Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Windows Does Not “Requires Immediate Attention”…*

Chat Message Scares Reader Into Installing Malware

Folks, criminals are once again using Skype to send phishing “chats” in an attempt to defraud you. So, I am re-posting this article. It is the exact same ruse I first warned of in early ’08, but the name has changed.
This attack will reappear every so often with a slightly different name and URL… It is a classic scareware attack.

Yesterday a Skype chat window opened on my machine, and presented me with a dire warning from someone named “Software Update” “Registry Scan Online®” Today’s flavor (I think it was “OnlineUpdate.org”..). It said that “WINDOWS REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION” and, it provided me with a solution.  SkypeCon

(Click on image to see large version)

Please, folks, tell me you have spotted this for what it is. Please tell me that you knew –instantly– that this is a cybercrime attempt; that it is Phraud-ulent.

Please tell me that you know what will happen if the link provided in this message is clicked; and, please, please, please tell me you would never click the link.

Just in case you aren’t sure:
* “Software Update”, “Registry Scan Online ®”,  Today’s flavor, doesn’t exist.
* “www.onlinemonitor.info”, “www.registryscan.com”, Today’s flavor, is not registered in ARIN (the registry of Internet addresses).
* clicking the link will allow scripts to run, and/or take you to a poisoned Website which will install malware on your machine, or/and it may take you to a site that will sell you a rogue anti-spyware program
(please read my article, Is that antispyware program really spyware).

* Microsoft DOES NOT alert you via Instant Messaging. No legitimate company does. Period. Ever.
This is a classic example of a hacker’s attempt to get you to click their link.

All of this so they can rip you off. It’s these cyber-criminal’s full time job.

Please point your less-savvy friends and family to this article and educate them to the dangers of spam (unsolicited) messages and tell them– NEVER CLICK THE LINK. (Yes, I am shouting. 2010 is days away, and I still have to say this everyday.. Sigh.)
[Note: while this article directly references the VoIP client Skype, you may see this type of thing in other Instant Messaging/Chat programs, and social networking communications.]

[addenda: Peter Parkes (Skype Blogger) wrote and asked me to remind my readers to, quote, “Please report users who send these messages to abuse@skype.net – that will help us to block them where appropriate.”]

Today’s free downloads(s): I have assembled on my Website a collection of links to the best free anti-malware programs to help you prevent infection.. and clean up if you’ve been infected. To see them, click here.

December 28, 2009 - Posted by | computers | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. TechPaul,

    You are doing us all a great service by bringing this to our attention. Many people will fall for this and hopefully your many readers will not!

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Ramblinrick | December 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Ramblinrick,
      I hope you’re right. My regular readers will have seen this article a few times now, as the crooks behind it only trot it out every so often. But what I don’t mention is that each time they do, the make the malware that they install harder to detect and fully remove (they are perfecting their code).
      These days it’s truer than ever; a click can cost you.

      BTW folks, have you clicked the link in my blogroll and checked out Rick’s blog? It is one of my daily reads…

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | December 28, 2009 | Reply


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