Stories by Erik Larkin

New threat: Undetectable Facebook scams

I recently received two Facebook e-mail notifications that set my security spider-sense tingling. Nothing was obviously wrong with the e-mail messages, which said that my friend had tagged a photo of me and then commented on it. But something about a reference to an app named "Who stalks into your profile" just didn't feel right.

Written by Erik Larkin29 April 10 08:32

Blue screen reboots after patch could mean malware

Redmond announced today it has found the cause of reported rebooting problems after some Windows users installed a recent patch: The systems were infected with malware.

Written by Erik Larkin19 Feb. 10 07:45

Will Cloud Computing Kill Privacy?

As cloud computing speeds ahead, privacy protections are too often being left in the dust.

Written by Erik Larkin28 Jan. 10 12:53

Good Guys Bring Down the Mega-D Botnet

For two years as a researcher with security company FireEye, Atif Mushtaq worked to keep Mega-D bot malware from infecting clients' networks. In the process, he learned how its controllers operated it.

Written by Erik Larkin28 Dec. 09 13:52

Top Protection: G Data AntiVirus 2010

Most security programs use a single antivirus engine, but the German-made G Data uses two separate engines: BitDefender and Avast. That double coverage may have helped it rack up an impressive 99.95 per cent block rate for traditional, signature-based detection of known malware, a rate better than that of any other app we tested. It was likewise strong at blocking annoying adware, running up a 99.8 per cent score, and these strengths helped it earn top billing.

Written by Erik Larkin25 Nov. 09 05:37

F-Secure Anti-Virus 2010

While F-Secure Anti-Virus 2010 is simple to use and does a reasonable job of blocking malware, it has a few bugs, and it couldn't beat some of its competitors. It came in at number six in our current roundup of stand-alone antivirus apps.

Written by Erik Larkin25 Nov. 09 06:01

Trend Micro Antivirus + Antispyware

Trend Micro Antivirus + Antispyware came in last in our roundup of stand-alone antivirus software, weighed down by comparatively poor malware detection, slow scan speed, and a seriously misguided habit of hiding what it does from the user.

Written by Erik Larkin25 Nov. 09 06:03


ESET NOD32 has some nice, techie-focused extras and it effectively ferrets out rootkits, but it can't keep up with other antivirus apps when it comes to the essential task of blocking malware. It came in ninth place out of 11 in our current ranking of stand-alone antivirus software.

Written by Erik Larkin25 Nov. 09 06:05

McAfee VirusScan Plus 2010

McAfee VirusScan Plus does well with traditional, signature-based malware detection, but it delivered a large number of false positives and fumbled on essentials like proactive protection and scan speed. Overall, it ranked tenth out of the 11 products in our roundup of stand-alone antivirus programs.

Written by Erik Larkin25 Nov. 09 06:06

Keep your passwords private with LastPass

This fall, more than 20,000 stolen usernames and passwords for such Webmail providers as AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo appeared on, a programmer's Website.

Written by Erik Larkin24 Nov. 09 08:03

New zero-day attack doubles concern for IE users

Microsoft today warned of a serious security vulnerability in a Spreadsheet ActiveX control that could allow for a drive-by-download attack against vulnerable PCs.

Written by Erik Larkin14 July 09 04:14

Caelo Software NEO Find 1.0

Though NEO Find brings faster searches and additional organization to Outlook e-mail, you must switch back and forth between Outlook and a separate program window to get its benefits.

Written by Erik Larkin06 May 09 11:52

IE 8: Its Security Is Worth the Download

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 in March, and whether to install it is likely your biggest up­date decision right now.

Written by Erik Larkin28 April 09 08:55