e-mail excerpt from a customer:
We recently ordered an upgraded modem from Comcast. The day after we installed it, some company named Tech America contacted my husband and told him they needed to remote into our computer to fix some things regarding the upgrade. The next day, they called back again and wanted to get in again. I told my husband it seemed suspicious to me, so he called Comcast. They said they never contracted with this company, and what they did was not authorized by them. They actually filed a complaint on our behalf. But in the meantime, they were all around our computer. We’re not sure what to do. We’ve already canceled our credit cards, and I’m going to contact the credit bureau. But we don’t have any idea what all they may have gained access to…passwords, email, bank accounts…
NEVER…..EVER, Let someone you do not know have remote access to your computer for any reason!
A new browser-based rogue called “Defru” pretends to find malware, attempts to sell you fake security products, and prevents connection to 300+ websites.
Facebookers beware. An old trick has struck again – it’s called the Facebook color changer, and research has confirmed that it is malware.
Calls from someone saying they are from Windows or Microsoft The caller, often with an accent, saying “I’m calling from Microsoft” or “Windows”. They will tell you that they have a report from their ISP of “serious virus problems” from your computer. They will start by instructing to press the “Windows” and “R” Then they will ask you to open a program called “Windows Event Viewer” which lists errors, (some “critical” errors) which causes most people to make the fatal mistake of trusting the caller. (Conveniently, the event viewer will always show some warning or errors which the scammer can leverage to instill fear.) (Seeing errors in Windows Event viewer is perfectly normal and does not mean you have a problem) You are then directed to a website where a download awaits, (Team Viewer ) which is a program that hands over remote control of your computer, and the caller “installs” various “fixes” for the problem. The bogus “Microsoft” /”Windows” rep asks for a certain amount of money for a “subscription” to the “preventative service”. Not only could you be paying for something that’s completely unnecessary, but you may be giving your entire computer over to the scammers. They may even start by running a program called SYSKEY in which they will install a windows boot password which they will tell you.Syskey also enables you to configure the machine to prompt for the computer startup key at boot time (this can be up to 128 characters long) – this is a great option for laptops as it simply takes the form of a password(phrase) that you enter before logging into Windows. However, if you do not pay them, they change the password and NO ONE has access to your computer! IF YOU GET A CALL LIKE THIS, HANG UP THE PHONE!
As of 1/25/2015, There is still a lot of this going around and we are often getting calls from customers wondering if this is a legitimate call. IT IS NOT!
The ICE Cyber Crime Center Virus is categorized as lock screen ransomware that scam and threaten infected computer users to pay a non-existent fine to cybercriminal. This kind of ransomware works alike-blocks you out of the Windows operating system and all the applications on your computer by displaying a full screen fake notification pretending to be from the local authorities and asks for a fine to regain access.
The symptoms of being infected by The ICE Cyber Crime Center virus:
Ⅰ. The ICE Cyber Crime Center virus will block you out of the Windows operating system and all the applications on your computer.
Ⅱ. You get a lock screen notification titled with “Your computer has been blocked” instead whenever you try to boot your computer into Windows operating system or Safe Mode.
Ⅲ. In the fake notification, it claims that illegal online activities have been detected on your computer, so you have to pay a none-existent fine of 300 USD via MoneyPak vouchers within 48 hours to unlock your computer, otherwise you will be accused.
Ⅳ. To make the notification more authentic, it manages to gain access to your webcam and trick the user into thinking they are under surveillance.
Ⅴ. Even you are lucky enough to restart your computer to Safe Mode successfully, you may find that all the restore points are deleted.
Even if it exploits the name and logo of The ICE Cyber Crime Center, you should be aware that the “ICE-The ICE Cyber Crime Center-Your computer has been blocked” message is a scam and this bogus notification has nothing to do with this authority. You should never pay the ransom as it requested, for the cyber criminals will not unlock your computer even you pay the money. On the contrary, this may put your personal information and credit card information at risk.
How Does The ICE Cyber Crime Center Virus Infect a Computer?
The ICE Cyber Crime Center virus can infect a computer in various ways. In most instances, it is performed via drive-by download or Trojan horse that are placed on malicious or compromised websites. When you visit such websites, it will be downloaded automatically and then exploits the vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system or the applications on your computer to get itself installed.
Cyber criminals use spam emails to distribute The ICE Cyber Crime Center virus, too. Usually, the infected attachments containing in such emails are the executable program for The ICE Cyber Crime Center virus. The links in such emails leads you to the malicious or compromised websites mentioned above.
If you get this virus, Please use the power button on your computer to shut it down.
Then, call us. We can remove it for you
It means you should take action. After April, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.
Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company or home computers to potential risks, such as:
- Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
- Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.
Get current with Windows and Office. This option has an upside well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables your organization to take advantage of latest technology trends.
The critical thing for users that find themselves dependent on the Windows XP after April 8, 2014, was to look at how XP has access to the internet and the outside world. Because the one big thing you’re not going to get is any more security updates for XP. You can hide it behind firewalls and everything else but if somebody spots an opportunity and a flaw in the XP operating system and writes code that gets into you — most of that will come in through the internet and emails. 9/8/2013
You receive an ad promising to scan your computer for problems or find viruses, etc.Very often these are programs that are going to create the exact problem you want to avoid. Never click on it! I can’t stress this enough and it counts for software sold on infomercials, too!
What is it? And how do you protect against it? Online criminals have launched a major internet attack designed to hold victims’ computer data hostage, and demand a ransom of hundreds of dollars be paid. WARNING: the CyberLocker ransomware – which encrypts computer files and demands a ransom be paid for the decryption key – has been distributed via spammed-out emails claiming to come from banks and financial institutions. CryptoLocker is normally distributed via spammed-out email messages, possibly claiming to come from your bank or a delivery company (FedEx, UPS, USPS). If you click on the attached file (which might pretend at first glance to be a PDF file, but actually use the .PDF.EXE (TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THIS —> .PDF.EXE ) double extension trick to hide its executable nature), your computer becomes infected. Once your computer is infected, CryptoLocker hunts for files to encrypt. It doesn’t just on your hard drive, but on any connected drives, including mapped network shares, and even folders that you might sync up with the Cloud – such as DropBox. After files have been encrypted, CryptoLocker displays a message that demands you electronically send the ransom payment (options may include Bitcoin, MoneyPak cashU, or UKash) in order to decrypt the files. IS ALL MY DATA LOST? The first hope has to be that you have kept regular backups of your important data, separate from your computer, and that you can restore your system from them. If you weren’t keeping backups, then please learn something from this horrible experience. When your data is encrypted and the key is not available to you (the criminals have it), the data is essentially lost forever. OR……
Secondly, pay several hundred dollars.
How do you protect against CryptoLocker?
Cryptolocker is a serious threat. If you’re unlucky enough to have your computer infected by it, and haven’t taken precautions, you may find yourself in the unpleasant situation of having to choose whether to pay the ransom, or never gain access to your data again. That means you’re saying goodbye to your family photographs, and any other personal data you have accumulated over the years. If you’re a business then the potential losses could be even more significant. Finally, for goodness sake, make backups of your important data and keep them separate from your computer (to prevent malware like CryptoLocker from encrypting your backups as well) Disconnect that drive when you are NOT backing up your data to it.That way, if the worst does happen, you should be able to restore your valuable data and not pay up. 12/3/2013
Do you want to stop Ads popping up related to something you’re searching for on the internet? Are you having those ads follow you all around everywhere you go on the internet? That’s what advertisers are doing these days. Sometimes is will be a coincidence that you see the same ad on different websites. However at other times, it’s more deliberate. There is technology that lets companies track and share information about their website visitors’ interests, an ad you see on one site may appear on another specifically because of the content you chose or the items you bought, or even looked at. This tactic is called “behavioral targeting,” and it helps advertisers save a significant amount of money off their budgets by delivering ads only to those people whom they believe may be the most interested in their ads. This is determined by monitoring your behavior on the Internet of which websites you visit, what you buy and which links you click. The government is starting to take notice (finally) and will eventually implement some new rules applying to online advertisers. Among these ideas is a do-not-track list that’s similar to the Do Not Call Registry for telemarketers. (Sometimes I do wonder just how well this works, really) where you would be able to list yourself and marketers would not be allowed to create anonymous profiles of you.
So, until that happens, here are some ways you can take control of the online advertising:
(1) On Yahoo! sites, look for the AdChoices icon that links to more information on the ads you’re seeing and your options for managing your privacy.
(2) Download an Internet browser plug-in that automatically prevents sites from creating a profile on you.
(3) For GOOGLE: If you are using Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, With this browser plugin (below) you can permanently opt out of the DoubleClick cookie, which is an advertising cookie that Google uses. The plugin lets you keep your opt-out status for this browser even when you clear all cookies. http://www.google.com/settings/ads/plugin To provide website visitors the ability to prevent their data from being collected and used by Google Analytics, we have developed the Google Analytics opt-out Browser add-on: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/eula.html
(4) For Mozilla: Annoyed by adverts? Troubled by tracking? Bothered by banners? Install Adblock Plus now to regain control of the internet and change the way that you view the web. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/?src=cb-dl-featured