Drive By Fake Virus Warnings are web pages that take over your computer / browser and lock it until you call the number they display. Sometime these warnings will use your speakers to announce the problem. If you play the video you will see one of these in action.
Signs it is a Fake Warning:
Some of the “Fake” attributes are:
The number 682-302-36147 is NOT a toll free number as they claim
Microsoft DOES NOT INSTALL ANY Program that will alert Microsoft that you have anything wrong with your computer.
Microsoft (as far as I know) cannot disable any PC.
The URL/ Internet Address at the top (top yellow arrow) is s3.amazonaws.com. Microsoft would NOT be using AMAZON’s servers. The support.microsoft.com address at the second arrow is a graphic on that web page and is there to fool you.
What to expect if you call
They instruct you to call the number on the screen to resolve the issue. If you do call, you can expect the following:
They will want to do a remote control session to your computer to Check the issue
You will be told that you need their antivirus, and their support will cost about $300-$400 for 1 year
They will install software and tell you that you are cleaned after you give them your credit card information.
In 3-4 weeks you will likely get another virus warning. If you call them back they will tell you that the new problem is caused by “Malware”, and to fix it you need to pay and additional $400 for their “advanced” package.
What to do
The solution in most cases is simple:
Press and hold the power button for 30 Seconds. It is important to hold it for the full 30 seconds. The screen may go black after a few seconds, but that has just put the computer to sleep. To get it to power off, you have to hold it for the full 30 seconds. If you cannot wait that long the other solution is to unplug it.
Restart the computer.
Go back to the web as you were before and you will likely be OK.
Just like your computer, Web sites get hacked and infected. An infected site can redirect you to the pages that will give this alert.
Mobile Device Fake Virus Warnings are appearing on cell phones.
We recently examined a case where several alerting screens were displayed.
It was determined to be a fake based on several factors:
The dialog boxes pointed to vprflzj.net which is not a web address of typically used buy Antivirus or Phone companies.
The grammar was poor. See the second graphic for the text: “In the Generic Android phone you are (13) Viruses!” and “Most of the virus will destroy”
It displayed that it was an Android Phone (Second Screen Shot), but was an i Phone.
The people behind this were likely looking to get:
Credit card information, or
install a program that would capture your contacts, and
Possibly passwords as you entered them with a keystroke logger.
It could even track your location
Remember these type of attached are designed to get information or Money from you.
If you are in doubt, power off the phone, then restart it and see if the message comes up again. Unless you have installed antivirus on your phone I do not know of any Carrier or Operating system provider to give these alerts.
Potentially Dangerous Downloads from the internet are one of the biggest risks for your computer to be infected with malicious software or viruses. The problem happens when users download what they think are “Good” programs, but the bad guys have taken the “Good” program and added their infected program as an free “bonus”.
Sometimes during the install installation, the license acceptance screens will advise that other programs are being installed, but people are so used to clicking Yes or Continue or Next, the bad stuff gets installed along with the good program.
Another problem can be “fake” programs that do damage. One of the most faked or corrupted programs is Adobe Flash Player. If you download it from some sites, it will install an infected version that can do damage. Always be careful that you are downloading the program from the original source. Adobe Flash and Shockwave should be downloaded from Adobe.COM.
Fake Adobe Flash Player Alert
Here is an image of a typical fake Adobe Flash Warning.
Note the Page at download.adobeoo is not a real adobe site. It may or may not be listed.
When you click the OK to get the new file, notice the URL at the top left is still a fake:
Even though it looks real if you download and install from here you are installing Malware/ virus on your computer. NOTE THAT THIS AFFECTS MAC’s and PC’s alike.
IF YOU THINK YOU NEED TO UPDATE YOUR ADOBE FLASH PLAYER OR ADOBE SHOCKWAVE PLAYER GO TO ADOBE.COM AND DOWNLOAD IT FROM THERE. It will typically be listed at the bottom of the page
Fake Java Alert
There are also fake Java alerts as well
If you see that type of message when visiting a web site, you should close your browser and then go to java.com and update it from there.
Better to take 5 minutes and make sure you are getting the right stuff, than risking downloading something that may infect you computer and possibly cause you to lose your data.
Home buyers are in danger due to a huge scam taking place in the buying/ selling of real estate. The scam has gotten to a level now that many real estate agents and lawyers are having buyers and sellers sign warning notices of the potential of wire fraud and that they should NEVER send any money via wire based on an email only.
And finally a simple Cartoon video that does a really good job of reviewing the how its done and how to avoid it.
Beware of Phishing attacks. e-mails that look like they are coming from reliable sources, but ask you to change passwords, or put in security information are mostly not legitimate. The links take you to sites that may look real, but are hosted and controlled by the “bad guys”. If you want to change your password, go to the site you normally log into and change it from there.
Read carefully any emails that you get. If they are “mostly” right, but some of the language or wording looks odd, it is likely bogus.
DO NOT open any attachments from unknown senders or unexpected emails. These often include leading statements such as
Please review the attached invoice, your credit card will be charged in 5 days.
Please review the Attached Itinerary from your cruise.
Unable to Deliver your item, please open that attached shipping label