Well, it’s now November and time to startthinking about buying presents for the holiday season. In the last fewyears, one of the most popular choices for presents has been one of themany different MP3 players on the market. Two incidents occurred inOctober that may make you think twice before connecting that new playerto your computer. Reports surfaced that a small number of Apple’s VideoiPods were infected with the Rajumpvirus. The virus was traced back to a Windows-based computer that wasused to test the devices during the manufacturing process.Additionally, some of the MP3 players given away as part of a promotionby McDonald’s in Japan were infected with a virus. Any new device thatyou connect to your computer should always be scanned with anup-to-date antivirus product before you allow it to synchronize anyfiles.
Also in October, there were a couple of vulnerabilities that couldpotentially have a major impact on home and home office users. Bothaffect two widely deployed Microsoft applications: PowerPoint andInternet Explorer. PowerPoint was exposed to a vulnerability that couldallow hackers to gain access to the computers of unsuspecting users whoopened a PowerPoint document containing attack code. The issue withInternet Explorer 7 wasn’t actually with the browser itself, but thatthe browser allowed hackers to take advantage of a software flaw inMicrosoft Outlook by enticing a user to follow a malicious Web link.You should take care not to follow unsolicited links or open PowerPointdocuments that have come from an unknown source because they may bemalicious.
Netflix (a popular movie rental Web site) had a flaw in October thatcould potentially allow hackers to steal movies at the expense ofunsuspecting customers. To help protect your computer and ensure thatyou aren’t the victim of such an attack, be sure to exercise greatcaution if you are asked to follow Web links in unsolicited emails oron Web forums.
Finally, there were new reports in October that scammers werehijacking instant messaging accounts to send phishing messages. Thescammers can use the instant messaging client to send links (to aphishing Web site) to all of the users on the hijacked account’s buddylist. Since users are likely to trust their instant messaging contacts,as a result they might be more likely to trust the linked Web site. Youshould always be careful about following links or opening files, evenif you trust the source.
To continue reading about these and other key issues that were reported in October, please download the Symantec Home and Home Office Security Report for October from this link. Please also visit Symantec’s Home and Home Office front page for additional news, information, and support for the home and home office user.