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Beware AOL users!!

aol users beware

3 replies to this topic

#1 marko

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    Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:58 PM

    I've never really been a fan of AOL - in fact, I'd probably go as far as to say I completely hate the entire damn thing, wayyyyy over bloated software with a complete onslaught of unecessary and useless tools that really do nothing at all other than to continuously run in the background and eat computer resources, they sure as hell don't offer any protection (which is apparently what they are meant to do!!).

    It was no surprise then that, once again, my good friend who has used AOL for many years phoned me recently to explain he had received a few phone calls from friends who had wondered why he was sending them emails about viagra!!.
    I managed to pop over today and it was obvious he had been duped into opening an email which was allegedly from AOL themselves informing him that his billing information required updating.

    He was naturally suspicious and went no further, but it was shortly after that he received phone calls from others asking why he had been sending silly emails and then the tirade of undeliverable messages began flooding his inbox!.

    We did a quick system restore back 1 week, complete scan of the computer using Avast boot time scan, and another complete spyware scan using SUPERAntiSpyware amongst others, nothing was found!.

    We changed his account passwords to something much more secure and updated his AOL software to the most current version - deleted all recent email we knew was spam and ran a quick cleanup using the AOL software itself.

    The worrying thing for me is that despite the complete scans, nothing was found, which can only make me think the AOL software itself was harbouring some kind of vulnerability, enough to allow an opened email to do rip through his entire AOL address book and start mailing all manner of things to his contacts, no warnings, no virus or spyware alerts, zilch!.

    The emails were not sent directly from his account or computer as nothing existed in the "Sent" box, instead someone was trying to 'spoof' his email address in the hope they could infect others and spread the damage even further. Ultimately, I guess their intentions would be to gain sufficient access to people's computers and steal information or/and make changes to the administration access - either way, it's obvious that AOL software isn't worth jack!!

    #2 FreeWareFan

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      Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:39 AM

      I think your friend was infected by unknown rootkit or bootkit that hides himself.
      Most of antiviruses can't detect such type of malware.
      You can try Hitman Pro in portable mode and OSAM autorun manager(that also don't need to install).
      Links to programs is here. :)

      #3 marko

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        Posted 14 September 2011 - 08:30 AM

        To be honest FF, I'd be inclined to believe Avast would definitely have picked up on a rootkit, those guys are usually on the ball when it comes to definitions, could be an unknown problem in the wild, but I'd doubt it.

        I'd still favour a vulnerability in the AOL software, its really the only viable answer I can think of, given whatever happened managed to access his address book. Obviously I wouldn't rule out anything and I'm waiting to see if the problem persists, if it does then it would certainly appear that upgrading the AOL software and change of password hasn't worked and there may very well be a hidden gem still on the PC - though personally once a machine is having those kind of problems I'd favour a complete reformat and re-install of the OS - unfortunately my friend doesn't really understand the importance of "back ups" at the moment, something tells me he may very soon!!!

        #4 google

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          Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:52 AM

          I'm with you marko, wipe your friends machine and start again - it begins to annoy me when friends expect us to be available after work for hours to try and fix the very problems we advised them against in the first place. I gave up after a while and just tell friends they can either keep the computer as it is or learn to back stuff up and perform a factory reset every so often - friends don't realise how time consuming this stuff becomes :dash2:

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