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HOW TO DEFEND YOUR COMPUTER FROM
VIRUSES, HACKERS AND STALKERS
purpose of this tutorial is to help you, (the good guys and
gals), learn how to fight back against those who intentionally
send you a virus (the bad guys and gals). Until now, you, I,
and our friends have been like a herd of sheep living in fear
of the bad guys, but, that's over with! We sheep have a new
set of teeth! We have lived in fear of the bad guys and gals
sending us a virus. Now it's our turn to fight back! Not only
can we detect the viruses, Trojans, (Trojans are programs that
give control of your computer to someone else far, far away)
, etc., that they send us, making them harmless, but we can
now help law enforcement to track down the bad guys and gals,
establish a pattern of criminal behavior. We can send the bad
guys and gals to jail, and then take them to civil court for
damages! So, to all the idiots who THOUGHT they were
so smart, THOUGHT they were funny, we've
got a nasty surprise for you. It's a man named Bubba, he wants
to be your new roommate and he's gonna teach you to dance the
Maybe you think I'm being funny, but I'm not (okay, maybe I
am, but this is serious). Recently, the bad guys have started
learning how to obtain a virus and then send it to us on purpose.
This is not like when a virus is going around and it gets forwarded
by accident. These are individuals who go out on the net and
research where to procure a virus, how to forward it to people
they know (and people they don't) with the intention of harassing
you. They think that by sending it using someone else's email
address that they are safe (untraceable) and that they can't
be caught. Maybe that was true yesterday, but it's not true
let me explain that a virus is a small program that is designed
to get your computer to perform a specific task. Unlike the programs
that you intentionally installed to perform a specific
function (good), virus programs are generally designed to cause
damage to your computer/software and then in many cases to use
your address book to forward themselves to your friends and family
Anyone can receive a virus. Anyone can accidentally forward
a virus by mistake. We are not trying to punish those who accidentally
forward a virus. Almost everyone that has been on the Internet
long enough has done that by mistake. For these people we just
want to educate them so they don't download the virus in the first
place. (So they don't accidentally forward it to us.) As for the
bad guys and gals, this may be the first tutorial of it's kind,
because my goal is to help the good people (you), learn how to
get those who "intentionally" forward a virus to you
sent to prison (Bubba's waiting).
viruses is easy. You install an anti virus program on your computer
(see the list below), you run the anti virus program anytime
you are online and you update it every week. If you don't open
files/email from people you don't know, it's almost impossible
for anyone to download/install a virus on your computer.
AntiVirus - Free <---- THis program is much better than Nortons or McAfee's
INSTALLING AN ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAM
Installing an AntiVirus
program is pretty simple, you download it, open it (after closing
all other programs) and click install. However, there are three
things you have to remember. You have to make sure it is "turned
on" any time you are on the Internet or reading mail. You
have to remember to "update the program" at least once
a week so it can look for NEW viruses. Finally, you have to "be
smart" enough not to take stupid chances, like reading mail
from strangers and then downloading the files because new viruses
come out every day (Come on, use your brain. When was the last
time a stranger did anything nice for you, lol). Do all of these
things and you are safe from most viruses.
go round and round, but the latest information says that no one
on AOL and most others servers can get a virus or Trojan simply
by opening an email. The virus is not part of the email, it's
inside an attached file. In order for the virus to get into your
computer, you have to download and execute it. Additionally, opening
embedded emails on AOL and other servers will not give you a virus.
VIRUSES IN INSTANT MESSAGES?
Viruses in instant messages are primarily a big scary rumor (like
the one where someone opens an instant message from a stranger
and a big dancing chicken pops out on the screen and pecks their
computer to death), but in the future virus attacks thru instant
messages could be a problem.
Trojans are downloaded like viruses, either by downloading
a file attached to an email or by visiting a website. Trojans
come in several forms but basically they serve one of two functions.
The first, like a virus is to damage your computer. The second
is to give access to your computers files, passwords, etc., to
someone else at a remote site.
You can receive a trojan/virus/spyware/malicious cookies/etc
by going to a websites. For instance, many websites send cookies
(little pieces of instructions) to your computer (your computer
automatically downloads them) so that your computer can get easier
access to the site and so that (in some cases) they can track
your visits. This is normal and there is nothing wrong with it.
