What is a Virus?

Tech Glossary: What is a Virus?

Tech Glossary: What is a Virus? Virus is a term that is thrown around a lot. The easiest way to describe it is to think about your computer like the human body. A virus is an infection with varying degrees of severity. Some are just mild annoyances, eg. sluggish response,[...]

FYI: #Alert Anything Linked to Compromised Gmail Accounts is at Risk!

Warning! Don’t Click that Google Docs Link You Just Received in Your Email Did someone just share a random Google Doc with you? First of all — Do not click on that Google Doc link you might have just received in your email and delete it immediately — even if[...]
USB Drives filled with Viruses and Malware are being found in peoples mailboxes

USB Drives filled with Viruses and Malware are being found in peoples mailboxes

The Basics This is currently actively happening in Australia (read police bulletin). These drives are full of malware and viruses. Upon insertion, the victims have experienced fraudulent media streaming service offers as well as other serious issues (we would imagine ransomware viruses, and viruses designed for identity theft). It’s only[...]

‘Godless’ Malware – 90% of Android Devices Vulnerable to Root Exploits!

If you’re running Android 5.1 or earlier, you want to read this: Summary: Android 5.1 Lollipop and earlier is vulnerable these malware infected apps were able to bypass security checks/reviews for the app when added into the online app stores within Google Play and others distributed on a variety of app stores,[...]
OSX/KeRanger-A Screen

Apple/Mac Users Alert: Ransomware

We’ve all heard the myth, “Mac’s don’t get viruses.” While that urban legend has never been true, it was pretty rare for a Mac machine to actually get a virus. Why — they had a smaller user base. Historically, Mac users mostly needed to be concerned with adware versions of[...]
Safety First while on the WWW

GM Bot Banking Trojan Virus open for public use: How-to Protect Yourself (Android users)

Background information The base source code for a really nasty Android-based family of trojan viruses was released into public forums – for free – in December 2015, and from what we are hearing this family of viruses is on the rise on devices. The GM Bot viruses (also called SlemBunk, Bankosy, as well as MazarBot)[...]

New Facebook Hoax – 4.5 million company shares

This hoax isn’t as bad as many that we have seen in the past as it only has you copy and paste a specific status message. More potentially scary ones have you click on something, then give an app or website permission to your personal information (often including your email[...]
ALERT: Computer Repair Phone Scams on the Rise!

ALERT: Computer Repair Phone Scams on the Rise!

Beware: Computer Repair Phone Scams Are On The Rise Again!
by André Thomas

We have been receiving calls from many customers about supposed computer repair companies targeting individuals to “help fix their computer”.

They call you, often asking for you by name, then walk you through opening error logs and reports in an attempt to scare you into giving them remote, unfettered access to your system to fix your ‘problems’.

As a rule of thumb, these are scams! Unless you are specifically paying someone to remotely monitor your system, no one should be calling you to let you know about errors or viruses on your computer. The prices for these ‘fixes’ generally range in price from $200 to $500, and instead of fixing your computer, they only damage your computer installing viruses, malware, or worse.

To go into a bit more detail on how they scare consumers, I’ll list out some of their common tricks.

  • They claim to be calling from Microsoft or some highly rated Microsoft Partner. Companies of this size do not have time to randomly call users to fix their computers. The people calling are not whom they claim to be and most of the time you are simply throwing away your money.
  • They will have you open your Event Viewer to show you “all the errors your system has”.
    ALERT: Computer Repair Phone Scams on the Rise!
    (click for larger view)

    It is quite common to have some errors in your event viewer. While some are extremely critical to have repaired, most simply refer to timeouts or minor glitches in programs, and do not justify a major overhaul of your system, especially at the prices you are being quoted. If there are serious errors, you will most likely have noticed them before opening your event viewer.

  • Some of these scam calls have even gone so far as to state that these errors are viruses. They tell you to try and delete one of them and when that fails, claim you have viruses that can not be deleted and that you need their help.
  • All of this leads to the grand finale (and most dangerous portion) of the call. They ask you to open a web browser and go to a specified address. When the site loads, most of them look extremely reputable. Guiding you to a link on one of their pages, they tell you to download and run a remote control utility, giving them full access to your computer so they can “fix it”.Why is the most dangerous portion? Once you have given them access, they are able to do just about anything they want, including installing their own viruses, spyware, trojans, etc. These can be extremely harmful if you ever use your computer to check credit card balances, pay bills, log in to your bank account, etc. If they have installed a keylogger program, they now have your usernames and passwords to all of these sites.

What should you do if you receive one of these calls?

The safest thing is to simply hang up on them. If your are feeling adventurous, try to get as much info from them as you can, including a number where you can call them back. This information could then be given to the proper authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communication Commission, or even your state’s Attorney General or local police.

If you have already received one of these calls and have given them access, shut down your computer and get a reputable, qualified technician to take a look at it. You should also consider changing all your passwords from a secure computer. If you notice any transactions on accounts that you did not make, immediately report them your bank or appropriate financial institution.

Never, I repeat, Never give someone you do not know and trust remote access into your computer.

Security Vulnerabilities and Why Updates Are Important!

Security Vulnerabilities and Why Updates Are Important!

Security Vulnerabilities and Why Updates Are Important! by André Thomas The internet can be a scary place, especially if you have security vulnerabilities in your system. Whether you are on a smartphone, tablet, netbook, laptop, or desktop, you need to protect yourself while browsing. There are a lot of security[...]

The Busy Computer Seasons: a Virus Writer’s dream!

The Busy Computer Seasons: a Virus Writer’s dream! by André Thomas In the world of computers, there are two primary busy seasons – the holiday shopping season of November and December as well as Tax Time, though not in the ways you might expect. Viruses, malware and spyware have an ebb[...]

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