New “LinkedIn” threat

Published by dave at 11:43 AM under Current Threats | Malware | social media | Daily Tips

Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of email “invitations” to connect with people on LinkedIn, a popular career networking site.  There are three glaring problems which should raise your suspicion immediately: 1) the emails are arriving at an email address that I have not associated with LinkedIn, 2) I've never heard of the person "making the request", and 3) the URL to accept the invitation is to a phishing site. 

This is a classic case of social engineering to either scam you or damage your computer.  Notice how in this photo when you hover over the “link” to connect, it is directing you to a site other than LinkedIn?  Best bet anytime you receive a message like this is delete delete delete.  Don’t let curiosity get the better of you.



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ALERT! New scareware scheme

This news just in from AV solution provider Sunbelt Software:

Security researchers have uncovered a new scareware attack named MSIL/Zeven, which lures users into downloading a fake antivirus software.

The malware identifies users' browsers and displays an authentic-looking version of the browsers' malware warning page, as a way of convincing individuals that the alert is real. When users click on the link presented in the fake warning page, they are directed to a website where they can purchase antivirus software known at "Win7 AV."

The site that offers the antivirus software is designed to look identical to a legitimate Microsoft website, though security experts warn users that the page is fake. To defend against these malicious crimes, leaders in the field advise users to be skeptical of what they download from off the internet, as well as install the latest malware protections.

Many researchers have found the new attack website's design is so close to the real thing, even skilled professionals have a difficult time deducing whether it's a fake.

Recently, security analysts uncovered scareware malware loaded onto a computer at a major airport in England. The presence of malware on public terminals could be a dangerous signal for web users, who may be giving their private information to cyber crooks without even realizing it.

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Today's Tip: Update to AntiSpyware XP2009

Last week I alerted you to a common trojan trap that is surfacing all over the web under a variety of names. AntiSpyware XP2009 is just one name. Rather than update the original post, I have decided to post this once again because of the EXTREME DANGER this type of threat poses.

A colleague of mine recently passed away. While searching for news about him, I navigated to a site where I was greeted by this pop-up window:

AV360 Pop Up

Pretty scary huh? It gets better. It matters not how you exit the pop-up message, as soon as you do, a fake "scan" animation is displayed that makes it appear your system is being scanned. It is important to note that the script is NOT PERFORMING A SCAN. What you see is only an animated webpage made to resemble an actual scan. A full size screen capture of this scan animation is displayed here
So how do we know the scan is a fake? Well for starters, the fake animation displays only 2 Local Disk drives and a DVD-RAM drive. In reality, there are 9 Disk drives on my computer and one DVD-RW drive. Secondly, while "local disk" is the name Windows assigns Hard Disk Drives during installatioin, I rename all my drives to unique names. It's a neat little trick that can help you spot these fake screens. Renaming HDD's to a friendly name will be the subject of a future post. And lastly, we know this is a fake screen because the layout is based on a Windows XP Explorer window, I'm actually using Windows 7 Beta on this computer.
Finally, take a close look at the final screen capture below:

AV360 Pop Up

Under no circumstances should you select the "OK" option to install. Clicking on the X, or the Alt-F4 keystroke combination just puts you in a repeated error message loop. Close the actual BROWSER window to cut this trojan off at the knees.
It's easy to be fooled by these tricks and a lot harder to clean up after, so surf smart. Don't panic when you see a pop up like this, but if you get taken in, call the St. George UT PC doctor for disaster cleanup.

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Amateur PC "Repair" people everywhere!

Published by dave at 11:56 AM under blog | computers | Microsoft Operating Systems | Opinion | technology

In a tough economy, you'll find them everywhere. Who are "they"? I'm talking of course about the people who once replaced Aunt Gertrude's defective mouse. They're the same kind of people that stumbled upon the free utility Spybot Search & Destroy and now they are computer repair experts!
Don't get me wrong, there are legitimately knowledgeable and professional people offering computer repair services in Southern Utah. So how do you distinguish between true experts and posers? That is part of the reason I started St. George, UT PC Doctor, because nothing is more upsetting than to see someone being taken advantage of by fly by night opportunists. Here's a hint, a poser is usually one that attempts to exploit your fears and lack of knowledge. They use impressive sounding "buzzwords" to make you believe they really must know what they are talking about.
Offers to perform "Free System Checks" is usually another clue that somebody is just looking for a way to make a buck off you. You really think after that "free checkup", they aren't going to find "something" that needs to be fixed?
It's my belief that the better informed you are, the less likely you are to fall for an unwarranted PC repair scam. Frankly, I would rather help you keep your computer OUT of the shop, and empower you to keep it running properly through helpful articles written with minimal technical jargon.
If you've got computer questions or would like to see an article about anything specific, please post your comments or reach me directly through the email link on the Contact page. Oh, and one more thing, if your computer really is broken, I can fix it.

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