“Santa Worm” Installs Rootkit Payload

An Instant Messaging (IM) worm is attacking AOL, MSN, Windows Messenger, ICQ and Yahoo instant messaging networks. The worm installs a rootkit as it’s “payload.”

Santa Worm Installs Rootkit

“The worm, identified as IM.GiftCom.All, was discovered by researchers at IMLogic Inc.’s Threat Center spreading via IM and attempting to trick users into clicking on a malicious URL.

The link lures the target into visiting a harmless Santa Claus Web site, but actually installs a rootkit payload to the victim’s machine, IMLogic said in an advisory.

‘The rootkit payload is often named gift.com and when executed hides itself on the user’s system, attempts to shutdown desktop anti-virus software and starts collecting the infected user’s information for broadcast over the Internet,’ the company explained.”

Spyware Infection Leads to MASSIVE Spyware Infections!

The Spyware evilness is getting worse! There is a new spike in Spyware activity, especially among infections that lead to pop-ups that say, “You are infected with Spyware… click here to have your system cleaned!” DON’T DO IT! You will then receive a boatload of additional Spyware! These guys should be shot!

Infection leads to Infections

May the Great Bird of the Galaxy come to nest in their nose!

Symantec Norton Anti-Virus Flaw!

First, a disclaimer, I have never cared for Norton Anti-Virus. In fact, it stinks! We use it where I work, but I don’t trust it. I have seen it fail too many times, I have seen it compromised too many times, in short, it is just slightly better than nothing at all. That said, it is now worse! A flaw has been found in Symantec Norton Anti-Virus that allows it to be compromised.

Symantec Norton Anti-Virus Flaw

What would the Doctor do? Switch to AVG or Avast! FREE anti-virus immediately! They are both excellent and free! Gotta love that! Links below:

FREE AVG Anti-Virus Download

Avast FREE Home Edition Download

StarTrek.com dying?!?!

There are rumors that the StarTrek.com website may go offline on December 31st. This would be a shame! I admit, I mainly go there only for the great Star Trek desktop backgrounds, but still, this would be history being lost!

I hope that the additional rumor that Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod, will try to take over the site to keep it alive, is true. Rod is already involved in an IPTV version of Star Trek, called “New Voyages” (see the link under my Cool Links section.)

Microsoft Releases Longhorn Server Beta

Microsoft Corp. released to their beta testers Monday a build for both the Windows Vista client and for the Longhorn Server. Both the Longhorn Server and Vista client build number is 5270, testers said. Microsoft made the bits for both Windows builds available simultaneously for testers to download from the Microsoft Connect tester Web site.

Longhorn Server Beta Released

Now, the question is, will the final resulting server operating system be more stable than in the past?

Geek Software of the Week – PopTray

OK, so I like web based e-mail because, unlike Microsoft Outlook, web based e-mail isn’t as prone to open virus attachments, and have security issues in general. I use Squirrelmail on my own Linux servers, which is a great Open Source IMAP package using PHP. I also like Gmail, which is very handy free e-mail service and offers large storage and searchable e-mail. However, one thing that is nice about Outlook, or even Mozilla Thunderbird, is that when you get an e-mail, you get instant notification… if you are logged in to your PC. You don’t have to remember to check your e-mail via a web site. Well, as usual, some kind individual has created a free, Open Source utility that does just what I need! It is called PopTray. It sits in your Windows tray, and checks your e-mail on any server, and then pops up and notifies you of incoming e-mail. (Thus the name, “PopTray”, get it?)

PopTray Open Source E-mail Notifier

Download it and configure it as you like.


  • Unlimited number of Accounts
  • Show number of messages directly on the TrayIcon (rotating by account)
  • Quickly preview a message
  • Delete messages from the server without downloading them
  • Rules that identify a message according to your criteria, then does one of these actions:

  • Play different notification sound
  • Delete from the server
  • Run any EXE file
  • Mark as Spam, etc.
  • Configurable Hot-keys/Mouse-Buttons/Command-Line options for most functions
  • Plug-in Support:

  • Protocol plug-ins (e.g. IMAP4, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.)
  • Notify plug-ins (e.g. Flashing scroll-lock light, ScreenSaver)
  • Spam management using rules and white/black lists
  • Mulitple notfications (play sound, pop-up, etc)
  • Translated into 30+ languages
  • Complete Install / Uninstall
  • PC Viruses – We May Not Be as Safe as We Think!

    Security firm Ironport counted how long it took anti-virus firms to produce an antidote following the first appearance of a malicious program. It found that, on average, anti-virus firms took 17 hours to respond to new threats.

    Virus Response Slow!

    Ironport gathered its statistics from its monitoring system that looks at incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic for more than 100,000 organizations. Come on, guys… let’s get it together!

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