Announcement: In memory of Donna Buenaventura

We’ve received the sad news from Donna’s husband that she passed away unexpectedly on December 13, 2011.

Donna has been a strong advocate for security and education for many many years and helped guide many in their interest of security on various forums. 

She will be missed by many.

 Her blog will remain as a tribute to her passion for security and her willingness to contribute to others.

(comments have been opened up on this post for a short time)

Other locations where tributes have been posted include:

When will software developers stop offering unnecessary software on software updates?

A friend of mine asked if he should also install Google Chrome when updating DivX Plus Player.  I told him "no, it’s not necessary. Uncheck all boxes for Chrome installation and other modification on the browser by Chrome".  I told him also to always do this action to other software updater or installer that will try to install a program that he don’t want or require.

Since I have a DivX Plus Player that I haven’t update myself (because I disabled automatic checking of DivX updates) and yup, there was an update:.  It is v8.1.3:divx

When I clicked "Next" button, I’m offered Google Chrome browser, as well.



Just uncheck those guys, unless you want to have Google Chrome, but I doubt you do because if you want it, you know where and how to get it yourself (by visiting Google Chrome website).  It’s so sad that some software developers are doing the above "update practices".  It’s just an UPDATE but there you are… offering another program that is not necessary to update a program.

Think you know your stuff? Try a quiz!

Bright Hub have lots of new quizzes to test your knowledge.  Check out some of the quizzes 🙂

Example quizzes in Bright Hub:

Computer Security

  • Do You Know Computer Viruses?
  • How Safe Is Your Wi-Fi Connection?
  • How Secure is Your Computer?
  • Test Your Computer Security Skills With the Malware Open Challenge


  • A Quiz for Microsoft Word Professionals
  • Are You a Windows Expert? See How Much You Know
  • Are You an MS Office Expert? Test Your Knowledge
  • Think You Know Your Windows Computer?
  • New to Microsoft Word? Find Out How Much You Know!
  • So You Think You Can Use Microsoft Excel? A General Knowledge Quiz
  • Test Your Microsoft History Knowledge


  • Are You Up to Speed in Lion?
  • Test Your Knowledge of Apple History
  • Steve Jobs Said What?
  • Take the Mac Challenge: How Much Do You Know?
  • Test Your Computer Chops with Our Macintosh Guru Quiz
  • Test Your Steve Jobs Fandom: A Quiz


  • Think you Know your iPhone? Take our iPhone quiz & find out
  • iPhone Games Quiz
  • There’s an App For That
  • Apple and the iPhone

Good luck or shall I say, hope you’ll get perfect score!

Malware Spam: Uniform Traffic Ticket. Aargh.. A bit old spam but not many AV will detect the malware.

Quoted below is an unsolicited email with malware attached:

Subject:  Uniform Traffic Ticket (ID: 31534)

From:  New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

New York State — Department of Motor Vehicles


Local Police Code 3

Time: 7:25 AM
Date of Offense: 07/02/2011

4 Description of Violation



Screenshot of the spam:


This type of email is NOT new at all because I’ve seen similar spam last August.  The problem is the following:

  • End-users of popular web-based email services that only depend on free virus email scanner aren’t always protected from downloading unsafe file.  An example is Yahoo! email which is using Norton Antivirus.  It failed to detect the malware attachment: 


2  3  4

Hopefully, people won’t fall into executing the Uniform traffic or extract and execute the uniform traffic ticket.exe file.


Or else, they will have to remove Win32/Gamarue.B, a computer worm that can also spread through removable drives e.g. AutoRun virus, communicate to attackers server and download some files to the affected computer.

As you know already, Microsoft found out that their Malicious Software Removal Tool have detected 26.0% malware propagated through USB Autorun, 17.2% of malware have propagated through Network Autorun and 44.8% through user interaction.  More information of malware propagation in Volume 11 of Microsoft Security Intelligence report, released this month. 

The above email is one of the methods that a computer worm infects a computer and then spread to your network (home or office network).

Be very careful when receiving such email especially if you are in New York.  People who don’t live in New York or U.S.A have more reasons to delete this type of email.

Windows 8 and Windows XP

Finally.. I find time to download Windows 8 Preview.  Going to install it tomorrow and hope to see it work.  Will provide feedback, of course (if it’s not reported yet). If you haven’t download it and wish to try, get it at MSDN.

Are you using Windows XP? Get the Windows XP End Of Support Countdown Gadget.  Today, I have it installed as a sidebar gadget.  XP users still have many months to use XP :)  If your PC is still OK, keep using it but ensure it’s up-to-date with available security fixes.  If you want a new PC, get Windows 7 or wait for Windows 8.

10-6-2011 4-45-29 PM

Goodbye Mr. Steve Jobs

Even though I don’t have an Apple product (except installing Safari browser when I need to write or test something about it in a Windows computer.  Some family members are using iPad or iPhone and I find it as cool gadgets but don’t need or requite it right now), I’m sad to hear that Mr. Steve Jobs passed away that soon.  I mean, not only he was only 56 years old but he bid his goodbye as CEO only in August 24, 2011.  That’s only a month and 11 days ago 🙁

This post is to remember you, Mr. Jobs and to thank you for contributing to the world — some great and cool gadgets — that my family members are happy (also they loved it) using.  Even a 3 year old boy in the family loves your iPad.  He just can’t stop playing games, non-stop viewing his birthday photos/videos and also sketching anything after school or dinner (he is not allowed to use the iPad until he finished his dinner!).

