Beware of the Fake System Tool


The other day, I spotted a warning at the Microsoft Malware Protection Center. They presented some great information about a piece of malware called    Winwebsec,  which is more commonly seen as “System Tool“. Apparently it’s popping up more often now, so I decided to put out a warning to our readers.

I’ve actually run into this one before, while fixing some of my friends and family’s computers. It wasn’t much trouble to get rid of at the time, but I’ve read that some of the newer versions are more difficult to remove.

An infected computer will start getting fake warnings like the one shown here. These warnings are very realistic. Their purpose is to try to fool you into buying some more fake software that will make things even worse for you.


I looked around and I found one or two good articles that tell you how to remove the fake System Tool, but I decided to put together my own little guide.  Below you’ll find a slideshow that I’ve put together. It will give you a better idea of what to look for and some suggestions on how to remove this Fake System Tool.

If you can’t see the slideshow here, you can view it at Google.  For those interested, here are some cool technical details about this infectious fake.

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace Now has 12,000 Apps

The growth in the number of apps in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace seems to have accelerated quite a bit in March. Almost 3000 new apps were added in March, bumping up the total app count to 12,000.

Compared to iOS and Android, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is still way behind, but the increased developer interest in the platform is quite encouraging. With Nokia now backing Windows Phone 7 too, it is very likely that Windows Phone 7 will be the third major player in the smartphone market very soon.

Microsoft has tried to incorporate the best aspects of both iOS and Android in Windows Phone 7. Like Android, it can be used by any manufacturer, and like iOS, it is a closed platform with a curated application store. Though the sales of Windows Phone 7 devices haven’t been particularly encouraging, they are likely to improve as the number of apps and games available for the platform increase.

Windows Phone 7 App Stats

Here are some other interesting stats:

There are now about 4500 approved developers for WP7. Windows Phone 7 has 36% free apps, 37% paid apps and 27% trial apps.

Games comprise about 21% of the apps – about 2555 of 12,000. Entertainment and Tools are the other two major categories with a 13% and 12% share in the total apps.

Check out the complete Windows Phone 7 Marketplace stats at WP7Applist.

Windows Phone 7 ‘NoDo’ Update Is Ready

The long awaited update for Windows Phone 7 is finally ready and will slowly be trickling out to handsets during the week. NoDo’ is the internal name (supposedly in jest of Google’s Donutmoniker) for the update and it brings along the much anticipated copy and paste feature, improved Marketplace searching and better Facebook contact integration. Although this update was first estimated to be available early February, Microsoft delayed to ensure compatibility and functionality for all handsets. Recent updates for Windows Phone 7 handsets were met with some troubles for Samsung devices and again were subsequently held off from public accessibility.

Microsoft has updated their Windows Phone 7 update history page to include the updates slated for March. The version numbering is bumped from 7.0.7008.0 to 7.0.7390.0 and a consumer-friendly changelog is present. In addition to core usability updates many other changes have been made, such as

    • Faster apps and games. Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.

    • Other Marketplace improvements. We’ve improved the stability of Marketplace while you download apps.

    • Wi-Fi improvements. We now display your phone’s Media Access Control (MAC) address in Settings. (You might need this info if you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network that uses MAC address filtering.

    • Outlook improvements. We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, "David Alexander [Contoso]").

    • Messaging improvements. We’ve improved the experience of receiving Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages if your phone uses a PIN-locked SIM.

    • Camera improvements. We’ve improved the stability of switching between camera and video modes.

    • Audio improvements. We’ve improved the experience of using a Bluetooth headset to make calls when you’re playing music or videos.

    • Other performance improvements. This month’s update also includes software from several phone manufacturers that improves the performance of specific models. Naturally, if you don’t have one of the affected models, we won’t install this portion of the update on your phone.

