Meeting – Thursday Feb 21 at 5 p.m.
Topic: Avoiding Scams and Fraud – presented by Sgt. Brian Sawyer, of Collier Count Sheriff’s office.
Ask the Experts
As always, Visitors are welcome, so feel free to invite a friend.
Microsoft security chief: IE is not a browser, so stop using it as your default
Internet Explorer is a ‘compatibility solution’ and should only be used selectively, warns Microsoft exec.
Malware Warning !!!
There seems to be an increase in malware using sounds, either that of a siren or a ticking sound or a voice that repeats that your computer is infected, urging that you should call the 800 # listed on the screen in order to clean your computer.
THIS IS A SCAM – DO NOT under any circumstances call such a number – unless you truly want to give criminals your credit card number. ( and like to have your bank issue you a new credit card)
If you do call, they will do and say anything to get you to let them take control of your computer in order to help “clean out” your system ( and your bank account and your email contact list and your password list and then they will load a keylogger and secret remote control software so they can see everything you do and type … while completely owning the computer that was previously yours !!!)
Also expect to be bombarded by scam phone calls since your phone number will be captured by their Caller ID system and you have just proved to them that you are a “LIVE ONE”.
Actually removing this situation from your computer will depend on the exact version of the scam you have been hit with BUT NEVER EVER CALL THEM – it will only make a bad situation worse…
This is an interesting, if somewhat long article regarding those annoying and dangerous phone calls from “I am calling you from Windows.” scammers.
Hint: Hangup on them ! Don’t let them have remote access to your computer and don’t tell them anything you would not want a criminal to know about you… which is nothing.
Support for Java and Flash set to lose support in 2020
Java has been a continuing malware attack vector for many years and so Google Chrome has basically stopped supporting Java since 2015.
Other browsers have ways to use the java plugin but they are not set to use Java by default.
It certainly costs big bucks to give away all the free Java downloads even as the user base is steadily dropping.
As such Oracle is planing to drop Java as a consumer downloadable utility and will work with developers to incorporate Java as part of programs and apps by Dec 2020.
In fact Adobe is also dropping support for Flash in 2020 since the Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari browsers have already dropped support, due to it also being a major malware attack vector.
Generally the vast majority of websites and apps no longer require Java or Flash and are utilizing HTML 5 to accomplish what Java and Flash used to do.
I’ve been steadily removing both Flash and Java from client computers since they are both in the same boat of being insecure and their functions are being replaced by the multimedia capabilities already found in HTML 5.
Fake Flash Update
On various web pages that have been hacked by scammers, what appears to be a legitimate Adobe Flash update page will be displayed.
This is in fact an attempt to get you to approve loading a malware program that will infect your computer.
In the displayed example there is a download a box that asks :
” What do you want to do with Flashplayer.hta (1.8 kb)?
With the choices of “Run” “Save” “Cancel”
Do NOT click any of these !!!
What you need to do is click your browser’s “BACK” button to get away from the page.
After you are off the fake update page you might even choose to manually run your Antivirus and Anti Malware programs for peace of mind.
Note that Norton Antivirus blocked the actual automatically started download file which is NOT named “Flashplayer.hta”
Various versions of this scam may use different file names
There is no need for most people to manually update Adobe Flash since if you had previously and intentionally loaded it on your computer there are settings to automate Flash updates without your having to do them manually.
In short – If you are browsing the web and a page appears that wants you to update Adobe Flash – DON’T …
F-Secure Router Checker
A free, web-based tool that checks your router’s settings and detects if it may have been hijacked by criminals. If your router is compromised, every single device on your network is at risk of being hacked.
Scans UPnP or Universal Plug and Play, that is enabled by default in most consumer routers.
It also has a Custom Port Probe tool for scanning any port of your choosing plus a useful port information tool.
Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 5 pm, in the Rees Meeting Room at the Naples Branch Library – 650 Central Ave. Naples, FL – (Unless otherwise announced)