However, some sites (especially those sent by Spam) are set up
to download a Trojan or virus onto your computer instead of the
usual cookie. The best way to protect your computer is to NEVER
VISIT A SITE that has been sent to you by a stranger (Spam). Additionally,
set the security controls for your computer to medium (On AOL
- My AOL, Preferences, WWW, Security, select MEDIUM) which means
your computer will ask you before downloading questionable information
A new trend in marketing has been the installation of cookies
that contain spyware. This spyware actually monitors your computer
usage, what websites you visit, etc., and then sends that information
back to the company that installed the spyware on your computer.
They then use that information to try to sell you things, send
you Spam advertisements or even sell your information to other
companies involved in spamming. What's more, some hackers have
set up websites to install spyware (via cookies) in their visitors
What can you do to block SpyWare? Install firewalls (more
on firewalls later), clean out your cookies, etc., and oh yes,
install the free little program below that will find and block
spyware on you computer.
- Free Program
Blocks Spyware programs (cookies) that are downloaded onto your
computer when you visit websites (programs are designed to send
information to advertisers.)
VIRUSES CAN SEND THEMSELVES TO PEOPLE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK
One of the most common ways that viruses are spread - is when
you accidentally download a virus onto your computer, and then
it 'reads' your address book. After the virus reads your address
book, it sends a mass email to everyone in the address book. The
email contains a note from you in the subject line (Hey - How
ya doing, or I'm sending you some pictures, or check out this
cool website, or something along those lines). The email also
has an attached file (a copy of the virus) or a link to a website
(if you click the link you will probably download a virus). When
the person receiving the virus sees the mail, they may trust it
because it's coming from a friend, coworker or family member (you).
They open the file (or visit the website). Now, they get a virus,
which then emails everyone in their address book.
YOU CAN PREVENT A VIRUS FROM SENDING ITSELF TO YOUR FRIENDS
There is an easy way to prevent your computer from forwarding
itself to everyone you know. Most servers won't let you send a
mass mail if one of the addresses you try to send to (on their
server) is an incorrect address. The server blocks sending any
mail until you fix the problem. For instance, let's say you are
on AOL, you are trying to send mail to 500 of your closest friends,
but one of them (another AOL member) has changed their address
or closed their account. AOL blocks the mail, tells you that such
and such is "NOT A KNOWN MEMBER" and nothing happens
until you delete that person from the outgoing email and try to
resend. In other words, if there is an unknown member in your
address book, you can't send mail until you delete that person
from the outgoing mail. Normally, you delete this person from
your address book, resend the mail and all is well. But lets stop
for a minute. This error (unknown member) can actually be used
to your benefit. No one, not you, not a stranger, not even a virus
can send mail from your address book without first deleting this
"NOT A KNOWN MEMBER" from your address book. If a virus
tries to send mass mail from your address book, the "NOT
A KNOWN MEMBER" actually prevents the server (AOL in this
case) from sending the email (the one with the virus attached
and intended for all your friends, family, and coworkers). So
how can we use this to our advantage?
PUT AN "UNKNOWN MEMBER" INTO YOUR ADDRESS BOOK
The simplest way
to prevent a virus from mass mailing everyone in your address
book is to intentionally add an "unknown member" to
your address book. For instance, on AOL you could add an AOL
member named "UNKNOWN MEMBER" to your address book.
If the virus tried to send a message to everyone in your address
book, UNKNOWN MEMBER would come up as an "unknown member"
and AOL would prevent your computer from sending mail
"The following problems occurred while trying to process
your request - UNKNOWN MEMBER is an unknown member"
I tried it... It worked... Unfortunately, some idiot (after
reading this tutorial) will go and make themselves become UNKNOWN
MEMBER@aol.com (lol), so, they will get mail from you ,if you
use that as your blocking name. I suggest adding something that
begins with "1's and 0's" as it will show up as the
first item in your address book (makes it quick to find and
delete when you want to send mail).
Note: Real AOL email
addresses cannot begin with a number.
It will protect you from viruses sending mail from your address
book. If a virus tries, one of the addresses they try to send
to will come up as an "unknown member."
FIND OUT IF AN ATTACHED FILE IS A VIRUS OR NOT
If you are unsure if an attached file is a virus or is actually
from a friend, you can run it through Anti-virus software, etc.,
or you can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org (without downloading the
and generally within a few minutes they will send you back a message
telling you if this is a virus or not. If they do not respond,
do NOT assume there is no virus. During mass virus attacks they
may run behind in checking their mail and responding.
yourself from catching a virus isn't enough anymore, now, some
of the bad guys and gals have come up with a new twist. It's
called spoofing. Basically they send out emails pretending to
be you! Maybe they've seen your email address in an email that
they received by forward, maybe it was on a website, or maybe
they know you personally. Whatever the case, they send out an
email pretending to be you (to the receiver it looks like your
address), they attach a virus to the email, and then they send
it to your friends. The goal of this type of harassment is two
fold. They want to hurt someone by sending them a virus and
then they want to hurt you by making people think that YOU sent
I'm going to tell you that it's easy to fake an email address.