Since Windows Phone 7 lacks the integrated carrier customizations that many other platforms allow, Microsoft should have an easy time rolling out updates to all handsets in a timely fashion. Hopefully the days of market and localization-based update pushing are over and this can usher in a fast, seamless and user-friendly method of updating smartphones. Unfortunately, it does appear that you will need to connect your device to a computer in order to update through the Zune suite no OTA at this time.

Microsoft Sues Barnes & Noble Over Android based Nook, Wants to Block NookColor

In a developing story with very little details, Microsoft has sued Barnes and Nobles over their NookColor ebook reader for using Android. Bloomberg reporter Dina Bass has commented that Microsoft wants to block the imports of the device. Microsoft has in the past sued phone manufacturers for using Android.

based on rumors, Amazon is also considering an Android based ebook reader.

More on the story as details are made available.

Update: Here’s a statement from Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property & Licensing at Microsoft,

“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights.  To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers.”

He further said that Foxconn and Inventec are also being sued over the infringements.

Update #2: GeekWire has posted excerpts of the patents that Microsoft has sued Barnes & Noble with.

Nokia Already Begins Work On First Windows Phone 7 Device

Last month, Nokia shocked everyone by announcing its strategic partnership with Microsoft. Nokia went ahead and confirmed that, Windows Phone 7 would be their primary software platform, instead of the burning “Symbian” platform. Earlier, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said that the company will launch its first Windows Phone 7 powered device in the Q1 of 2012, but recently in an interview, Stephen Elop told Reuters that, the company have already begun to work on its first Windows Phone 7 device and it might be unveiled before the end of this year, instead of early 2012.

“We’re right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia. That work is already under way. If this was an acquisition scenario, that wouldn’t be possible,” Elop said. “So there’s a team in place. It’s now a new team of my new leadership, newly minted in terms of their new roles. Now they have to perform.”

nokia windows phone

The agreement between Microsoft and Nokia has not been finalized yet. According to Elop, the agreement is expected to be finalized in the next few months. Moreover, Microsoft will also pay one billion US dollars to Nokia, as a part of their strategic partnership. Stephen Elop further confirmed that, Microsoft is not trying to buy Nokia and he sees no reason for Microsoft to buy Nokia.

“I’m not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business,” Elop said. “To the extent that a partnership has been formed around what they’re really interested in, then what would an acquisition bring other than a good year of anti-trust investigation, huge turmoil, delays?”

Before the Nokia-Microsoft deal, the company has also considered partnering with Google, to use their Android operating system on Nokia smartphones, but they later decided that, it would be too difficult to differentiate its smartphones from other Android smartphones manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and LG. Are you planning to buy the Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 powered device? Will it be a hi-end device or a budget phone? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

Microsoft Announces Its Largest Botnet Takedown: Rustock

Last year,  Operation b49 announced a large win by taking down the botnet Waledec. This year, the  Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) got more confident by taking down the Rustock botnet in a major operation b107.
The botnet has been involved in fake email activity amounting to billions per day. The emails included lottery scams and dangerous prescription drugs. All these activities were controlled with a million computers under the control of this botnet.

The technet blog announcing this takedown has written,

This operation, known as Operation b107, is the second high-profile takedown in Microsoft’s joint effort between DCU, Microsoft Malware Protection Center and Trustworthy Computing known as Project MARS (Microsoft Active Response for Security) to disrupt botnets and begin to undo the damage the botnets have caused by helping victims regain control of their infected computers.

Rustock was one of the largest operational botnets with a capacity of sending 30-billion spam emails every day. A single Rustock infected computer sends out nearly 8000 emails in an hour and the emails being related to pharmaceutical drugs, the botnet poses a serious risk to the healthcare industry.

The operations of a botnet are focused, though not limited to a single task. It can be modified to perform an array of activities ranging from password thefts to launching DDoS attacks.

All our readers are advised to stay alert on botnets, use good firewalls in conjuncture with antivirus software and keep track of the network activity of their computers.



