|To make sure you continue to receive my e-mails in your Inbox (so they're not sent to a junk folder), please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book or safe sender list.|
|Kim's Club||Shop||Listen||Columns||Cool Sites||Tips||Buying Guide||Video of the Day|
Monday, Oct. 20, 2008
Support this free newsletter—please visit our advertisers
Is your computer a zombie?
How can I tell if my computer is a zombie? I used DellConnect, Dell's remote support service. Could an unscrupulous tech use it to put something funky on my computer? Laura in Columbia, MO, listening on KSSZ 93.9 FM
Generally, these computers are used to send spam. The botnet can also be rented to other criminals for use in denial-of-service attacks.
Your computer must be infected with malware to be turned into a zombie. The software runs surreptitiously. That's because the criminals want to use your machine as long as possible. They don't want you to know.
Given this, it is often difficult to tell if your computer is a zombie. Your computer may be sluggish. There could be a lot of causes for this, though.
You would probably also notice new programs on the machine. Access to security sites could be blocked. And your connection speed could slow to a crawl.
Most people don't realize their computer is infected until one of two things happens.
First, they could receive a number of bounced messages. Now, warnings about bounced messages could actually be spam.
However, these should say that a sent message has been blocked. Spam messages generally say that the mail is undeliverable.
It is very unlikely that the returned messages will be those sent by the criminal. The botnet will use a fake address, so as not to tip victims off. Rather, the messages would be returned because of the IP address.
I always recommend that you not open suspected spam messages. Just opening an e-mail these days can infect your machine. So, I wouldn't explore the messages. If you're seeing a lot of them, presume the worst.
The second thing that tips people off is more obvious. They receive a message from their ISP. Their account has been blocked because it's a zombie.
What must you do to clean up your little zombie? Find out here!
• Digital Minute, on your radio: Rumors spread fast online. And the consequences can be serious. Learn about a couple recent rumors.
• Free Download of the Day: For photographing huge subjects, panorama is what you want. Microsoft can help make amazing images.
Tomorrow's Tip, in your e-mail: Is your laptop spying on you?
Copyright © 2008, The Kim Komando Show. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of The Kim Komando Show is prohibited and strictly enforced. Newsletters may contain links to sites on the Internet owned and operated by third parties. The Kim Komando Show is not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or through, any such third-party site. Information in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from infringement. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. We will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this information, including, but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages.
You may also unsubscribe by sending a request via postal mail. Please include your name, e-mail address and a printed copy of your Newsletter e-mail. Send to: