Security FAQs

What is a computer virus?

Viruses are nasty little computer infections that can damage your computer and destroy your documents. They’re mostly transmitted through emails and attachments, but can also be picked up from websites.

 

What should I do?

Here’s some top tips for protecting your computer:

 

1. Install anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Some of this software updates itself automatically but this isn’t always the case. If it’s not updated regularly, anti-virus software can’t fully protect your computer as it won’t recognise the latest threats.

2. Install a firewall. This will help keep your computer protected by blocking dodgy sites.

3. Install Microsoft updates and security fixes. If you use Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, your computer could be at risk. The latest version of Windows is usually the most secure, but staying updated with 'patches' will minimise any risks.

4. Make sure you have spam controls. We catch many viruses automatically as part of our spam controls, so they won't even arrive in your inbox.

5. Don’t open files with double extensions. Some sneaky viruses try to hide by giving themselves double file extensions, e.g. virusfile.pif.bat. If you see any emails that contain these files, delete them pronto!

6. Disable Outlook preview pane. Did you know that some viruses can be transferred simply by viewing an email in your Outlook preview pane? Don’t worry, the preview pane can easily be disabled.

- Open Microsoft Outlook.
- Click View Menu or the tab at the top of the program window.
- Click "Reading Pane"
- Select "Off"

 

7. Don’t run .exe files. If you’re sent a file ending in .exe, it’s an executable file (a little program). Never run .exe files unless you were expecting the file and know what’s in it. Always scan these file types with your anti-virus software before running them.


I think I might already have a virus. What should I do?

Unfortunately, we can’t accept responsibility for external links or third party software you have visited or installed on your computer. But we can help you get back in action. First, run a virus scan with your anti-virus software. Microsoft has a Malicious Software Removal Tool, which can be used to clean various viruses from computers running Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

 

To find out more, get in touch with us: aup@virginmedia.ie

 

What is a firewall?

Stay safe online with a firewall.

 

A firewall acts as a barrier between your computer and the Internet, to prevent hackers from accessing your computer and stealing or damaging your data.

 

It’s really important for Virgin Media broadband customers to install one, because your internet connection is always on.

 

Want to know more? You can get in touch with us at aup@virginmedia.ie

What is Phishing?

Something phishy going on…


Phishing is the act of tricking people into giving out private information which can then be used to commit fraud. It often involves the setting up of a fake website pretending to be a legitimate company such as a bank or shop.

 

Phishers then send out spam mails that direct users to the fake site, where users are asked to update their username, password or enter financial information.

 

One of the most common scams is a fake email pretending to be from your bank. It might ask you to log in and update your details, or perform an important security check.

 

The link in the email will take you to a site that looks almost identical to the real website of your bank, with the same banners, and the same login screen. Unfortunately, entering your details here will play right into the hands of the thieves.

 

Find out more here: What exactly is identity theft and how can you protect yourself?

Need more help or advice? No problem! Get in touch with us at aup@virginmedia.ie

What is the Malware Alert from Virgin Media?

When we suspect that you’ve become infected with malware, we send you an alert with an overview of it and advice on what to do next.

Did you recently receive a letter and/or email from us saying that a device on your network may contain malware? If yes, read on to find out to do to resolve the issue.

 

What has happened?

 

We work with not-for-profit organisations across the banking and security sectors to gather information on devices across the web that are infected with malware, and we’ve learned that a device connected to your home network is infected.

Your financial transactions and personal data could be at risk. That’s why it’s vital to take action now!


Want to fix the issue yourself?

 

Do you have basic knowledge of computers and connected devices? There are a few steps you can take yourself to secure your network. Remember, we’re here to help at any stage.

 

 

 

1. Check to see if your device has an infection

It’s easy to do this with an online virus scanner. A couple of sites we suggest are:

f-secure.com/en/web/home_global/online-scanner **
eset.com/onlinescan **

 

Using an Android or iOS device? You’ll find lots of virus scanners on the Play Store/iTunes.


2. Use your internet security package to remove any infections

Already got a security package? See the instructions for more on how to remove infections from your device.


3. Get up-to-date software

Keep your operating system and software up-to-date. Install software patches so that attackers can't take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. Top tip: Always enable this option if it’s available.


4. Check your email address

Make sure your contact email address is up to date so we can always let you know about any issues. Need to update your contact email address? Just sign in to your account at virginmedia.ie/myvirginmedia and select My Profile.


How do I know I’m safe?

 

If you’ve followed the steps above and rescanned your device, the issue should now be sorted.

 

** Sorry, but Virgin Media can’t accept any responsibility for external links or third party software you install on your computer. For this reason, we’re unable to provide technical support for issues that arise through any links provided.

 

Need anything else? No problem! Just get in touch at aup@virginmedia.ie

What are CryptoLocker and Gameover Zeus malware?

You might recently have heard of malware called CryptoLocker or Gameover Zeus. Here’s some advice on what to do if your computer’s affected by either of these bad boys!

What has happened?

 

We work with non-profit organisations who warn us when they identify infected devices connected to the internet. They notify us when our customers' home gadgets may be compromised, so if you’re affected we let you know.


Gameover Zeus: Often spread through spam and phishing messages, Gameover Zeus is
a peer-to-peer variant of the Zeus family of bank credential-stealing malware. Zeus was first identified back in September 2011.


CryptoLocker is a recent kind of ransomware. If this malware infects a device, it will encrypt files stored on the hard drive. The user is then told they must pay a ransom to receive the decryption key to recover their files. If the ransom is not paid, you risk losing your personal files.

How can I keep my devices secure?


If you can, act right away!


1. Use antivirus software. Use the software to run a complete scan of your device so you can get rid of any malware. Antivirus software recognises and protects your computer against most known viruses. It’s important to keep your antivirus software up-to-date.

2. Change your passwords. Your original passwords may have been compromised during the infection, so it’s important to change them. Tips for a stronger password

3. Keep your operating system and software up-to-date. Keep your operating system and software up-to-date. Install software patches so attackers can't take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Most systems offer automatic updates. Top tip: Always enable this option if it’s available.

4. Use anti-malware tools. Using a program that identifies and removes malware can help eliminate an infection. There are some security tools that can help remove Gameover Zeus or CryptoLocker (See our list below).

 

Where can I find more info?

 

Get more help and advice about malware in the above FAQ.


Here’s our list of handy security tools:


F-Secure

http://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_global/online-scanner * (Windows Vista, 7 and 8)


Heimdal

http://goz.heimdalsecurity.com/ * (Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1)


Microsoft

http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx * (Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP)

 

Sophos

http://www.sophos.com/VirusRemoval * (Windows XP (SP2) and above)


Symantec
http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/international-takedown-wounds-gameover-zeus-cybercrime-network * (Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7)


Trend Micro
http://www.trendmicro.com/threatdetector * (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2)


Sorry, but Virgin Media can’t accept any responsibility for external links or third party software you install on your computer.

 

Need more info? No problem! Get in touch with us at aup@virginmedia.ie

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What is Open DNS Vulnerability?

Domain Name System (DNS) is like an address book system used by computers connected to the internet. Every time you send a mail or go online, your computer needs to know where to send your email or where to find the webpage you’re looking for.

 

Got it? Ok. So your computer contacts a DNS server, a computer that runs the address book. Usually a DNS server will only talk to computers that have been given permission to communicate with it.

 

An Open DNS is a server that lets any computer system on the internet use it, not just the authorised users on networks you control or trust.

How can I fix it?

 

For more about how to resolve this issue, check out these sites:


- team-cymru.org

- zytrax.com
- knowledgelayer.softlayer.com

- technet.microsoft.com


If you got a warning letter/email from us, you’ll need to resolve the issue within 5 days or we may have to suspend your service.

 

** Sorry, but Virgin Media can’t accept any responsibility for external links or third party software you install on your computer. For this reason, we’re unable to provide technical support for issues that arise through any links provided.


Need more help or advice? No problem! Get in touch with us at aup@virginmedia.ie

More

What is identity theft and how can I protect myself?

Your most valuable asset is you.


Identity theft is a serious Internet risk these days. Anyone can steal your name and address, bank details, username or password. With this information, they pretend to be you and open fake bank accounts, take out loans, or use your credit card.

 

The most common way for thieves to get your details is on phishing sites that pretend to be well-known banks or other institutions. These are fake sites created to trick you into entering your details.

Protect your identity:

 

1.     Legitimate companies never send emails asking for personal information. No matter how authentic an email or caller might sound, it's always best to call them         directly to check.

2.     Avoid using your own name or email address in chat rooms or message boards.

3.     Be careful when sharing personal details in online stores, social networking sites etc.

4.     Use a different email address for services and buying products, and keep your personal email address for friends and family. This will help you avoid spam too.

5.     Look out for dodgy sites, and learn how to spot fake ones. Check the web address and tone of the site. Often phishing sites look slightly different, so if you’re             suspicious, don't use it. Call the company’s official phone number to make sure they are who they say.

6.     Don’t use the same password for everything. Firms like banks may be well protected, but even big corporations like Sony and social networks like Twitter have         been hacked in the past.

        If you use the same password for every account, data thieves can gain access to all your accounts. Be creative - even adding one number to your password for         each site can make a difference.

7.     Check your bank and credit card statements regularly.


Need more help or advice? No problem! Get in touch with us at aup@virginmedia.ie

How to take preventative measures

What is the SNMP Vulnerability Alert from Virgin Media?

You may have recently received a letter and/or email from Virgin Media explaining that we have been notified that a device on your network has a vulnerability known as a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). If you have received such a communication from us, please follow the advice given on this page to resolve the issue.

 

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a method by which a device can be managed remotely on the network. An SNMP vulnerability is a security issue whereby a 3rd party can use this protocol to ultimately gain unauthorised access to your network/devices for malicious purposes, if the protocol is configured incorrectly.

What has happened?


We work with a number of not-for-profit organisations across the banking industry and security sectors that collate information on devices across the Internet that appear to be compromised or misconfigured.

We suspect a device connected to your home network may have a SNMP vulnerability.
If the settings are left open they can be exploited to unwittingly participate in malicious activities, for example a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.


Want to fix the issue?


We're here to help and if you have a basic knowledge of computers and connected devices there are a number of steps you can take to secure your mailbox and home network. Please apply these steps in order:


1. Stop SNMP Traffic


Apple routers
To configure Apple routers to stop SNMP please visit the following sites:


discussions.apple.com/thread/2793508 **
support.apple.com/kb/TA21032?locale=en_GB&viewlocale=en_US **
discussions.apple.com/thread/6451613?start=0&tstart=0 **

 

2. Disable SNMP on Windows 7

 

To configure Windows 7 to stop SNMP please visit the following site:
faq.rutgers.edu/?q=node/701 **

 

How do I know I'm now safe?

 

If you have followed the above advice you can be confident that you have resolved the issue.


Where can I find further information and advice?

 

For further advice of SNMP and securing your device please visit the below websites:

 

techrepublic.com/article/lock-it-down-dont-allow-snmp-to-compromise-network-security/**
cert.org/historical/tech_tips/snmp_faq.cfm
**

 

** These links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for the content of these sites or any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and we are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.

 

If you have any further questions you can email us at aup@virginmedia.ie

View more

Mirai Infection

Step by Step Guide to Clear the Mirai BOTNET.
If you are receiving this notice, there is a high chance that one or more of the devices on your home, office, or business network are infected with the Mirai BOTNET. In effect, this means that someone has criminally loaded a program on your device without your permission with the intention to break the law.

 

What is “Infected” by the Mirai Malware? What does it do?
The Mirai is malware that gets installed on devices inside the home that aren’t necessarily your computer. These devices can be video cameras, printers, DVD players, TVs, and other devices connected to your home or business network.
When a device is infected with the Mirai malware, it’s controlled by “threat actors” to build a BOTNET. These Mirai BOTNETs are then used to attack other networks with denial of service attacks, which is overloading another site so it crashes. These criminals are using your devices to attack others.

 

Step by Step fix Mirai Guide
We don’t like knowing that someone else has control of your property, so we strongly recommend that you take the following actions:

 

1. Connect to the Device’s Admin Screen. Make sure you can connect to the administration screen of your device. If you do not know how to connect, do a quick search online for the manual and instructions to connect to the device’s admin screen.
2. Disconnect the devices from the network. It is safer to reset/reboot the device while disconnected from the Internet. This allows you to change the admin password without getting re-infected.
3. Factory Reset and Reboot the device. The Mirai Malware is installed in dynamic memory. Rebooting the device will clear out the bad software. It is strongly recommended to do a full “factory reset.”
4. Change the admin password! The criminals are breaking into your device by using the device’s default password. Changing the password to one that only you know will help keep the criminals from breaking into your device.
5. Upgrade the Software and Firmware. Once the device's admin password has changed, it would be time to upgrade the software and firmware. It would be recommended to select “automatic upgrades.” This will keep the device up to date with the latest software.
6. IoT vendors are releasing advisories about their products. Contact your device vendor.


Next Steps?
There will always be someone trying to break into your computer, devices, accounts, and network. There are here are common sense habits that will make it much harder for any cybercriminal to succeed.

 

Home Networks
Change all “default” passwords. Many IoT devices, home appliances, home routers, and other items that “plug into” your network will have default passwords set by the factory. Change these to passwords to something only you would know, and remember to switch it up.

 

Patch your software often. The vendors for your devices will often provide software patches for security vulnerabilities. Make it a habit to check for new software. Vendors who make software upgrades easy should be preferred.

 

Disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) on your Home Router. UPnP is a protocol to make it easy for devices inside your network to “open a port” to allow outside computers to communicate into your network. In essence, UPnP opens a hole in your security. Turning off UPnP adds to the security of your network.

 

Don’t allow remote management of your home/business router over the Internet. Many home and small business routers allow for “remote management”. There are too many security challenges for most people to safely manage the device from the Internet, and enabling this feature often opens a remote web interface that can then be scanned and attacked. It’s always safer to manage the home/business router from inside the network. If it is absolutely necessary to reach your device from a remote location, consider setting up a rule in your firewall to only allow access from that location (IP address) rather than the entire Internet.

 

More information about Mirai: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-288A

If you have any further questions, we will be happy to assist you. Please feel free to contact us on aup@virginmedia.ie