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Archive for August, 2013
August 5th, 2013

PC Backup Tips: What, Where, When, and How

backup_imgAVAST Evangelists’ share tips about backing up your PC.

This time of the year – summer in the Northern Hemisphere – is the time to enjoy yourself while traveling. You  want to protect those precious photos and videos that you take of your children or friends having adventures. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s winter. For students, it’s time to do a little computer housekeeping that was avoided during the year. Backing up your PC is not hard, and the tips you get here from the most active Evangelists on the 300,000 member AVAST Forum community will have you backing up your PC with ease.

The Four Ws of Backup

What to backup: Types of documents and data. The first suggestion from our evangelists is that you organize your files into intuitive folders that are easy to find and easy to backup. Establish priorities. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

  • Decide which things you don’t want to lose… Documents, spreadsheets, email account details, registration keys, address book, bookmarks, photos, etc. If you identify what’s important to backup first, not only is it easier to do the backup task, but you also avoid increasing your internet traffic with big files that do not need to be restored. Read more…
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August 1st, 2013

Malicious Bitcoin Miners target Czech Republic

Single BitcoinToday we are going to talk to those of you who use Bitcoin digital currency to pay for a variety of goods and services – along with a warning about yet another source of Bitcoin miners – the sharing services. You may think that if you avoid cracks and keygens while browsing the web you will be safe. Well, we would recommend that you reconsider that position. Recently we found that on the uloz.to file sharing service someone uploaded a lot of fake files containing Bitcoin miners!

Bitcoin Mining service

First a little background for the uninitiated: Bitcoins can be obtained by trading real currency, goods, or services with people who have them or alternatively, through mining. The mining process involves running software that performs complex math problems for which you’re rewarded a share of the income. There are a finite amount of Bitcoins to be had, and mining for them can be compared to extracting gold or diamonds from the earth. The more you get, the fewer there are to be had, so it becomes increasingly harder and more expensive. Here’s a descriptive article about mining.

Bitcoin mining services such as bitminter.com use shared computer resources of their users to mine new Bitcoins. In order to participate, the mining users have to create an account and then register their computers (workers) with the service. Then they simply run the Bitcoin miner program provided with their credentials on as many computers as they have. In the end, if they had enough computation power and time they might end up with a few Bitcoins.

It can be expected that some people will not be satisfied just using their own machines so they will try to use the computing power of unsuspecting victims. And that’s exactly what the authors of this malware are doing: They use hardware that does not belong them to generate more money.

It’s not a Bitcoin problem; it’s a people problem

We must stress that there’s nothing wrong with Bitcoin or its mining services. The problem is that some greedy people are misusing them.

Some of them can be seen on the following image.  The word “cestina” means that the file should contain Czech localization of the referenced program. All of them contain a hidden feature, and sometimes the name is a complete fabrication. For example, The-Night-of-the-Rabbit-cestina.exe contains a crack for Call of Duty 4. Notice too, that all these files have an elevated popularity; no doubt a result of tampering. Some downloaders already suspect something fishy about these files.

Uloz.to malicious filesWarning comment on the sharing server.

Read more…