10-6-2011 4-09-24 PM

Stick with Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast for now

If we want free antivirus program, we seems to only have few choices now — Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast.. simply because the simple and great Avira AntiVir has gone to the dark-side by adding the unwanted ASK toolbar.  What is worst is it mislead users by saying it is "Avira Toolbar".  Glad my team and members at are fast to find it out last June and immediately stopped posting updates on Avira. 

Time to logon to my Windows 7 computer and remove Avira.  Will install MSE! 

I don’t like the SafeZone feature in Avast Internet Security

Done reviewing Avast Internet Security program that includes SafeZone desktop (also known as SafeZone browser).  It’s not cool because it will only use Google Chrome browser to browse the net.  It should not be "called as SafeZone desktop" but SafeZone browser only.  Google Chrome browser is integrated and I personally don’t use or like Google Chrome.  Avast Internet Security doesn’t install standalone Google Chrome browser on Windows but will be the browser if you bring up SafeZone feature. 

Read more at so you’ll know what else I don’t like with SafeZone in Internet security program by Avast.  I think people who are using Google Chrome will have no problem with it.  I just hope Avast team will make that SafeZone browser feature to work to whatever is the default browser.  I know you can use Sandbox feature to virtualize other browser or application but it’s not the Sandbox I’m talking about but the SafeZone.  I guess it has to do with their "partnership" by pushing Google Chrome (piggybacking in free Avast antivirus by bundling third-party installer on Avast installation package… and now it’s integrated in paid software of Avast).  Geez.

Anyhoo, the AV of Avast has improved.

Looks like Avast Licensing Server Has Problem (Updated)

I downloaded the trial version of Avast Internet Security because I need to review it.  The test system didn’t have that program before but the new trial version (supposedly 30 days) says the program has expired on March 19, 2011.  Today is March 26, 2011 which is is the day I install the trial version right after the download has finished.  I reproduced the issue by restoring my computer to previous "backup image".

Note that the backup image doesn’t have or never had any antivirus program by any vendor because it’s my test system’s image.  The only security software on it is the built-in Windows Defender.

Alwil need to check their licensing server for their trial version users soon or you are trying to trick people to buy?  I hope it’s not the latter.  Thinking smile

This is what I get the first try:


The second try (after I put restored the system from the backup image — yup, formatted the C: drive before applying the backup image):


I tried clicking update for defs or program hoping that will sync correctly to their server but no joy.

So to anyone trying Avast Internet security program for 30 days and you get the above issue, you’re not alone.  Don’t simply buy if you only want to try or test.

BTW, the setup file was downloaded from Avast website which was served by or (don’t click unless you want to download the file).

I tried also the setup file from CNET but it’s same result.

UPDATE – March 27, 9PM GMT +8:  After another try (last try), the trial license is working now:


And it is now showing correct date of expiration.  I did nothing but to put back again the old system image (backup) just like what I did earlier and install the trial version.

I know…

I know that I have not enter any blog entry here for few months already.  I can explain but most stuff is due to personal and work related.  Been writing still at Bright Hub, I moved home and you know, attending on the new home.  I call it home because it feels like home (I say feels like home only because there’s a bit of issue that is coming again.. see below).  Also attending on small business that I need to face full time now (at least, after doing what I got to do at home and writing).  BTW, check out the newest review I submitted — Diskeeper 2011 review :p

I know that I have not release an update to IP blocklist for Outpost, Online Armor, Kaspersky and IE programs but it’s still here on my to do list.  Sorry Embarrassed smileabout the long delay but I’ll be on it by April and will make sure that it’ll be updated once a month from now on.

I know I have not been in forums but my you are all always on my mind.  I’ll be there to apologize of course and interact with you again.  I just don’t want to promise anymore on when…because it will only disappoint some friends and I don’t want to disappoint them again and again.

I know that Windows 7 Service Pack 1 has been released but I have not install it because there’s no time yet.  I’m not afraid to try installing Windows 7 SP1 since I have backup of entire drives, just in case anything goes south, north, east or west.  It’s not offered to me anyway since I have not install many other updates for Windows especially the pre-requisite.  When to install Windows 7 SP1? This weekend, I think.

I know Comodo certificates have issue again.  All I want to say is "why there’s no major account executive that only handles major and critical accounts?" Steaming madGeez.. I thought most company knows how to handle major accounts and not simply allowing anyone or third-party to handle important domains/accounts that can put millions of users’ data AT RISK.  Yeah, they revoked it soon but that’s not the question here but the one I already asked.  Even security experts question the way they allow affiliates or resellers to issue cert.  Nice story here about another Comodo fraudulent certs again.

This one.. I don’t know when but it seem… going to happen:  moving to South Korea or the Philippines.  Whatever…. I’m just tired of moving.Steaming mad