Tele-scam takes a new tact
Microsoft will never call you to tell you that your computer is infected. Most of you know how to hang. Just like the IRS will never call to tell you that you have to pay back taxes that can only be paid with iTunes gift cards (no joke – this was a real scam). However, the criminals are still working on it and are working hard to come up with new ways to separate you from your money. The latest craze is malvertizing or malicious advertisements.
Everyone has seen ads on news sites and Facebook on the side of the screen, sometimes disturbingly focused on some of the things you've recently visited on the internet. Well, if you don't know, these ads aren't actually running from the site you're visiting, but they're being pushed into the advertised space by ad services that the site owner has subscribed to. These are massive services where millions of advertisers want to bring their goods to the public of these often famous places.
However, very carefully crafted advertisements are placed on these advertising services and they can take over your computer regardless of whether you have a PC or a MAC. We have seen some very cunning engineering with some of these. They often claim to be from Microsoft or Apple. They can fill the entire screen and not provide a title bar to close the window. Some of them will make a very loud and annoying alarm sound to really scare you. The crooks not only fool you, but also the advertising services they post to. This is because the ad image looks completely normal for the systems that accept it. However, the image contains special code that causes your internet browser to open a new tab and go to a target site where the malicious ad is displayed.
Don't be fooled!
This is their point. They use a very old trust scam and social engineering to make you respond without thinking. Because the number is free, people think it's legitimate and call. The criminal on the other hand will of course confirm that you are terribly infected and need immediate access to your computer to prevent your files from being destroyed. They will then show you some fake screen shots of things they "found" on your computer and ask for payment. We have seen these agencies bill for the removal of these fake infections between $ 60 and $ 400. Some of them charge a fee each month for the service they simply do not offer. As long as you think they are legitimate and you do nothing, they run away with your money.
How to save yourself
So the typical answer to technical support always works. Reboot. Because this is not an infection at all, all open items on your computer will be restarted and you will start working again. However, there may be times when this can be destructive for unsaved work that can be opened in the background in another application. In this case, use Task Manager (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC for Windows, CMD + OPT + ESC for Mac) to select and end your internet browser (Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.).
Prevention  Keep your computer updated. These attacks benefit from the fact that you are irritated by the prompts to update your computer (operating system, Java, Flash, Reader, etc.) and benefit from known vulnerabilities on your system. Our Guardian Managed Service subscribers are automatically updated by us on a weekly basis and are rarely disturbed by updates required on their computers. . All our customers – regardless of the service plan – have the option to have free, professional antivirus software for their computers – and we take all alerts for you!
If you have any questions about your computers, networks, servers or security, we are here to help. Do not hesitate to send us an e-mail or call us!