Remove “The Auto Dialer Virus”

| |

Imagine your phone bill, thicker and heavier than normal. When you open it, instead of "statement stuffers" from the phone companies marketing department, the bill is dozens of pages long ending in a one-month total of almost $5,400. A quick glance at the details reveals that there are hundreds of calls to the same 1-900 number. “A mistake”. Actually, this is not a mistake. In reality you had fallen victim to one of the oldest computer scams around: “The Auto-Dialer Virus”.

The Auto-Dialer installed itself, checked for the presence of a modem and dial tone, and then proceeded to dial an overseas 900 number over and over again. Even though you surfed using an always-on broadband Internet connection, the modem remained ON to send and receive faxes. One problem: not using the modem, it remained plugged into the phone jack.

There is no single solution to avoid these types of malicious acts. A short list of protective measures would include:

1. If you no longer need a modem in your computer, remove it. Or at least disconnect the phone line from the modem.

2. Install anti-virus software such as Trend Micro or Symantec''s Norton Anti-Virus. Many are designed to prevent this kind of malicious software, or "Malware." More importantly, make sure your subscription for new virus patterns is current and configured to automatically download and install updates.

3. Install and regularly run Adware protection solutions such as LavaSoft''s Ad-Aware or SpyBot Search & Destroy and do not, aunder any circumstances, blindly hit "OK" to pop-ups or similar annoyances without first making sure what you are agreeing to.


Post a Comment