Saturday, September 20, 2008

How to Avoid Fake AV

Have you been one of the many who have had the rogue anti-virus installed on your PC and wondered how you got it? Actions you have taken may have installed this nasty piece of malware. Here are a few of the ways you may have had the fake AV installed on your machine.

  • Spammed email messages (ecards) that contain malicious links
  • Instant messaging applications where links are sent as messages
  • Private messages in social networking sites
  • As codecs for videos hosted on social networking sites
  • Downloaded by malware in a prior infection
  • Mass SEO poisoning involving several compromised Web sites
What happens from that point may vary, but the bad guys goal is to trick the user through a variety of system modifications and scary warning messages that something is wrong with their PCs. These scare tactics include showing fake Windows popup balloons, modifying the PC’s wallpaper to an alarming message, and performing an unsolicited system scan that yields worrying scan results.

These attacks were starting to pop up in August, and they have continued here in September. This basically tells me the attacks are pretty successful. Beware of the social engineering that actually tricks you into installing this rogue AV badware from the criminal attackers.

Stay safe and have a great weekend.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fire Fighters Targeted in Phishing Scam

The Boston Fire Fighters Credit Union was targeted in a social engineering scam purporting to take a survey and then they will credit your account with $99.99 after you complete it. Well, those malicious attackers hit paydirt it sounds like. Many fell for it and gave up their credentials for their accounts. Sounds like the Credit Union was notified and hopefully many of the folks who fell for it, aren't going to be out too much money if any.

Click here to read the full story. Remember my advise. If it sounds too good, it probably is. And last, never respond to unsolicited e-mails. Protect yourself and your financial health. Stay safe and we are thinking of those being affected by Ike.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cleaner 2009 = Fake AV

Hope the weekend has gone good for you. I've written about Antivirus 2009, now we are seeing another application calling itself Cleaner 2009. It performs system scans that shows false positives or exaggerated spyware results. Even though Cleaner 2009 attempts to look legitimate with its reviews, you don't really want it on your home or small business PC's. Do not fall for it. It is NOT a legitimate spyware removal tool, only a waste of time and, most of all, money.

Cleaner 2009 prompts users with multiple warning messages and popups that state Cleaner 2009 detected spyware on the machine. This is a poor attempt by Cleaner 2009 to get you to purchase the Cleaner 2009 program. Cleaner 2009 program may be difficult to remove manually. I've had a few machines that I have seen with the fake AV on it and it is a pesky thing to get rid of. Popular rogue anti-spyware programs like Cleaner 2009 are dressed up and renamed to confuse unsuspecting computer users.

Stay safe and have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Are You Getting Obama Spam Like Me?

Well I have this throw away e-mail address that I get a lot of "interesting" spam sent to me. I have been finding some rather unusual e-mail from Barrack, Michelle, and Joe too. When you look at the header information, it is being sent from the IP which belongs to EHLO It appears that the Obama campaign doesn't mind buying e-mail lists so they can spam to millions. The people who maintain these large e-mail lists are actively participating in not so nice ways of collecting these e-mail addresses.

I'm not an Obama fan. Not really that much of a McCain fan either. I do notice that I haven't got these types of e-mails from the RNC. And I find at the bottom of the e-mail, an unsubscribe link. I have always advised people to NEVER click on links in spam e-mails because you don't know what the person responsible will do with this information. Those with not so good intentions use the unsubscribe link to verify that they have a valid e-mail address and that address will be "verified" in a way that these people who market these list can sell for more.

Delete all spam e-mails that you get. Never, never, never click on any links or attachments from unsolicited e-mails.