Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another Computer Scam Warning

Last week, along with the new cable being much faster, we started getting pop-ups that sped past AdBlock Plus and all sorts of bogus warnings to call bogus numbers and get ourselves ripped off.  So I checked one that looked very realistic at MicroSoft proper, and it said there that if there really WAS something in your computer using it as a zombie computer to attack other computers, your provider is responsible for contacting you. 

Quote from the web site at MS.
Will Microsoft ever call me?
There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer—such as during the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions. These calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.
End Quote
The implication is that your internet provider would be the one contacting you.  We all know, or should know that along with all the other wonderful things out there, the internet can tell us our IP number, who we are if we are logged in (thanks, Google, you ass!) or all the other little bits of info in the data packets that come and go normally.  So yeah, when I got this, I was like O_o  damn cable....

screen cap of the offensive thing, open in another window to see how 'authentic' this looks.

The thing is yelling at me with a computer voice, despite my volume being down to a tiny 'plink' and it's listing my cable company, my computer system, everything that's at stake, right?  Except...it wouldn't let me close the window to shut it to hell up.  This is a dead give-away of being crapulous.  Nice things don't lock up your browser and don't pop up more threats when you try to escape them.  They'll probably realize that and start unlocking things immediately, to convince you they are real.  

So I called my cable company, not that number on the screen, but the number in my phone that I know is the cable company, DUH! I have virus programs and this opened in a news link window.  Google News to be exact.  Hmmm.  Anyway, if you see shite like this, don't call THEIR number, Call your ISP company and ask them personally.  The guy I got at T/W was utterly confused, thought it was an email scam, but no, that's not their number, and they have no interest in our computers, nothing getting through their system.  So it's a new one even on them. 

Basically, the hackers took the cue from MS and now are pretending to be your provider contacting you. All this information is right there in your data packets going back and forth on the internet unless you're some super encrypted uber-survivor type.  The T/W tech guy gave me one good piece of advice: Never call a phone number in a popup.  Never!  But this looks very real, restates what MS web site says and all that stuff.  

Another nasty trick they've pulled recently is a new window will suddenly open behind the one you're useing, with a YouTube clone and someone will start lecturing a business group or something, very loudly and obnoxiously, while triggering an .EXE file to download.  If you're watching something the audio will take over.  Probably by the time most people get over being startled and irritated by the noise and force close the lecture screen via control/alternate/delete and their task manager screen, the .EXE file is down, un-noticed.  So watch for that one as well.  It's a simple matter to set your computer to not run anything without your permission.  

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