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If you have received an unexpected attachment or had a virus warning seemingly from a cricketgames.com address it has not been sent by me but from someone else infected with a virus that spoofs the senders email address. Please read all of this page carefully for a full explanation and preventions/solutions. It is worth reading even if you have not received an unexpected attachment/virus warning.

This page contains the following sections:

bulletWhy you are getting attachments/virus warnings seemingly from cricketgames.com accounts
bulletQuick check to see if you have been infected with the Klez virus
bulletUpdating Windows to fix vulnerabilities
bulletFree Virus checker available
bulletAdvice on how to avoid getting a virus
bulletFinal thoughts

Why you are getting attachments/virus warnings seemingly from cricketgames.com accounts

Note I never send attachments unsolicited. You will only ever get an attachment from me if you have ordered International Test Cricket or have sent in an ICC file to be fixed. On the other rare occasions I would need to send you an attachment we will already have had an email/Instant Message conversation so the attachment is not unexpected. All email genuinely by me sent from cricketgames.com is always scanned by Norton Antivirus with the very latest definitions.

The latest virii based on the W32.Klez.H@mm engine spoof the senders address so you can not even email the person to warn them they have a virus. This is the reason the virus and others like it are spreading so rapidly. It is also the reason you could falsely believe I have sent you a virus. The email address selected as the sender is chosen at random from the infected PC's address book or any email address found in web pages stored on that PC. The virus is then sent to every one in the address book and all the email addresses found in web pages. I have had the case several times when I have had the virus sent to me with the sender supposedly being another of my own addresses. If you have run any attachment you have received in the last six months that was not 100% expected there is a very good chance you have got a virus. They are getting increasingly clever and appear under many different guises even claiming to be fixes for themselves or security updates. No reputable company would ever send unsolicited updates via email.

There is a newer virus going around called BugBear which also spoofs the sender and which also installs back door access to your PC!

** IMPORTANT NOTE **
These virii makes use of several vulnerabilities of Outlook Express and Internet Explorer which means your PC can be infected even if you are diligent and don't run or view the attachment contained in the email. All that is required is you receive the email!

The only way to make sure you don't get infected is to always run a virus checker and make sure your version of Windows is updated with all security patches released. This is essential if you use Outlook Express or Internet Explorer.

Quick check to see if you have been infected with the Klez virus

If you are not already running a virus checker with up to date virus definitions you can download this 70Kb (15 seconds on a modem) file from respected anti-virus company Kaspersky Anti-Virus which will detect all variants of the Klez virus and if found clean your PC. This is a much easier fix then suggested on other sites which require you to boot in to safe mode. It is recommended every one download this file and run it.

Updating Windows to fix vulnerabilities

All versions of Windows (not 100% sure about Windows 95 so maybe someone can confirm) can be updated over the web. Simply visit Windows Update and follow the Check for Updates link. The page is slightly different for each version of Windows so the wording might be different but it should be obvious which link to follow. If you are told you are missing any critical updates or service packs download them and install them. Keep revisiting the page until it says you are missing no critical updates or service packs.

Notes:

bulletSome critical updates or service packs have to be installed independently of each other. This is why you keep checking Windows Update until it says you are okay.
bulletIf you are prompted to install Internet Explorer 6 SP1, Windows XP Service Pack 1 or Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and are only connected via a modem then you might want to try and find these updates on a current magazine cover disk as they are very large (The Official XP magazine in the UK has XP Service Pack 1 on it). Once you have installed all service packs still go back to Windows Update as there are some critical updates released after the service packs. How ever you get the service packs even if you have to download them via modem you must install them as they fix loads of vulnerabilities and other bugs (e.g. Cricket 2002 DirectX problems with Athlons and GeForce cards) that have not been available elsewhere.

Once you have confirmed via Windows Update you have all critical updates do a complete virus scan of your machine with the very latest definitions (less than a week old). If you don't have a virus scanner installed see below. Unfortunately due to the nature of the Internet today is it an essential piece of software that must be installed on your PC.

Free Virus checker available

A free virus checker is available from http://www.grisoft.com so now there is absolutely no excuse for not running a virus checker. Make sure you always update your virus definitions at least once a week. Commercial virus checkers like Norton AntiVirus (which I personally use) can automatically integrate in to your email program so they can scan all incoming and outgoing email. They can also automatically update themselves with the latest definitions although it is still recommended you periodically check for updates manually.

Advice on how to avoid getting a virus

Note these are just my personal views and should be taken as such. They are not guaranteed to stop you getting a virus. You should take whatever security precautions you deem suitable. By following this advice though my PC has never been infected with a virus despite having literally 1000s attempting to do so.

bulletAlways run a virus checker and update the virus definitions at least once a week. If it has an option to automatically update definitions activate it but still manually check for updates periodically. If you need a virus checker see above.
bulletIf possible integrate your virus checker in to your email program so that all incoming and outgoing email is automatically scanned.
bulletIf you are running any version of Windows check Windows Update at least once a week to see if there are any new critical updates that need to be installed.
bulletNever open any attachment you are not expecting even if you recognise the sender. Send them a quick email to check they meant to send it. Note as the newest virii can spoof the sender they may not have even sent the email so do not accuse them of sending a virus.
bulletAlways run your virus checker when surfing. A lot of virii can be installed automatically just by visiting web pages. Change your security settings for your browser so that no ActiveX controls can be installed with out your knowledge.

Final thoughts

When I started getting mass virus warnings (at the very peak it was 500+ a day and even now several weeks later it is still 100+ a day) I posted the following on the web site. I had already posted previous warnings.

This site is in extreme danger of closing. The reason is not lack of interest, webspace, news or any reason like that. No the reason is you yes you reading this now that does not have a virus scanner and recent definitions installed. You are obviously stupid as you have ignored all the warnings and are now repeatedly sending out virii.

I make no apologies for the bluntness of this text. It was deliberately written to get people to take action. I'm sure most people would be equally irritated if they were paying to download 100s of emails a day all containing a virus. Some people though took it personally and complained I was calling them stupid despite the fact they were sensible and were running a virus checker. That was not the case and I apologise if you read it that way. If you read it carefully though the only people I called stupid are those not running a virus checker and who had ignored all the previous warnings. Sorry but in that case the description is valid. It may be a bit blunt and slightly tactless but it is definitely warranted.

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Revised: Saturday, 16 March 2013.
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