' on my computer again and again and having to spend hours again and again deleting that piece of crap


11 posted on 10/07/2004 4:47:07 AM PDT by Armigerous
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To: BillCompton
About 2:30pm last Wednesday or Thursday, I went to a thread on FreeRepublic. I may have clicked on a link within the article. My only recollection in that the article may have been posted by a "newbie" and may have been somewhat juvenile in nature. Since then, I have been plagued by pop-ups, highlighted words, a new tool bar, and mysterious shortcuts on my desktop. I had a computer guy with 13 years experience try to clean it up for me. He deleted a bunch of stuff, but it comes back and he said he has to do research to find out about that stupid tool bar, which seems to be related to this whole mess.

I have been wondering if anybody else may have experienced the same thing?

12 posted on 10/07/2004 4:52:07 AM PDT by stayathomemom
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To: stayathomemom

"I had a computer guy with 13 years experience try to clean it up for me. He deleted a bunch of stuff, but it comes back"

If you can't clear it up, register here ( after reading their introductory "pinned" posts explaining what you need to do first )--

http://forums.spywareinfo.com/index.php?s=262d844129208feb8b0cf5b0186a32f6&act=SC&c=4
SWI Forums--
New here? Read this FAQ before you do anything else.


13 posted on 10/07/2004 4:56:39 AM PDT by backhoe (Just a Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the Trackball into the Dawn of Information...)
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To: stayathomemom

Yes, I have had the same problem, but I had a trojan horse virus. I thought I got it all from spam because I had my Outlook Express set to view e-mail. I still haven't managed to delete the search bar, and all of the new shortcuts keep coming back. Grrrrrr!


14 posted on 10/07/2004 5:22:42 AM PDT by Library Lady
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To: backhoe

Thank you for the link. I have bookmarked it and will show it to my computer guy, or, if I get brave, do it myself.


15 posted on 10/07/2004 5:34:29 AM PDT by stayathomemom
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To: BillCompton

The internet will be over soon. The parasites (hackers) will have killed the host.


16 posted on 10/07/2004 7:57:59 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: G.Mason

Bring back taring and feathering I say.


17 posted on 10/07/2004 10:04:06 AM PDT by swilhelm73 (The road to heaven on earth always seems to detour to hell on earth. --Daniel J. Flynn)
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To: stayathomemom
Missed your reply earlier!

If you lurk around the SWI forum for a while and read all their tips and instructions, you can probably get enough of an idea to try curing it on your own.

The forum is staffed by volunteers, and the membership has grown from 5,000 when I signed on to nearly 25,000 today, so they are badly undermanned and overloaded. You have to be persistent, and frankly, women seem to get more help than men over there. Take advantage of it.

I won't presume to give more than general help, but you will need the latest versions of ad-aware ( by lavasoft ) and spybot search & destroy- you will need them anyway-- you will find plenty of links for downloads in the forum. Next ( using instructions you will also find in the forum ) they will need to be set to perform a custom scan. You need both, they find slightly different nasties.

This may not cure the problem, but it will help remove a lot of junk you may not have known about that degrades performance, and is a step to cleaning your machine.

Many infections take multiple passes, rebooting in safe mode, and using some of the custom removal tools ( also found in the forum ) like aboutbuster and cwshredder and hijackthis! to get rid of the damned junk.

And seriously consider using another browser besides IE, if you don't already. When I used IE, even going to supposedly benign sites, ad-aware and SS&D would find multiple tracking cookies and registry changes- since switching to Firefox, that is almost non-existent. You still have to check, but it's gone from an everyday occurence to being fairly rare.

Oh! Be certain to keep your operating system's patches and upgrades current- it's dang nuisance, but MS released 6 new fixes today that I just installed.

18 posted on 10/07/2004 12:21:53 PM PDT by backhoe (Just a Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the Trackball into the Dawn of Information...)
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To: stayathomemom

That's interesting. I've been experiencing very similar things on my home computer. Highlighted and underlined words within words (especially on FR) like mba, sex, and others. I also have a new toolbar with shortcuts to adult sites and others. I can't run half of my programs like word/quattropro and others and my printer won't print.


19 posted on 10/07/2004 12:31:51 PM PDT by PLOM...NOT!
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To: PLOM...NOT!
I've been experiencing very similar things on my home computer. Highlighted and underlined words within words (especially on FR) like mba, sex, and others. I also have a new toolbar with shortcuts to adult sites and others. I can't run half of my programs like word/quattropro and others and my printer won't print.

See replies 6, 13, & 18.

20 posted on 10/07/2004 12:43:54 PM PDT by backhoe (Just a Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the Trackball into the Dawn of Information...)
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To: backhoe
briefly converted both systems to Linux/Win2000.
Unfortunately, the wife objected, so we're back to scanning and patching.

Sorry to hear that, bh. Having made the transition myself, can you tell me what her specific objections were?

We had a few teething pains tuning the setup to everyones' liking (4 users) but are now using Linux as a matter of routine with but a few complaints. We do maintain an XP partion that I have to boot to once a week but ALL our browsing is now done thru Linux. My maintenance time is much below what it was for Windows and I haven't had to worry about spy/malware at all.

21 posted on 10/07/2004 1:03:05 PM PDT by LTCJ (CBS, all your Boyd Cycles are belong to us.)
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To: LTCJ
Let's see... it went from the specific to the general- both of us had trouble seeing the tiny icons and typefaces, and before I could locate info on resizing, lightning zapped the modem and the new modem wasn't recognized by Linux- so there went online help, except for booting to Win2000.

She has the usual ton of work that comes home, all in Win2000, digital cmaeras, PDA- it was just too aggrivating to learn what I needed to make all the bloody stuff work. And get her to try to learn it, too.

I've got a hardware firewall and the usual anti-virus and spyware stuff, and since June the system(s) have been OK.

I might add that while this was going on, the backup PC died, so the "good" PC became the backup after I built a new one- necessitating migrating a drive and the usual hardware hassles associated with this. I just got tired of screwing around with it. Mandrake 9, for whatever that's worth.

22 posted on 10/07/2004 1:28:24 PM PDT by backhoe (Just a Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the Trackball into the Dawn of Information...)
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To: AntiGuv

Is my Comodore 64 vulnerable? Should I switch back to my Vic 20?


23 posted on 10/07/2004 1:32:56 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.)
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To: backhoe
Yeah, modems - especially winmodems - can be a problem. We're on cable so that's been transparent for us.

The only reason I reboot once a week is to use MSOffice for a work issue. I'm planning on getting Crossover Office at some point so I can run Office under Linux but my schedule's too tight to mess with it right now.

I've been using SuSE linux and have been very pleased with the hardware compatability. Installation was actually easier than XP for this version. I bought previous versions but am currently using the FTP installation directly from their site - for free. Worth every penny 8^)

But the big issue for me has been the security/update/malware one. It's a breath of fresh air since all this MSmess started heating up this summer. I'd be pulling my hair out if I still had to be running scans and haunting security sites as offen as I did before.

24 posted on 10/07/2004 1:48:26 PM PDT by LTCJ (CBS, all your Boyd Cycles are belong to us.)
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To: LTCJ
I'd be pulling my hair out if I still had to be running scans and haunting security sites as offen as I did before.

Good point.

25 posted on 10/07/2004 1:59:09 PM PDT by backhoe (Just a Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the Trackball into the Dawn of Information...)
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