I'm not going to tell you how (why help the bad guys and gals),
but the process of sending an email to make it look like it
came from someone else's email address is actually pretty simple.
Don't ask me how. Just take my word for it. There are people
who can send an email and make it APPEAR as though it came from
your email account. That's the bad news.
The good news is, although it was difficult in the past to get
someone arrested for sending fake email messages and viruses from
what appears to be your email address, now it's much simpler.
New laws have been passed, Internet stalking laws, computer harassment
laws, etc. New law enforcement agencies such as the COMPUTER CRIMES
DIVISION now have, among others, the specific responsibility for
arresting Internet stalkers and those who intentionally send out
viruses. Add to this, that since the attack on the World Trade
Center, the FBI has been instructed by the Director (Thomas Ridge)
of the new Homeland Security office, to treat those who create
and intentionally forward viruses as though they were acting as
terrorists and, well..., lets just say that the scales have been
tipped and the bad guys are about to take a big fall.
WHO SENT YOU THAT EMAIL?
first step in identifying that someone is sending you a virus
is noticing some of the most common clues (most virus senders
are real amateurs). For instance, a stranger sends you a note
asking you to look at a website, but instead of giving you a
URL (Internet address) or hyperlink, they send you an attached
file (Most commonly a .zip file) to download. Um hello, wake
up and smell the coffee. There are several clues here all ready.
First, it was a stranger that sent the email. When was the last
time a stranger did something nice for you? Now compare that
to how many times some scumball has sent you a Spam that was
trying to rip you off? Enough said. But there are other clues.
For instance, the sender could have sent a URL or hyperlink
but instead attached a .zip file? Does this make sense? Think
about it. If they sent you an email with a URL or hyperlink
it would only take a second to send you the email. But since
they sent you an attached .zip file it means that they probably
spent several minutes uploading the file. Why would they go
to all that trouble when sending a hyperlink or URL is so much
easier and faster? There's only one reason. The .zip file contains
(Note, not all .zip files are viruses, but if a stranger sends
you one I suggest deleting it)
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS EMAIL?
here's another clue that something is wrong... Lets say that
two people (BaddTeddy and SlobBoy) were sending each other emails
on AOL. The receiver would simply see the others name (BaddTeddy
or SlobBoy) in the FROM on the email. Nothing after it. Just
But if one day BaddTeddy receives an email that says
FROM - SlobBoy@aol.com"
needs to be suspicious! Why is SlobBoy's name followed by @aol.com?
It's possible that SlobBoy is working off of AOL but it is also
possible that someone else is PRETENDING to be SlobBoy, and
they weren't smart enough to hide the @aol.com. The clue here
is that something is different. If something looks wrong, delete
way to protect yourself is to understand file types. Know that
.Bmp, .GIF and .JPG are pictures, that .Txt is a text file like
on AOL, .Doc is usually something that has been typed, and .HTML
is used in both email and as web pages. Learning the file types
helps you understand when something is a fake.
frog.JPG <--- is a picture of a frog
frog.txt <---- is a letter about a frog
frog.txt.jpg <---this is a virus (because it has TWO extensions)
clue here is that files normally have only one extension.___,
and that any file with more than one extension is most likely
a virus. I have personally received nearly a hundred files that
have had this double extension or one that says ______.doc.pcx,
which is also a virus. If a file has a strange or double extension,
don't take a chance. Delete it!
EMAILS WITH HYPERLINKS
(TROJANS IN DISGUISE)
Also, some strangers will send emails with hyperlinks to websites
and when you click on the link, you could end up at a site with
a Trojan waiting to steal your password. They disguise these links
sometimes as a removal link to not receive any more mail from
them. Some hyperlinks take you to sites that automatically dial
up a 900 number and before you can disconnect, you'll find your
phone bill MUCH higher than normal and wonder where that 900 number
came from. The phone company will not take the charges off. My
advice is to call your local phone company and ask them to place
a block on all 900 numbers. It's free of charge.
DON'T REPLY TO SPAM
of the most common tricks of spammers is to use a button at
the bottom saying click here to get off our mailing list. A
few honestly mean it. The rest are actually doing one of the
following. Sending you to their website via what you thought
was an email link (it may be an advertisement or a Trojan).
