Archive for September, 2008

AntiSpyware Master Service Alert

Posted on September 16, 2008. Filed under: Service Alert | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reliant PC Consulting Service Alert


Date: September 16, 2008


Subject: AntiSpyware Master




This alert has been generated due to an issue that may affect my clients’ computer security. A malware program masquerading as a legitimate antivirus software exists. Of particular note are the following:


  1. The program looks legitimate.
  2. There are several methods that this malware can be introduced into your computer:
    1. Installing a malicious codec through a multimedia file.
    2. Infection from a Trojan virus.
    3. Social networking spam from fake social networking profiles.
    4. Peer-to-Peer (file sharing) networks.
  3. The software, and others like it, requires payment before the software is “installed” and activated to “protect” you. This is a typical ploy for malware.




A client noticed a red circle with a white ‘X’ in the lower right-hand task bar and a pop up notification that the computer had been “infected” with a virus.


This threat is persists with initial reports of this malware starting in April 2008.


What AntiSpyware Master Looks Like


On the next page you will note a screen shot of the main program screen. It is in process of “scanning” the subject computer and relies on false positives to encourage users to take the next step in the process: to pay money for nothing.


The program looks like this:



AntiSpyware Master

AntiSpyware Master






In this case Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware was downloaded and installed. A quick scan was initiated and in 10 minutes the program found 8 suspicious items. The items were removed and the pop ups ceased. Once the scan is complete and the malicious items removed then:

    1. Remove the icon titled “AntiSpyware Master” was removed.
    2. Remove the program group titled “AntiSpyware Master” was removed.




  1. Keep your anti virus software up to date.
  2. Be aware of this program in general and do not initiate any web activity that directs you to a site that promotes this software.
  3. Ignore any alert that AntiSpwyare Master has “detected” any virus on your computer.
  4. Do not attempt to click on the program to close it. This WILL generate more activity and insure infection.
  5. Simply shut down all other programs and then shut down your computer completely.
  6. If you are infected contact me ASAP and I will assist you on the removal of this software.






This Service Alert addresses a potential threat. There is a good chance you may not be affected by this particular threat but an awareness of it existence will make it less likely to affect you.


If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.

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How to Install and Use Crossloop

Posted on September 12, 2008. Filed under: Software | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Clients and perspective clients from Waterloo Region: If you want a demonstration please email me at .

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Sympatico Does Not Do It Again…

Posted on September 12, 2008. Filed under: Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On a recent service call I did a speed test on a client’s internet connection. I now do this as a matter of course during any service call regardless of the ISP they are using.

In this case the ISP was Bell Sympatico. The test netted a download speed of 577 KB/s and upon inquiring with the customer they confirmed they were paying for 7 MB/s. Wow. Not bad. They were only getting 8% of their rated maximum throughput!

What was interesting about this visit was several fold:


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NDP using Search Engine Optimization

Posted on September 10, 2008. Filed under: Trends | Tags: , , , , , , |

Now that is another example of how the Internet is changing politics.

Layton targets Google search results to divert online traffic to the NDP

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More on Bell Sympatico

Posted on September 8, 2008. Filed under: Trends | Tags: , |

I am not getting into the specifics here but in the past week this is what I have experienced with Bell Sympatico:

  1. Called on behalf of customer re. speed issue (160 KB/s). Tech support insisted on upgrading client to 8 MB/s. Client wanted 500 KB/s. Tech support ignored client’s wishes and upgraded to 8 MB/s without client consent. Coincidentally Bell called client to bundle services and verified upgraded ISP service. Downgraded on client request.
  2. Speed tested one client. Paying for 5 MB/s and getting 2 MB/s.
  3. 3 clients complain of not being able to understand the accents of Bell Sympactico tech support representative. Several clients have had so much trouble understanding the representatives they have requested I call on their behalf.
  4. Tech support continually wants to upsell or change services instead of solving problem. They will NOT admit a problem and simply state that changing the service solves the problem.

Relating to item 1 and 4: this is a particularly disturbing call because the technical support representative was so aggressively maintaining the need to upgrade to 8 MB/s it bares the question:  Are tech support representaives on commission? I was in sales and the only thing I can think of to explain that tech support rep’s aggression (and I do mean aggression) to have my client buy that level of service is that they are being payed or spiffed for changing client accounts to a higher level of service.

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