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Astry.A prevents users from changing the Windows Explorer folder settings through Folder Options. It also displays several messages, one of them at the beginning of the session and another one at certain times set by the Trojan.

Finally, Astry.A modifies the information displayed on the View tab in the Windows Explorer Folder Options.

EbodaR.A is a Trojan that installs on computers by exploiting a vulnerability present in some versions of Acrobat Reader. Also, the Internet Explorer 7 browser must be installed on the system.

To exploit the flaw, attackers send malicious PDF files in email messages. If the user runs the file, a Windows XP command is executed that disables the system’s firewall. The Trojan is then downloaded and run from a certain Internet address. Many are using Free EBook Packages for this.

Once installed, EbodaR.A can download other malicious codes onto the infected computer.

I should also mention in the malware catagory that according to TotalScan, the most harmful malicious codes last week were the Zango and Navipromo adware and the Virtumonde spyware. I have covered both of these nasties in previous posts.

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Online marketers sued for sending spam

* Somebody asked me today about that firesale where some online marketers are being sued for sending out spam (which they claim wasn't spam). Is this just an angle they are playing, or is it real ?

Here is my opinion. It's just that, an opinion. I don't know the exact details about what happened, and I don't know those marketers.

* It sounds indeed like a load of hype.
"We have to pay a $xxx for each spam email sent to the defendants. The outcome of this case affects all online marketers, so you really really have to support us now by giving us your money, because you could be in this situation one day. We have the best lawyer in the world who knows his stuff (we would like YOU to pay him to defend OUR case)."

Okay, that's not an exact quote. But that's what it comes down to. They are working on your guilt, using fear tactics, and asking you to pay their expensive lawyer so that you stay out of trouble with your emails.

* I think if somebody complains about emails that he doesn't want to receive from your site, then you stop sending emails there immediately. You make sure that you have a helpdesk to ensure that you receive complaints so that you can take appropriate action immediately.

I have my doubts if they have been honoring opt-out requests. It is possible that they never even received the original complaints. Communication is an absolute priority in business, or it can lead to a lot of frustration and problems like spam complaints.

* A lot of website owners have no clue at all about how email works. Yet they send out 1000's or 100.000's of emails. Not to mention all the spam that hackers send out through their website (spammers are smart enough not to use their own server for sending out spam).

That is why the email delivery report is essential reading. It's the authors own experience with the dangers of email marketing. Like he states in the report: "On the internet, you are a spammer by default, until proven otherwise".

If you engage in mailings to more than a few (50) people at a time, get informed !

* Asking people to pay for your lawyer, spending tons of money for a case that you might not even win, while you have in the first place created the escalated problem by sending out mass email ...

Yes, it's possible to encounter an unexpected issue like spam complaints. Who knows, maybe I might even be in the same situation one day. But I doubt that spending tons of money will make their situation any better.

* They offer products to download for the money that you spend on them, so that is a good thing. They seem to have official documents on the site about the case, so it is probably a real court case that they try to fund with a firesale. You get something for your money (although, do you really need it or is it just because they make you feel like it is for your own good to pay them?).

* The whole site makes me feel too uncomfortable to even consider donating. I find it sad that so many people are going to be spending a lot of money without really knowing what happened there. There are people in this world who would be happy with just $100 to buy food. Spending money on lawyers seems like a big waste to me, especially if you don't know that they will win their case. And even if they win it, it is not going to keep you out of spam problems.

** So, to sum up my opinion, they'll have to do a lot better to convince me. I give them my sympathy and wish that they win their case. But I like to spend my money elsewhere, where I think it makes much more of a difference.
(Everybody is entitled to his own opinion of course.)


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