Thursday, August 30, 2007

Science & Tech News - August

The 1st Lunar eclipse since 2000 just passed by us. It was supposed to be a good evening for watching the spectacle..but the supposed to be clear sky conjured up some big clouds just enough to cover the moon and ruin every filipinos intent on watching the Lunar eclipse. - zerotech99


METRO MANILA, AUGUST 29, 2007 (STAR) Thick clouds prevailing in most
parts of the country prevented many Filipino sky watchers from
witnessing the much-awaited total lunar eclipse yesterday.

Dario dela Cruz, chief of the Astronomical Observatory Unit of the
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services
Administration (Pagasa), said the second total lunar eclipse of the
year was totally obscured by thick clouds.

He said they received reports that cloudy skies blocked the eclipse
as well in Cebu City and Iloilo. However, ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol World
reported that the eclipse was witnessed in some parts of Mindanao, specifically
in Basilan, General Santos City and Davao.

It was also observed in Australia and other parts of the United
States according to reports.

Dela Cruz said the first total lunar eclipse of 2007 happened last
March 4 and the next one is expected in February 2008 but will not be visible
in the country. A partial lunar eclipse will be visible though in the
Philippines in August next year. – Helen Flores

Here is an article that shows we filipinos are not too far behind when it comes to knowledge in computers and the internet. - zerotech99


MANILA, AUGUST 29, 2007 (STAR) Enough for Transformers’ AutoBots
and Decepticons. Let’s now talk about the real robots — the Web robots
or more commonly called as “bots.”

Bots are here and they multiply faster than you can imagine, to turn
your computers into zombies controlled by a botmaster to spread
viruses, generate spam, and commit other types of online crime and fraud,
without your knowledge.

The rise of bots is indeed alarming. In fact, according to
Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), there are more than six
million PCs infected with bots.

Here’s a primer on bots and botnets from Symantec, a global leader
in Internet security, to help you better understand what a bot is and how
it works.

What is a bot?

A bot is a type of malware that allows an attacker to take control of
an infected computer. Also known as Web robots, bots are usually part of a
network of infected machines, known as a botnet, which is typically
made up of victim machines that stretch across the globe.

Since a bot-infected computer does the bidding of its master, many
people refer to these victim machines as zombies. The cyber criminals
that control these bots are called botherders or botmasters.

Some botnets might have a few hundred or a couple thousand computers,
but others have tens and even hundreds of thousands of zombies at their
disposal. Many of these computers are infected without their owners’

Some possible warning signs? A bot might cause your computer to slow
down, display mysterious messages or even crash.

How bots work?

Bots sneak onto a person’s computer in many ways. They often spread
themselves across the Internet by searching for vulnerable, unprotected
computers to infect.

They can infect computers as a part of Trojan horse, through
peer-to-peer file sharing, or as an attachment, an e-mail of instant
messages (IM). When they find an exposed computer, they quickly infect
the machine and then report back to their master. Their goal is then to
stay hidden until they are instructed to carry out a task.

After a computer is taken over by a bot, it can be used to carry out
a variety of illegal activities such as generating and sending spam, and
spreading viruses.

It can also be programmed to steal personal and private information
such as credit card numbers, bank credentials, user names and passwords and
communicate these back to the malicious user.

Also, it can be used to launch denial of service (DoS) attacks
against a specified target.

More commonly, however, the systems of everyday users are the targets
of these attacks for the simple thrill of the botmaster.

Fraudsters also use bots to boost Web advertising billings by
automatically clicking on Internet ads.

How to protect your PCs from bots?

As safeguards against malicious bots, security experts at Symantec
advise consumers the following:

Install security software to combat bots. Norton AntiBot is
Symantec’s first dedicated solution to meet the growing bot and botnet epidemic;

• Configure your software’s settings to update automatically;

• Increase the security settings on your browser;

• Limit your user rights when online;

• Never click on attachments unless you can verify the source; and

• Ensure that your system is patched with the most current
Microsoft Windows update.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
All rights reserved

More things to consider are:
  • Make sure you have an anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed, and make
    it mandatory to update them once a week.
  • Scan your computer at least once a month.
  • Make sure you have a firewall installed or the built-in firewall of WinXP is turned ON.
  • Be careful on the emails that you receive, especially those with attachments.
    if your not sure of the sender, you can delete it.
  • And please be mindful on what sites you visit and what buttons you click on a
  • For more info on email scams visit: Http://

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