Lavasoft News - August 2007

Letters to The Editor

Computer operators should not be blamed for what appears on their machine, most are relatively ignorant of the facts, and have no idea of the pitfalls and dangers caused by malicious persons. I feel there should be legislation that prevents ordinary operators from being blamed for what pops up on their computers, and those 40-90 year sentences should be meted out to the ones who are causing this, not the ignorant, uninformed operators.
Bob J.

I appreciate your highlighting the above cited [Julie Amero] article. It peaked my interest enough to send me off to research the story further.

I find the creation and evolution of The Julie Group blog & Wiki particularly of interest in that it forms a section across two of my primary focus areas -- computer security (malware, spam, phishing, botnets, etc.) & communities (Knowledge Management, Human Resources, governance).

I strongly believe that networking across communities will be the only viable solution to resolving some of the major issues of the day: SPAM, PHISHING, botnets, spyware, etc.  It takes a network to fight a network.

Like al Qaeda, the proponents working to promote & use malware consist of a network of bad actors who interdependently collaborate in a loosely knit network akin to a SPIN community. If you're being attacked by a swarm of bees, you could swat & kill lots of bees with your two arms, but you'll still be hurt pretty badly.

Now if you could become like the swarm you might have a chance.  Communities of Interest (COI) and Communities of Practice (COP) can network to become like a swarm. 

Collaboration tools like blogs, Wikis, and e-newsletters help the counter swarm function more effectively.  The more stake holders and broader the diversity across the counter-network the more powerful it can be in countering the menace.
 Jay P.

First of all, thanks for your free version of Ad-Aware 2007. That is so very kind of you to do, because there are a few million seniors living on a set income, who can not otherwise afford it. Me included...

Second of all, thanks for the website you mentioned in your current newsletter. I'm not exactly a PC novice, but it made me feel like I was cramming for a semester test in college. There was some information in there I knew nothing about. I forwarded that website to my friends and family. I would like to forward on to you all the thanks I got.

Thank you so much.  The letter [Lavasoft News] is most informative and understandable by a layman.

Wonderful to know that there are individuals who work for the good rather than the malicious when it comes to the Internet.  Free (or low cost) security programs are critical to some of us; and quality/comprehensive operation is most important. Thanks again.

If you have an opinion about a story you see in Lavasoft News, write to us at and put in your two cents.

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herdsman with computers
Term of the Month
A bot herder is a hacker who installs malicious software on a PC without the knowledge of the computer user, with the ultimate goal of controlling thousands of compromised machines. Once hackers install their software, they are capable of controlling the infected computers remotely. After they have compromised enough computers, bot herders have a robot network, or botnet, under their command.

Tech Tips
How can you help fight the botnet battle, and make sure that your PC does not end up under a bot herder’s control? Contributing to the problem is the large number of home users whose computers do not have adequate protection and are easy prey for botnet operators. It is critical that home users install up-to-date firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, in addition to being cautious when going online. If you have been a victim of cyber crime, you can also file a complaint online through the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Helpful Homepages
Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the fastest growing waste problems. So before you buy that new PC, think about what to do with the old one. Visit or to find out more about recycling your electronics. The Computer TakeBack Campaign focuses on requiring consumer electronics manufacturers to take responsibility for the life cycle of their products, while Earth 911 offers community-specific environmental information for consumers looking to live more responsibly.
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