Category Archives: Fraud, scams and threats

GameOver Zeus virus threat – Time to Tighten Up Our Internet Security?

Malicious threats are becoming more prevalent, camouflaged and sophisticated.

Whether we connect to the internet for personal use or business, if we are affected by a virus such as the current GameOver Zeus virus that has infected more than 15,000 machines in the United Kingdom alone and nearly 250,000 worldwide we could be financially out of pocket and professionally compromised.

This computer virus has been designed by a criminal gang based in Russia and the Uktraine. The virus searches your computer system to gain access to banking and financial information. It is believed that this virus alone has been responsible for £60 million in losses to individuals and businesses.

In addition, this virus also distributes an aggressive program called CryptoLocker which encrypts files on a computer and then demands a ransom to release your computer from it. The ransom is about £300. If other financial information is obtained, they may obtain much larger sums.

The powers that be have temporarily stopped the virus but believe that this is only temporary and it may be active again in a couple of weeks.

Advice has been provided in the press including ensuring your computer has the latest operating systems and your anti-virus software is up to date.

I have decided to move away from the normal anti-virus software packages and have moved to Sophos UTM (Unified Threat Management) and my computers and laptops are now monitored remotely through a ‘managed endpoint service’ through my IT service supplier ASE Computers in Harrogate.

With this solution, I have a robust anti-virus package and the equivalent of an in-house internet/IT security department for protection of my network, email, web & web server, endpoint and wireless  protection for just a few pounds a year.

ASE Computers, who provide this service to me, received an award at the Sophos Europe, Middle East and Africa Conference for ‘Best Newcomer 2013/14’ for service and solution delivery.

Check out the Sophos brochure and videos:

http://www.sophos.com/en-us/medialibrary/PDFs/factsheets/sophosutmoverviewdsna.pdf

https://player.vimeo.com/video/69276551?width=800&height=450&iframe=true&portrait=0

https://player.vimeo.com/video/72547485?width=800&height=450&iframe=true&portrait=0

For more information contact Tom Ellis at ASE Computers on 01423 870050 or visit their web site http://www.asecomputers.co.uk

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Beware Cold Calls from Fraudsters!

Earlier today I received a phone call from a lady with an American accent claiming to be from Windows and that she was calling to resolve my computer problem.

Fortunately, I was aware of this scam and cut the call short before any damage was done. You may be thinking what were they attempting to do?

When the caller said she was calling to deal with my computer problem, I knew it was a scam as my father received a similar call a few weeks earlier. My father who is a 77 year old pensioner, was taken in and allowed the caller to continue with the scam before I intervened at the latter stages and prevented the fraud from succeeding.

My father had the presence of mind to ask them to call back to give him time to turn his computer on and connect to the internet. He then took the opportunity to contact me for advice and I then went round to his home and intercepted the return call to prevent the hoaxer from succeeding.

If you allow the hoaxer to continue they will:

  • Tell you that they will solve your computer problem (one that you may not be aware of but they are)
  • Once you accept what they are saying they will talk you through the process of enabling them to access your computer remotely
  • Once in they take control of your computer and demand payment to go away and give control back to you
  • The double whammy is that once they get hold of your bank payment details, they can milk your account

Microsoft do not email or phone you about sorting your computer out so don’t be fooled.

If it happens to you, report it to ‘Action Fraud’ 0300 123 2040 or go on their web site at https://reportlite.actionfraud.police.uk/

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