Tech – for Everyone

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

Skype Malware Now Attacks Apple?

Chat Message Scares Reader Into Installing Malware

Surprise! Today I was reminded that criminals are once again using Skype to send phishing “chats” in an attempt to defraud you and trick you into installing a virus. So, I am – again – re-posting this article. It is the exact same ruse I first warned of in early 2008, but (again) the name has changed, as well as a few other details…. see if you can spot them.

Today a Skype chat window opened on my machine, and presented me with a dire warning from someone named “Software Update”, “Registry Scan Online®”, “OnlineUpdate.org”, “OnlineRegistry®” Today’s flavor (I think it was “Update Instructions”..).

It said that “WINDOWS SYSTEM REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION” and, it provided me with a solution… a “repair utility”.

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. (I mean.. there are clues aplenty!)

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.

This “hacker” criminal attack will reappear every so often (roughly every 90 30 days) with a slightly different name and URL… It is a classic scareware attack. They just send these chats to all the Skype users whose name starts with A.. then to the B’s, then C’s.. etc.

Just in case you aren’t sure:
*Software Update”, “Registry Scan Online ®”, Today’s flavor, doesn’t exist.
*http://www.onlinemonitor.info”, “http://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 2011 is here, 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.”]

… Folks.. well, let me put it to you this way: if this concept is new to you, and comes as a surprise; if you never heard of such a thing .. that someone could make a window pop open, and tries to scare you into providing your credit card number, and will put viruses on your machine.. if you “googled it” because you were not sure if this “alert” was ‘legit’, I am going to do you a favor: I am going to suggest to you that you seriously reconsider the nature of the Internet. And suggest you subscribe to my email newsletter. (This stuff is so old now, and so well known, I almost don’t bother to post it. Where have you been?)

IRS phishing already???Please Update Your Details

These guys never quit, folks. ‘Cuz there’s a sucker born every minute. Please don’t be one: use some good, healthy “paranoid common sense” when online.

BTW — if something works on Windows, it ain’t gonna work on Apple (and visa versa). That’s a clue..!

Today’s recommended reading: A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity
If you are a parent who has children who use the computer to access the internet it is very important that you educate yourself and your child about the dangers of the internet. It is important to have strict guidelines in place on their computer usage and a method to supervise and monitor their online activities.

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.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

January 24, 2011 - Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Comments »

  1. TechPaul,

    An excellent article… The Cybercriminal will use every angle possible to mess with the psyche of a person. I just wish there was a way to bring them to their knees.

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Ramblinrick | January 24, 2011 | Reply

    • Oh.. I can think of ways …. (1 or two or three, pour encourager les autres)

      But.. declaring Open Season and placing bounties might work too…

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | January 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. Paul,

    Forgot to thank you for the link back… Much appreciated!

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Ramblinrick | January 24, 2011 | Reply

    • Rick,
      It is a good article on something all parents should be at least aware of.

      The safety of kids on the Internet is a rather important topic nobody’s talking about, so, I salute your efforts!

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | January 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. Thanks for this article and for the reco to Ricks article on Parental controls. I have a very good friend that happens to be my ex-brother-in-law. He was an autistic daughter that needs constant supervision, which as we all know is nearly impossible. I think this application reco’d by Rick just may be the one he is looking for!

    Thanks Paul, and keep up the great work!

    Like

    Comment by KsTinMan | January 25, 2011 | Reply

    • KsTinMan,
      Thank you for taking the time and sharing this.

      I would like to clarify, and add, a bit (for future readers): the program mentioned in Rick’s article is not “parental control” software, but monitoring software — it does not prevent the child from visiting websites.
      (Another monitoring program I reco is – Norton Online Family is a free service that has won recognition for excellence, and ease of use. (To see more awards, click here: Reviews & Awards.)

      For those who do want to place controls (aka “blacklists” and “restrictions”)(aka “prevention”) into effect: K9 Web Protection is free Internet filtering and control solution for the home. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids.

      As if being a parent isn’t hard enough…

      The Internet has made your job a whole lot tougher. As soon as your child is old enough to get online, you have to safely guide him through a whole new world: the virtual one. How can you encourage your child to explore wonderful new places that stimulate creativity and learning while ensuring he or she doesn’t wander into dangerous territory?

      Get FREE continuous protection against malware and inappropriate Web sites. Download K9 Web Protection now.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | January 25, 2011 | Reply

  4. Paul.

    Perhaps monitoring is not enough, although I got the impression that David is most interested in knowing what sites she is visiting so that he can punish her accordingly.

    Now, please don’t get me wrong, by punishment I mean withholding her favorite console games, NOT corporal punishment. I think it is important, especially in in the case of an autistic child, that you develop a mindset which instills right and wrong in their personality. She is 19 years old now but still acts 12. It’s an added danger for my good hearted B.I.L.

    Like

    Comment by KsTinMan | January 25, 2011 | Reply

    • KsTinMan,
      I believe I understand… intellectually at least.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | January 25, 2011 | Reply

  5. Thanks. Nearly clicked on it on my Mac!!

    Like

    Comment by Rex | March 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Rex,
      I am glad you decided to “Google it” before clicking.

      The Internet is a dangerous place.. even for Macs.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | March 2, 2011 | Reply

  6. Just received a phone call (yes, you heard me a phone call) on my smartphone that my Skype system had malware. They advised me to go to http://www.helphs.com to get it repaired. I won’t be doing that!

    Like

    Comment by Dave Mabe | April 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Dave Mabe,
      Hey, that’s the first I have heard of that. Can you tell me (us) more? Was it a recording? English as a second language?

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | April 28, 2011 | Reply

  7. Very informative. Thanks Paul

    Like

    Comment by Murugesan | September 20, 2011 | Reply

    • Murugesan,
      Thank you for taking the time to lend some support. Hope all is “groovy” with you and yours!

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 20, 2011 | Reply


Post your Comment/Question

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: