Bits & P.C.’s: Big hack attack

Bits & P.C.’s: Big hack attack

By Richard Heller

Microsoft has issued a security alert for a hack attack that does not appear to be a worm or a virus. The hack installs a backdoor program, locks out users and allows a hacker to access the infected computer though Internet Relay Chat (IRC). It has also been reported that it is installing a key-logging program. This is an application that records anything that is typed and saves a file that the hacker can retrieve, a file that would contain passwords and other personal data.

What this means is that anyone who is running Windows 98, XP, NT, or 2000 may be infected. Currently, none of the anti-virus programs can detect the hack, and until they are able to determine how the hack is installed, there is no way to defend against it.

In order to combat this hack, you should keep your anti-virus software updated; the anti-virus companies will release a means to prevent or remove the hack as soon as they can analyze it. So far, the files that have been infected are as follows: gg.bat, seced.bat, nt32.ini, ocxdll.exe, psexec, ws_ftp, flashfxp and gates.txt. You should search your computer for these file names and delete them if they are found. After they are deleted, you should do a complete virus scan.

Do you have a digital camera or have you photos placed on a CD-ROM so that you can make copies at home? The convenience of making copies to give out as you need them without paying for extra copies at the store is great. Unfortunately, most of the photo software only allows you to print one photo on a page, and with the “good” paper selling for about a buck a sheet, the copies can be expensive.

A software company named Data Becker has just released Perfect Photo Printer. This $20 program will allow you to import image files and then automatically sizes and positions the images either to pre-defined templates or those of your own. You can print a contact sheet or even your own photo album. There is even some photo enhancement and cropping effects built in. The most important thing that it does is to allow you to place more than one image on a sheet of paper, either the same image or different ones. It handles anything from wallet size up to 8×10 or more.

Many of you like to do business with local companies rather than the chains. You realize that the price may be a little higher, but you feel that the small owner has to make a profit while offering personal service.

Rockford Computer Store on Charles Street across from Rockford Plaza is one of the local stores. Jason has motherboards and processors for the hacker, complete systems for home or business, along with hard drives, CD burners and other less nerdy items. His prices are competitive with the chains without making you play the rebate game. He also does service and installations, though the sign on the wall says he doesn’t support AOL, which must be some political extremist group.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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