Beware of the ‘check this out wow’ virus making the rounds


Received word from several associates that their email account was recently compromised, whereby, their contact lists are used to send out a spam advertisement that contains HELLO or hey in the Subject line and “check this out wow” in the message body.

This malware or virus appears to be spreading rapidly across the Internet and has been reported publicly by Fox News, according to one source. Changing email passwords to a string of text and letters that is difficult to guess or decipher by brute force is recommended.

Mac OS X includes a built-in tool in the Accounts pane of System Preferences for generating a strong password. In the Accounts pane, click the Change Password button and then click the icon that looks like a key to bring up the Password Assistant dialog box. Click the Type drop-down menu to bring up a list of choices. I suggest using Random (Letters and Numbers is equally acceptable) and choosing a long string of 16 characters or more. Copy and paste the string shown in the Suggestion box into a temporary holding area like a blank TextEdit document. Afterward, paste your new password into your email configuration screen. Once you generate your password, you can exit out of the Accounts pane, since you aren’t changing your computer password.

Accounts pane window in System Preferences

If Mac users want to check whether their computers are infected with a virus that’s affecting their applications or system files, they can also download and install a free program called ClamXav. Instructions for running ClamXav can be found on the developer’s documentation page.

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Filed under Apple Software, Email, Privacy, security, Viruses and Spam

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