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Tech Thursday: That Download could be Malicious!

Tech Thursday: That Download could be Malicious!
flickr, mdaniels7

The next time you are asked to download new software to view a movie or fix some type of problem, think twice. It could be malicious.

Studies have shown about one of every fourteen programs downloaded by Windows users turns out to be malicious. Better known as a Trojan horse.

Instead of hacking your browser, the bad guys try to hack the people using them. In what is called “Social Engineering” and it’s a big problem.

It’s not hard to get users to download Trojans. Social engineering is how the Koobface virus spreads on Facebook. You receive a message from a friend telling them to go and view a video. When the link is clicked, they receive a message to download some sort of video playing software in order to watch. That software is actually a malicious program. Hackers will also try to infect victims by hacking web pages and popping up fake antivirus warnings designed to look like messages from operating systems. Download and you’ve been infected.

SmartScreen Filter Application reputation screening, introduced in IE 9, helps against Trojans, INCLUDING THOSE IN SPEARPHISHING ATTACKS. When a SmartScreen warning pops up to tell you that it could be a potentially harmful program, which you may only see a couple of warnings each year, it’s best to take them seriously.

Thanks to Robert McMillan with IDG News Service

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