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ClipMate Newsletter

August 2008

Welcome to our August Newsletter, featuring information about a strange "clipboard attack", and a ClipMate usage tip.

Newsletter Contents:

ClipMate 7.3

The current release for XP/Vista/2000  7.3.10, (However, Windows98 users should stick with 7.2.)

Updating

Weird Clipboard Attack from Flash Advertisements

The weirdest thing happened last week. I was browsing the internet, reading about the Olympics or something, and all of a sudden, I'm hearing "boing boing boing" from ClipMate.  It sounded just like the "clipboard loop" effect that happens sometimes on XP if programs improperly disable and then re-enable the clipboard event chain. But I was on Vista, using Vista-style clipboard notification, and "clipboard loops" cannot happen in this situation.  So I hunted it down....

There was a new clip at the top of the ClipMate list, which I hadn't put there. It was an URL from a site that I had never visited.  ClipMate listed the source as FireFox (my browser), but didn't list a SourceURL. So I knew it wasn't something that I had copied.  FireFox must have done a plain-text copy, without my knowledge.   I started closing down tabs in the browser, and the problem abruptly stopped.   I'm not going to list it here for safety, but the data being copied to the clipboard was an URL that contained: xp - vista - update dot net.  (but without the spaces).  So I Googled it, and turned up some discussions on it being related to the "AntiVirus 2009". This is one of those fake anti-virus programs that claims that you are infected, and the only way to clean your system is by purchasing their full version program.  Yuck.  But other discussions talk about having their clipboard hijacked, where everything that they paste contains the URL to the "xp - vista - update dot net" site. Bingo! 

Here's what's going on, as far as I can tell:

The people behind Antivirus2009 (not to be confused with Norton Antivirus 2009 by Symantec!) have signed up with large advertising networks, and have slipped in some rogue ads which hijack your clipboard by copying their nasty URL once every second. It stops when you close your browser (or tab).  Their goal is to have unsuspecting users accidentally paste their URL into something that will be seen by someone else, such as an e-mail, blog post, blog comment, etc... There's a more in-depth discussion on our support forum: http://www.thornsoft.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=12598. If you come across this thing, please drop us a note so that we can learn more about it.

And again, if you see this phenomenon (unexpected URLs appearing on the clipboard, and piling up in ClipMate), that does not mean that you are infected with anything. It just means that you are viewing a web page with one of these rogue "Malvertizements".  If you know what site it is, please contact the site owner!

Special Offer Long Weekends

Everybody loves long weekends in the summer.  And nothing helps get the work done sooner than having ClipMate running at work.  What's that you say? ClipMate isn't part of your standard corporate PC software suite?   Well it should be!  While we wait for THAT to happen, understand that our single-user license allows you to run ClipMate on up to two computers. So you can run it at home and at work, using the same registration key. If your work PC is "locked down", you may be able to use the "Portable" version on a USB stick. But please don't violate any rules - if your workplace insists on "company software only", you may indeed need a separate license (but not because WE say so).  The best option, of course, is for your whole department or company to get ClipMate and be more productive. You're going to need it, to compete in the new "Global Economy".  So when your boss asks for ideas on how to keep things moving forward during the summer despite vacations and long weekends, tell him or her to get ClipMate for everyone!  As a newsletter subscriber, you can get a 10% discount on a workgroup license for ClipMate. From now until September 1, site license orders for 10 or more users will receive an additional 10% off!  You must use this link to qualify for the discount: http://www.thornsoft.com/buynow.php?code=SUMMER2008  This link will default to 10 copies, but you can update the quantity if you are ordering more than 10 licenses.  The more you order, the more you save, as the 10% discount is IN ADDITION to our normal quantity discount pricing.

ClipMate Tip - Drag/Drop

Many programs can accept data directly from ClipMate via drag/drop. This can sometimes be quicker than pasting - just select a clip (or many clips), and drag/drop right into the target program. This works in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, FireFox, Many e-mail programs including Outlook and TheBat!, and our favorite text editor, EmEdit. Give it a try!  It'll work with any program that supports "OLE Drag and Drop for TEXT", and sometimes RTF and Bitmap can be dropped as well.

That's it for now!  As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.  If you would like to unsubscribe from this list, just let us know.

Chris Thornton, President
Thornsoft Development, Inc.

Note: Replies should be directed to support@thornsoft.com or sales@thornsoft.com Replies sent directly to the list server will be lost. To change your subscription information, visit http://www.thornsoft.com/listserv.htm

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