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Welcome to the Landmark Web, your guide to the issues surrounding personal computing and effective use of your own PC. We've made many resources available here: from broad-based news and views about the computing industry to specific technical support for you and your computer. So dig in and learn more about your computer and the Internet with Landmark as your guide.

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Urgent Alert: 'Blackworm' D-Day is Friday, February 3, 2006

Note: This issue has been resolved and is posted here for archival purposes only.

Security experts have raised an advisory for a potentially destructive email worm due to hit Friday, February 3, 2006.

The worm can completely destroy important documents on an infected machine. It tricks email users into executing an attachment. Blackworm, which is programmed to strike on the third day of every month, goes by a variety of names. In addition to Kama Sutra, according to eWeek, the worm has been named Blackmal, MyWife and Nyxem.

Blackworm disables most antivirus products and attempts to delete them. The worm emails itself using a variety of extensions and file names, including .DOC (Microsoft Word), .XLS (Excel), and .ZIP (zipped) files. It also adds itself to the list of auto-start programs in the Windows Registry.

Blackworm can be detected by virus prevention programs with up-to-date antivirus signatures (January 23rd or later). But if the PC was infected before those virus definition signatures were obtained, then the antivirus software may not detect or clean up the infection.

Estimates put the number of infected computers at 700,000 (300,000 in the past week). Most of the systems affected appear to be home computers.

We urge you to:

  1. Update your virus protection program's definition files,
  2. Scan your computer for viruses and worms,
  3. Back up all your data files and remove any backup drive from the computer, and
  4. Do not turn on your PC this Friday unless you're sure you are properly protected.

Be careful about automated backups, too. If you're backing up daily, you might end up backing up corrupted files instead of the good ones.

As always, we're here to help.

More information about Blackworm:

  • from The SANS Institute (a busy site; page may be unavailable)
  • from PC Magazine
  • from Microsoft
  • Blackworm statistics from the LURHQ Threat Intelligence Group
  • More from CNN and the BBC.

    Free disinfection tool from F-Secure

    At-risk files include:

    • DOC - Word document
    • MDB - Microsoft Access
    • MDE - Microsoft Access/Office
    • PDF - Adobe Acrobat
    • PPS - PowerPoint slideshow
    • PPT - PowerPoint
    • PSD - Photoshop
    • RAR - Compressed archive
    • XLS - Excel spreadsheet
    • ZIP - Compressed file

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    The View from Landmark . . .

    . . . a periodic electronic publication designed to inform subscribers of trends and issues in personal computing. Each issue features a variety of topics:

    • the latest on viruses, spam, and Internet security,
    • hardware and software technologies explained in simple English,
    • email, Web site, and
      Internet marketing tips,
    • and much more.

    We invite you to visit The View from Landmark. Read our Preview Editions and sign up for a free subscription. We'll try to make it worth your while, and we promise we'll never spam you!

    The View from Landmark -- a free email newsletter designed to help you make the most of your personal computer

    Above: Evening rush hour in Landmark's Condo Canyon.

    Other Web sites of particular interest to our clients:

    Ameri-Tech Concepts, Inc. (Customer site: Remanufactured cartridges for laser printers)

    Ameri-Tech Concepts, Inc. (Remanufacturers site: Tools and chemicals for cartridge remanufacturing)

    Law Offices of Richard S. Stolker and Uptown Law, LLC (Regional law firm serving the Washington, DC metropolitan area)

    Metropolitan Washington Mensa (Washington, DC chapter of this high-IQ social organization)

    blackworm-resolved.shtml     |     Updated Wednesday, November 8, 2006
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