Email Scam

These email scams seem to come in clumps. Received an email today from a hotmail account purporting to be sending me invoices for my end of August statement. It has an attachment that is an HTML file that will undoubtedly infect you with something if you open it. The body message is in poor English as well which is always a dead give away.

Email Scam

These guys are pretty clever. This scam involves a fake order from Amazon. I was notified just moments ago that the Samsung 40″ HD TV I ordered was shipped and will arrive on the 21st. Of course I didn’t order a TV from Amazon. Of course the email provides MANY links to click to get information. All of them lead to the same web site that is not Amazon. The email is pretty convincing looking exactly like an email one would get from Amazon. The email address it came from is not Amazon however. They made no attempt to fake the email address this came from so it’s pretty obvious it’s not from Amazon.

Quickbooks Scam

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last scam alert I posted. Got a new one today. A fake email from Intuit that states you need to get a security update or you won’t be able to access your Quickbooks data anymore. The link provided takes you to a web site not remotely connected to Intuit where you will undoubtedly be infected with something nasty.

Once again people, don’t ever click on links in emails.

Email Scam

This week’s scam. You receive an email saying <someone’s email address> has just sent you an ecard from (or some other ecard place). There is a link to click that looks like it will take you to said ecard but if you hover over the link and look at where it will actually take you you will see it goes to someplace completely different and most likely will infect you with malware. Once again, don’t click on links in emails people, no matter what they say or who they appear to be from. Ever.

FBI malware scam

Seems all I am doing these days is warning people about “Today’s scam”. Welcome to the Internet I guess.

So, today’s scam is a bogus FBI warning that, of course, asks for money. From the FBI:

THE UNITED STATES Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has alerted the public about a virus named Reveton that issues fake FBI warnings demanding infected victims pay to unlock their computers.

Reveton is described as “drive-by” malware due to its ability to activate and install itself when users visit a compromised web site. Unlike most viruses, it doesn’t need to install a file or attachment.

Once it has infected a victim’s PC, Reveton then locks their computer, saying the user is in violation of US federal law.

More information can be found here:

I have also been receiving emails this week thanking me for my order from some company I have never heard of with a link to check said order. Obviously when you click said link you are infected with some malware or virus. These emails all say the same thing but come from different people and companies.

I suppose we won’t see the end of these scams until people stop blindly clicking links. Yeah, that will happen.

New Internet Scam
“Drive-by” malware installs easily, locks computers, and demands payment.

Facebook Scam

Another Facebook related scam. If you receive an email claiming you have been tagged in a photo on Facebook don’t click any links. The link could take you to a site that infects you with malware. Some of the emails have “Faceboook” spelled with 3 o’s.

I personally received one of these emails last week. When I hovered over the link it was to some site not remotely connected to Facebook so I deleted the email.

Facebook scam

A new Facebook scam exploits your desire to get a free pair of Oakleys sunglasses. Don’t just blindly click on suspicious links. Remember: if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

Nuking from Orbit is NOT the best option

I am not sure what caused me to write about this today. This has been going on since the beginning of the home computer revolution.

I was reading an article about the latest Ubuntu that some pundit had installed on his mother-in-law’s computer. What he said in the article was that she had gotten malware and the best solution was to “nuke it from orbit”. In other words, format the hard drive and start over from scratch.

This is typical in the pundit circles. I assume this is because they don’t actually fix computers for a living. They just write about computers or write about fixing them. Their conclusions are based on a very small sample of situations and experience, at least when compared to someone who makes their living repairing computers every day.

Nuking from orbit is NOT the best option. I can clean up the worst infected computers usually in an hour or less. That is less time than it takes to format and re-install Windows plus all the other software that was on there before. Nuking from orbit is the lazy man’s solution to a malware/virus infection.

So if you should get infected with malware or a virus never let someone tell you your only decent option is to format and re-install. It’s not. Competent computer repair technicians can clean up systems without using that option quite nicely thank you.

As an aside, keep in mind that “pundits” in any industry have a very limited view of the real world. Their sample size is very small. If you want to know how good something is ask the people who make a living repairing whatever it is you are wondering about.

Spreading Malware

So it appears THE way to spread malware now is by email attachments like the ones I have been posting about. I received another one today about the Delta Airlines tickets I supposedly purchased. The attachment was a zip file and the email said there was a document attached. The zip file had an executable in it that would most likely take you to a site that would infect you. It might infect you directly but I wasn’t going to try it. 😛

Email scam

Got yet another email. This time it purports to be from UPS and even has a UPS.COM email address. It says they missed a delivery and to click the link to find out about it. Same HTML link that takes you to a web site that infects you.