Beware the flood trojan – amongst other programs lurking in the shadows

From time to time we have users who have background programs consuming portions of their credit balances at unusually high rates. While some of this traffic is legitimate in the sense that the user may have at some time given their consent to for example automatic operating system updates, in some cases a flood trojan has used the user’s computer without their knowledge or will. This is one of many security issues Internet users have to be aware of, irrespective of their service provider.

So what is a flood trojan? In fact what is a trojan? Will RedButton try to punt a PC Security Suite? First lets go into what they can do by way of an example. While assisting in diagnosing a problem on a particular client’s laptop, our records showed that it managed to upload 310MB in only 24 minutes. To get a better idea of what was happening we gave the customer a free 10MB, asked him to log in and closely monitored his data flow. It turned out that all 10MB were used up in no less than 33 seconds by some program sending data to a particular Internet server whose hostname ends with “”. A google search on this topic quickly revealed that a trojan virus was at fault, one with a demonstrably insatiable appetite. It was like feeding a crocodile with goulash. While this illustrates the high upload speed of the underlying broadband connection, consider that background programs such as trojans can consume large amounts of data that a subscriber had paid for

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without their consent. Flood trojans add insult to injury by using the hijacked connection for malicious activities.

We are going to skip the details of what trojans and particularly flood trojans are, click here to read more, the gist of this post is that the need to continuously secure your desktop to ensure its integrity cannot be overstated. Without a secure desktop you run the risk of having your bandwidth used up and in some cases this can happen at lighting speed. There are some basic security practices that you need to adhere to if you have an operating system such as Windows XP

  • Make sure your firewall is enabled
  • Make sure your virus scanner is updated and scans your PC regularly – if you don’t have one, get one
  • Make sure you install operating system updates – security holes are often fixed in these

There are many anti-virus programs out there, but one free version you could start with is AVG Free, another tool you might want to use is Spybot Search & Destroy.

If the above practices seem like too much hassle, consider an alternative operating system like Ubuntu Linux, it may just be that you can be even more productive with an operating system that is arguably inherently more secure.

Finally please note that RedButton cannot be held liable for any loss or damage incurred through viruses and trojans on customers’ computers as their security and administration is clearly beyond our control. This is stated clearly in our terms and conditions that every RedButton customer agreed to (available here).

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