Tech – for Everyone

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

Dangerous Links, Phishing, and WOT

A recent article of mine has proven very popular. It discussed the recent epidemic of “rogue” antivirus and anti-spyware programs that is plaguing the Internet these days — such as Virus Response Lab 2009, Antivirus XP, and — literally  — hundreds of others.

These programs are really the tools used by cyber-criminals to infect your machine with malware… not clean it up, as you’re led to believe. (The article link [above] has a video demonstrating a rogue program.) As a bonus, you’re asked to provide your credit card number to buy the “full” (or, “Pro”) version.
What do you think criminals do with those cc#’s????

Regular readers are aware that I frequently post ‘alerts’ to the latest scams arriving via e-mail. Spam.

Here the latest, a classic phish:
Subject: Notification of e-gold account update
What I’d like you to notice is the red circle next to the hyperlink .

That is the WOT (Web Of Trust) toolbar’s (now automatically integrated into Gmail, because I’m viewing it in a browser) website rating.
I’m no rocket scientist.. but I am pretty sure red means “bad”.. and/or, “stop”.

This website rating — with its easy to understand color code — tool can really save you a lot of pain and loss from phishing and poisoned websites; because the criminals are going to tremendous efforts to make their scams look legit (and to poison truly legit sites).
I’ll say it again– the Internet today is a very insecure and dangerous place!

There are many anti-phishing tools and plug-ins and filters to choose from (some are built into your browser, if you enable them) but if you want a quick, clean, easy to understand warning tool– give the WOT toolbar a try.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 10, 2008 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, PC, Phishing, phraud, security, software, tech, Web 2.0 | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It Said I Was Infected

There is an epidemic of fake anti-malware software on the Internet– which is collectively called “rogue anti-malware

Marketed under hundreds of different names, such as VirusRemover 2008 and Antivirus XP 2009, this type of rogue software scares people by giving false alarms, and then tries to deceive them into paying for removal of non-existing malware.

This video (produced by the good folks at WOT*) shows what happens when a legitimate site gets infected and redirected to one of these bogus anti-malware scams.
Yes, folks, legitimate websites.

The people behind this scourge use many different ways to try to entice you to click– realistic pop-up windows appear, offers of “free trials” arrive in e-mail, and “free scan” buttons on legit-looking ‘fight malware’ websites, etc..

As this video shows, the user is tricked into (scared into, really) providing their credit card # (oops.. might want to cancel that card..) to clean infections that weren’t there before they clicked.
* The ‘false positives’ are not “cleaned” BUT, more adware and spyware is installed.
* A good percentage of my calls at Aplus Computer Aid are folks needing help with getting rid of these rogues. Because they use the latest techniques to combat removal, and it can be quite tough.. if not impossible.. to remove them without formatting your hard-drive.
* Is that anti-spyware program really spyware?
* A Website dedicated to combating this epidemic is Spyware Warrior. It has a pretty good list of known rogues, and much more detailed information.

Today’s free download:  WOT is a free Internet security addon for your browser. It will keep you safe from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky Website. It’s easy and it’s free.

  • Ratings for over 20 million websites
  • Downloaded 1 million times
  • The WOT browser addon is light and updates automatically
  • WOT rating icons appear beside search results in Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Gmail, etc.
  • Settings can be customized to better protect your family
  • WOT Security Scorecard shows rating details and user comments

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 30, 2008 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, Firefox, hackers, how to, Internet scam, PC, phraud, ransomware, security, software, spam and junk mail, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments