July 22, 2013 by Carsen
The FBI warns about a ransomware, posing as the FBI, that is targeting OS X Mac Users. This is a scam that someone I know personally experienced on his PC a while ago, and in order to “unlock” his computer he was told he needed to pay a fine to the FBI. This was a Citadel malware platform used to deliver the ransomware called Reveton.
According to the FBI, “The simplest way to remove the ransomware’s iframes is by clicking on the Safari menu and choosing the “Reset Safari,” option, making sure all check boxes are selected. You may also hold down the Shift key while relaunching Safari, which will prevent Safari from reopening windows and tabs from the previous session. Victims can also disable the reopening feature across OS X from the General pane of System Preferences.”
Read the complete article from the FBI here. If this happens to you, never proceed with payment, and immediately file a complaint at http://www.IC3.gov.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware, sometimes referred to as scareware, is made up of a class of malware and hinders access to the computer infected. In order for this to be removed, a ransom is requested to be paid. Like in the example above, the ransomware can be disguised as a trusted authority or company.
Attackers are constantly looking for new ways to attack victims. For this reason, it is vital to take your security awareness training seriously and apply security best practices at all times.
July 11, 2013 by Carsen
Jury Duty Scams to Beware of and a new scam where attackers tell individuals there is a warrant for their arrest
When it comes to jury duty, scammers have figured a way to lure in victims posing as jury duty coordinators needing information. Since there are penalties associated with ignoring jury duty, this fear makes victims especially vulnerable to potential scams. Be knowledgeable on how to detect scams and to verify the legitimacy of your jury duty before providing personal information.
The FBI said in a news statement, “As a rule, court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail.”
If you receive phone calls requesting personal information to verify your identity (such as social security numbers, birthdates, etc), you know this is a scam. Jury duty information will be sent through the mail, and if you receive a call like this, you need to hang up immediately and call your local courthouse or state attorney general to confirm that the message was a scam.
Never provide personal information over the phone for any reason with incoming calls. You can always call a separate number (that you already have on file) to verify any information needed for jury duty (or your bank, your phone company, etc). So if you think the call has legitimacy, you need to simply thank the caller for alerting you and let them know you will call your trusted contact to verify any needed information.
Though the report from the FBI mentioned above was in 2006, these scams and others like it are still happening. The White Mountain Independent’s Online Edition recently reported these scams in Arizona, but they can happen anywhere.
In Georgia, NewsCentral reported a new scam that is a spin off of the jury duty scam: the bench warrant scam. In this scam, attackers pose as law enforcement officials, call individuals and tell them there is a bench warrant out for their arrest because of a speeding ticket where the individual failed to appear in court for. Attackers used this tactic in terms of jury duty as well, telling individuals there is a bench warrant for their arrest because they missed jury duty.
Again, if you receive such a call, hang up then call your local law enforcement to inquire about the message. Predators are always looking for vulnerabilities in individuals and they use jury duty, tax season, credit card companies, phone companies and other masks to deceive you. Stay up to date on recent scams and know how to detect them.
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