Samsung To Bring Next Gen WP7 Handset



Microsoft and Samsung are working together to bring in the next generation Windows Phone 7 device in the market. For a while Microsoft was looking for self-starter who can lead a virtual team and drive the portfolio planning of the next generation of mobile devices running on Microsoft’ Windows Phone 7 with a leading handset manufacturer (Samsung). The next generation Windows Phone 7 handset is due later this year.

The timing also matches with Microsoft’s plan to roll out the huge Mangoupdate later this year. The Mango update will bring Internet Explorer 9 mobile and limited Multitasking. Last year when Microsoft introduced Windows Phone 7 to the market, it partnered with Samsung, HTC, LG, etc., to manufacture the hardware. Microsoft also has strict restrictions on the minimum hardware requirement. Microsoft also partnered with Nokia last month to bring out more Windows Phone 7 handsets by the end of this year. Although it is said that Nokia is waiting for Microsoft to release Windows Phone 7.5 update or Mango before starting with WP7 handset production.

The Microsoft-Nokia is an exclusive deal where Nokia benefits from features only available on Nokia manufactured Windows Phone 7 handset. With Nokia making the shift, unsurprisingly Microsoft didn’t want to burden them with partnering as OEM for next generation WP7 handsets. In either way, previous bunch of WP7 handset had rather impressive hardware and design and hopefully Samsung and Microsoft together raise the bar even further.


Download Internet Explorer 9 Final

Microsoft has just made the final release of Internet Explorer 9 available for download. The beta of IE 9 has been downloaded over 40 million times already. The final version was supposed to launch on March 14, at 9 am PM PST, and it has.

Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer has been one of the most abused browsers of all time, especially IE 6. With IE 9, Microsoft has promised to make good with web developers and has embraced most open web standards.

Internet Explorer 8 was quite well received, and even though I use Opera as my primary browser, I still use IE 8 for sites which just don’t work with Opera. I will now be upgrading that with Internet Explorer 9.

To download Internet Explorer 9, just go to this link – Internet Explorer 9 Download

Select the version of IE9 (32-bit or 64-bit) and click on Download Now.

IE 9 offers a much better browsing experience than previous versions, and is also much faster. Here’s a list of the new features IE 9 brings to the table.

Update: Here are some direct download links (Courtesy Win Rumors)

Kinect Sales Over 10 Million; Bags a Guinness World Record

Xbox KinectThe Xbox Kinect has been a very popular device for users of the Xbox 360 gaming console and has also attracted a very active modder community. It has had record sales since launch which have been vetted by Guinness World Records.

Boosted by Christmas, the Kinect had sold over 8 million units by the first week of January 2011, with an average of 133,333 units sold daily, in its first 60 days of sale. It has been confirmed as the fastest selling consumer electronics device by Guinness.

“The sales figures here speak for themselves,” said Gaz Deaves, Gaming Editor for Guinness World Records. “According to independent research, no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span, which is an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector.”

Today, Microsoft confirmed that the Kinect has sold over 10 million units. Sales of the Kinect sensor and Kinect games are only expected to rise further. After a long time, Microsoft finally has a huge hit on its hands.

via Xbox and Guinness

HTC HD7 WP7 ‘NoDo’ Update Leaks!

Yesterday, we reported that the WP7 NoDo update for the HTC Mozart leaked on the Internet. Today, a new RUU/ROM containing the NoDo update for the HD7 has surfaced over at XDA-Developers forum.

Microsoft will be releasing the NoDo update for all the WP7 handsets in the next couple of weeks. The NoDo update for WP7 will bring with it copy and paste functionality along with some other new features. The apps and games loading time have also been drastically reduced.


The ROM is apparently the final build, which will soon be officially released by Microsoft. The ROM is meant only for unbranded, generic HD7 handsets. Users who have a carrier branded version, can flash this ROM by converting their microSD card into a gold card.

HD7 owners who flashed this ROM reported improved overall performance and some sound improvements as well. HTC HD7 owners, who are interested in flashing the leaked ROM/RUU on their phone, can download it from here.