Is Your Tablet PC Safe? MySpace.com Banner Ad Infects One Million Computers!

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In today’s day and age we know that three things are certain. Those would be death, taxes and of course data loss. While the first two are certainly unavoidable, there are in fact ways to significantly decrease your chances of dealing with the third issue.


Okay – It’s not quite this bad, but it can sure feel like it when it happens to you!

A leading cause of data loss is known to be a result of computer viruses, trojans, spyware and other forms of malicious code. Most Windows users are very much aware of the risks and use some form of antivirus software. Many users also take steps to protect their computers from spyware by installing and updating appropriate software for that threat as well. But what about getting “hit” by a lousy banner ad? We see these on the majority of websites we visit these days. How often might you worry about a banner ad throwing your Tablet PC for a whammy?

Over one million visitors to the infamous MySpace.com have experienced first hand the consequences of using Internet Explorer (sans recommended updates) on their Windows XP-based computers. Although this particular attack did not cause direct data loss to the affected user’s hard drives, it did in fact create an impossible delivery of pop-up ads, infringe on privacy by tracking  internet usage of infected machines and silently installed a nice batch of spyware and malware as the topping on the sundae.

But what about users who were “fully protected” with updated commercial anti-virus software? According to AV-test.org, only about 50% of those trusted anti-virus titles recognized the threat of this particular Trojan. For those users who were in the lower 50th percentile, a silient installation of the tainted software and a confirmation of “infection” with a server over in Russia was the result!



How did one million users miss?

Well way back on January 5th, Microsoft made its Security Update for Windows XP (KB912919) available to all legal users of Windows XP. This “WMF patch” fixed the security vulnerability that allowed this meaningless threat to ruin the day for one million Windows users.

Microsoft’s explanation for the patch is as follows: “A remote code execution security issue has been identified in the Graphics Rendering Engine that could allow an attacker to remotely compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.”

So are you at risk? Is your Tablet PC next? To be sure that your Tablet PC is protected from these useless attacks that compromise your privacy and data, simply take these steps:

1. Install a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software title such as Norton Antivirus (Internet Security), Trend Micro PC-cillan or ca Product Solutions (used by Microsoft internally).

2. Be sure to visit the Windows Update website. Follow the easy instructions to download, install and configure current and future updates for your Tablet PC.

We think its worth it to take a few minutes and spend a few dollars each year to keep your Tablet PC data and personal privacy secure. Next time you visit MySpace.com, lets hope your hard drive and its acess continues to remain “your space” too!


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