Virus Writers even Outsmarted Microsoft
In the world of cyber crime, people are really never sure who to trust anymore. They are afraid to open the simplest attachment, even if it is from someone that they know. People pretty much have to think twice or even three times before clicking anything including hyperlinks and opening a simple email. Cyber hackers have brought the realization of down and dirty crime right into people's homes and businesses through the misuse of the computer and the internet.
Hackers, in the past, and more than likely in the future can even find a way to disguise email from the master, Microsoft and infect computers worldwide with viruses. Activities such as this make people really wonder exactly who they can really trust. If hackers were able to disguise an email from Microsoft that supposedly included a virus patch and send it off for people from all around the world who actually opened and infected their operating systems immediately with a virus, then they really have astounding capabilities. This happened at a time when people were extremely curious about the patch cycle that Microsoft boasted about. Hackers used the people's curiosity as a people's vulnerability.
So when people started to get emails from Microsoft that appeared to be quite authentic with an attachment that included a cumulative patch that was a fix for viruses that had been affecting Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, and Outlook Express, they were more than happy to download. In fact, that download was an executable virus that was capable of replication in mapped drives and network shares. It was the Pinfi virus and it was programmed to do a lot of damage including infecting each and every PE and SCR file on every drive and network share. It was a big one as it was to infect users of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows ME, and Windows XP. It pretty much socked them all.
This type of occurrence was happening quite often so Microsoft had to go to battle, which they did. They used the best tools available for consumers which are education and information. They taught consumers how Microsoft will and will not notify you. They also informed people that Microsoft will never notify a consumer about virus attacks or any other type of malicious activity until after it has been posted on their website. They also strongly suggested that people refer to their website before opening any mail and if they want to download any of the available tools or fixes to do it right from their legitimate website.
Hackers can be very clever and they pride themselves on the capability to prey on peoples vulnerabilities, which they are generally quite successful at. When they hackers wrote this Microsoft patch virus, they knew what they were doing and they were well aware that the launch of their Trojan virus came just days before Microsoft's hyped up "patch day" The virus writers included in the subject lines, such things as "Update your Windows Machine" "Urgent Message from Microsoft" or "Important Windows Update." It even included the Microsoft Windows logo and a link. So it is very important to follow the instructions from Microsoft and retrieve any information from their uncorrupt website. Although this was a couple of years ago, the scariest thought is how much more knowledgeable hackers are today.
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