Collecting your name as an ACTIVE name (you showed them you
actually read Spam by asking them to remove you) and then selling
your name to other companies, in which case now you will get
ten times as much Spam.
REMEMBER MANY SPAMMERS ARE THIEVES
not convinced about Spam? Remember, many spammers are using
stolen email accounts to send you mail, they could be using
this Spam email to steal your account password, and many of
them are using someone else's name to send you junk mail. Do
you really want to buy anything from someone who advertises
using a stolen identity?
If you want to protect your computer, you have more to worry
about than just viruses. You also need to make sure that you are
protected from stalkers, websites that install malicious cookies,
hackers and more. I'm not going to spend a lot of time to explain
'how' they do it. Why teach the bad guys new tricks. Instead I'm
going to make some suggestions on what you can do to protect yourself
and why you need to install firewalls, etc...
DO YOU NEED PROTECTION?
Each time you log
onto the Internet, whether you are visiting your favorite websites
or reading email, your computer is given a temporary DNS number
(Domain Name Server) (For example 62.58.123) that is essentially
identifies the path (address) that your computer will use for
sending and receiving information.
Hackers have programs that can search randomly for DNS numbers
that are in use. If they find a DNS number in use (For instance
yours) they can then use it to access your company, and even download
programs onto your computer than can alert them anytime you are
online and grant them instant access to all your files.
That's one way that hackers access your computer, there are
many others such as Trojans, back doors, etc., but rather than
explain how they work I'm simply going to give you a list of suggested
protection software to choose from.
YOUR COMPUTER FROM HACKERS
- Free Program
Blocks Spyware programs
INSTALL A FIREWALL!
Firewall and AntiVirus
If you identify a stalker, hacker, spammer and want more
information on them try;
- Visual Trace makes it easier for you to provide
proof to law enforcement when pressing charges.
OF CAUTION ABOUT FIREWALL PROGRAMS
Many programs 'say' that
they block hackers from entering your computer, but the reality
is that many of these programs (especially hacked programs or
programs from small time companies) are actually used by
hackers as a backdoor into your computer. When it comes to firewalls,
etc., I recommend purchasing them from a reputable company such
as McAfee's, Norton's, ZoneAlarm, etc... rather than trying to
take the cheap approach. In fact, some of the small time programs
actually give you false alerts, fakes, intended to make you feel
that the program is doing it's job. When it comes to firewalls,
use only the best.
HOW TO PUT INTENTIONAL VIRUS SENDERS IN JAIL
So far you've learned how to look for strange email addresses,
weird file names, how to install an Anti-virus program, etc.,
but the one thing you haven't learned (yet) is how to deal with
someone who is intentionally sending you emails with viruses attached.
I'm not talking about someone who accidentally forwarded you an
email with a virus attached. I'm talking about going after those
who for whatever reason are intentionally either sending you viruses
or using your screen name to send viruses to others. The rest
of the tutorials is a how-to guide for putting these jerks in
STALKERS GOING HIGH TECH
Stalking has taken a new twist of late. Now stalkers think
they can go high tech. They think that they can anonymously send
viruses to anyone they want (you). They think that they can hack
into your computer with or without your knowledge and get away
with it. Basically they think they can terrorize you and their
is nothing you can do about it. Wrong.
HOW TO PUT
STALKERS IN JAIL <---Tutorial on how to catch a
stalker and put them behind bars
DOWN STALKERS THAT EMAIL YOU VIRUSES
Tracking down those that intentionally send you viruses isn't
as hard as it sounds. First, it's probably somebody you know.
In fact, you may know them as several different people online.
Many stalkers pretend to be your friend under one or more screen
names, and then stalk you using one or more other names. You may
actually be asking one of your friends for advice on how to deal
with the stalker, later only to find out that this so called friend
was the stalker using a different name. The best way to find the
stalker is to start looking at who seems to be to helpful and
offering too much advice about what to do about the stalker. Also
find out who else is being stalked. Compare notes with them. Maybe
they are being stalked by the same person. But, keep in mind that
many stalkers pretend to be being stalked themselves to throw
off suspicion. In other words, that helpful online friend that
is being stalked may actually be the stalker. Maybe, Maybe not,
but think about it. By using common sense you can get a pretty
good idea of who might be stalking you. If you are receiving viruses,
and you believe that these viruses were specifically sent to you,
ask your friends what viruses they have received, what the subject
line said, etc... By comparing notes you may find out who the
TECH EMAIL TRACKING
There are two things I recommend you do when you receive a virus,
first send it to
so that the government can tell you what the virus is and so that
they have a copy of the email on file (keep the email you receive
back from them as proof) and the second is to use an email tracking
program, such as McAfee's Visual Trace to identify where the emails
are coming from.
- Visual Trace
How It Works:
Enter a URL, e-mail address, hostname or IP address. McAfee Visual
Trace gives you:
1) The name of the organization that is registered to the network
at each node IP
2) Such organization's phone number and e-mail address
3) The physical address of the originating server
4) Easy-to-read world and topographic maps show node locations
all along the route, with relative response times and network
Basically, it will show you the city and state the email came
from, and the path from sender to receiver.
DEFEAT THE SPOOFER
Remember we talked about spoofing? That's when someone used a
false email address in the FROM box on the email. Kind of like
signing someone else's name on the email. Well, this program defeats
that. It shows you where the real sender lives/works. You can
then provide this information to the police/FBI.
TRACK DOWN HACKERS
Earlier I showed you many firewall programs, etc., that are
deigned to block hackers from entering your computer. What I didn't
ell you at the time is that these programs also offer you an identifier
for each hacking attempt. Basically an IP Address. The problem
with IP addresses is that most of us don't know how to use them
to person they belong to. A few of the programs listed offer you
a way to track down the IP address and basically find out who
the hacker is, but there is a second way. The same program, McAfee's
Visual Trace that you use to track down the sender of an email,
can also tell you the same information about hackers.
McAfee.com - Visual Trace
(the following is copied from McAfee's Website
Incredible detective utility based on technology used by the FBI
to track down malicious hackers, identify serial spammers, and
thwart online fraud. Visual Trace is like Caller ID for your PC.
It's the perfect complement to anti-hacker defense like firewalls,
intrusion detection systems, log files and port monitors.
Turn the tables on hackers - When they attack your firewall, McAfee
Visual Trace pinpoints the suspected perpetrator, honing in on
their probable location, network registration information and
identity of their service provider -- server by server. Now you
have the proof to alert authorities, ISPs and anti-hacking organizations.
CONTACTING THE POLICE
After you have identified the person who is intentionally
sending you viruses. Attempting to hack your computer, stalking
you etc., (or even if your not sure who it is) your next step
is contacting law enforcement. Chances are if you contact the
local police they won't know how to help. You can try, but most
of them simply are not trained in dealing with Internet crimes.
So who should you call?
COMPUTER CRIMES DIVISION
The Computer Crimes Division (CCD) was started about three years
ago to fight Internet crime. It specializes in online stalkers,
harassment, fraud and child pornography on the net. Each state
has a main computer crimes office, and I suggest contacting them
directly, or contacting your State Attorney Generals office and
asking them to contact the CCD for you (The CCD works for the
State Attorney Generals Office).
STALKERS CANT FOOL THE CCD
Stalkers may be able to fool newbies on the net, but they can't
fool the CCD, FBI etc. The Computer Crimes Division can do what
the local police can't. They can track down criminals (and that's
what we are talking about here, state and federal crimes) across
state lines and have them arrested. For instance, if I am in
Florida, and someone tries to stalk me from California, I can
contact the Florida CCD, they track the hacker/stalker back
to California, they contact the California CCD and the California
CCD then puts a wire tap on phone lines and cable lines of the
hacker/stalkers home or office. Once they show a pattern of
criminal behavior the CCD or the FBI makes an arrest.
IT A CRIME?
don't stop and think about the consequence of their actions. They
don't think about the fact that there are many new state and federal
laws designed to put them in jail. They don't think about the
fact that there are new agencies like the CCD designed to help
catch them. They don't think about the fact that they can be charged
with several state and federal crimes at the same time. Intentionally
sending a virus is a federal crime with a jail term of up to 20
years. Stalking and harassment are state crimes with jail terms
up to five years. Hacking is both a state and federal crime with
jail terms ranging from six months to 20 years. They don't think
about people like me sitting here writing this tutorial for you.
They don't think about a million of you forwarding this to their
friends. But the one thing they seem to forget about the most
is that this isn't just the Internet, that this is also real life,
that if they don't stop, that they could be spending years in
a small square cage of metal, no TV, no Internet, no anything,
and the only person to talk to is some guy named Bubba who's twice
their size and all Bubba wants to do is dance.
Of All State, Federal And International Laws
Send this tutorial to all your friends. The best defense is to
let the bad guys know that if they mess with you, Bubba's waiting...
Bigg Teddy Bear Huggs...
BaddTeddy and the Knights Of Kindness