Fake updates are bad for you

Fake updates. More and more I am seeing computers infected with software installed by fake updates. You are browsing the Internet and suddenly you are on an official looking page saying you need to update your Flash Player or your Chrome or Firefox browser. If you do the update several really annoying programs are installed that then modify your browser so you get sent to places that install even more of this crap.

The best thing to do is never do an update from something that shows up in your browser. Chrome and Firefox update automatically in the background with little intervention from the user. Flash will notify you with a popup by the clock that you need an update and current versions can be set to also automatically update without user intervention.

Here is an article on the ZD Net site talking about the same thing and showing some images. Go check it out for additional info.


Email scams and the Affordable Care Act.

So yeah, the Affordable Care Act gets implemented and within days emails start getting sent out either being for it or against it and providing links to sites that support these views. Also, emails for surveys are getting sent out, again, both for and against. Unsurprisingly most of these emails are fake and the links go to the usual sites that install malware on your computers.

These emails make use of the passions people are feeling now. It’s basically an email version of “Like this if you hate/love Obama care!” and in the heat of the moment passion people are going to click those links …… and then be infected.

As always, don’t click limks in emails people. 🙂

Report mentions harsh things about you!!

I received this email today. The subject says “Is this for real?” Well, no, it’s not for real. But they really want you to think it is. The email talks about some vague “bad things” about you being reported on a web site and encourages you to click a link to find out what it is. They also provide this ominous warning: “FOREWARNING: By not doing anything about this, you risk good friends and loving family discovering things you never wanted them them see”. All the links go to the same site that undoubtedly installs some malware or spyware on your computer.

More email scams

This must be Summer email scam week. I received 2 more scams today. One, another Facebook scam and the other from ADP security, a home security system company.

Of course neither are from who they say they are but are convincing enough to get unsuspecting people to click their links.

The Facebook email says some person I have never heard of has done a friend request. Of course every link in the email goes to some non-Facebook web site.

The ADP Security email talks about changing their web site and their way of communicating with your security system. This would be ineffective for anyone not an ADP customer, but any ADP customer would be inclined to click the links in the email which of course do not go to ADP but to some other site.

If you hover your cursor over these links before clicking you can see that they aren’t links to what they say they are.

New Facebook email scam

I received an email today that looked like it was from Facebook that said someone requested a password change. It looked legit. However all the links in the email pointed to a site that was clearly NOT Facebook and would most likely infect you with something.

The really clever/bad thing about the email links is that there was one that said “If you didn’t request a new password, let us know immediately”. People receiving this email and believing it was from Facebook would most likely click this link and suffer the consequences.

It’s getting so you can’t trust ANY emails that you get from ANYBODY.

USPS email scam

USPS email scam this time. Talks about trying to deliver an item and failed due to bad zip code and that it will be returned unless I pick it up. There is of course an attachment they want to you run to print a “label” so you can pick up this “package” that contains an executable file that will undoubtedly infect you with something nasty.

Email scams

The rate of fake emails intended to sucker me in to clicking links that would infect my computer or having attachments that do the same has picked up considerably recently. I am now receiving 3-4 emails a day of this nature.

It’s pointless to try to list each individual scam as there are now so many. Bank transfers gone awry. Shipment delivery fails. Fake government notifications.

You should be suspicious of any email that wants you to click a link or open an attachment, no matter who it is from.

It would seem most people are indeed being suspicious as I don’t get many calls for malware/virus infections these days, but I feel I must keep reminding people to remain vigilant. These attack attempts aren’t going away any time soon and tend to get better as time goes on.

Email scam

Today I received an email from “Verizon” about my account. I don’t have an account with Verizon so I knew this was a scam.

All the links point to a web site that is definitely not Verizon and directly opens up some HTML code. I can see someone who DOES have a Verizon account blindly clicking one of the links and getting infected.

It’s getting so you can’t trust any email that looks like it’s from a major corporation.

Another email scam

Another new clever email scam. These guys get smarter all the time.

I received an email purporting to be from Google telling me that they blocked a phising attempt and that I had to paste the provided URL (web address) in to my browser to “validate” my email account. The provided URL goes to a Google Docs spreadsheet to make it look legit and it does actually go to Google Docs spreadsheet. The problem is that spreadsheet has a macro/script that infects your computer.