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.


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January 24, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Error: JavaScript Not Installed

JavaScript Makes The Web Go Round

I received a call for help with an e-mail problem. The caller was getting errors when trying to access their webmail (online e-mail, such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail). Which had them quite upset, naturally, but was really no problem at all, and was quite easily fixed with a few clicks of the mouse.

My caller’s errors all referred to JavaScript – which is (short version) a programming language used extensively on the Internet; mostly to make Web pages dynamic and interactive with the viewer. Many websites rely on JavaScript to function, and Gmail and Hotmail do too.

My caller’s computer was suddenly saying that JavaScript was “not installed”, but in reality, all that had happened was it had been somehow inadvertently “disabled” (aka “turned off”), and needed to be switched on again.

Tip of the day: enable (or, re-enable) JavaScript in your Web browser.
1) Open Internet Explorer and in the upper right find the gray gear icon “Tools” menu. Click it, and then click on “Internet Options

2) Now a new window will open. Click on the “Security” tab (top), as shown below.
IESec_Opts

3) Click the “Custom level…” button.

4) Use the slider to scroll down the list of options until you come to “Active scripting“, as shown below.
IESec_Opts_Scrpt

5) Click on the “Enable” ‘radio’ button, and then click on OK, twice.

6) Close Internet Explorer and then re-launch (aka “Open”) it again.

Now JavaScript (should be) is enabled and functioning and you can surf the Web and access Webmail as you had before. Problem solved!

[note: if you found that JavaScript was already enabled, please see Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*. I have several other how to’s on repairing your browser as well, should you need further guidance. Enter “error”, or “repair” in my Search box.]

Today’s free link: Technology We’ll Miss When It’s Gone
As tech speeds inexorably forward, many gadgets and services will be left in heaps on the roadside. Problem is, we’ll truly miss some of them.” (This is a rather astute op-ed.. and a fun read.)

Today’s free download: Trillian Astra
More than three years in the making, Trillian is back with a slight name change and a slew of new features. The chat client now supports Google, MySpace IM, Skype, and Facebook, as well as AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and IRC. It  has both POP3 and IMAP e-mail checking.
Trillian now has deep hooks into Facebook and Twitter. It will automatically shorten URLs in your tweets, as well as allow direct messages, re-tweets, and replies. Twitter Trends can show up in your contact list, and you can get tweets to appear in Tooltip form. Facebook features include news feed integration, Facebook Inbox checking, and synchronized message updating in addition to Facebook IM.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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Technology We’ll Miss When It’s Gone

As tech speeds inexorably forward, many gadgets and services will be left in heaps on the roadside. Problem is, we’ll truly miss some of them.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, e-mail, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, Microsoft, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

E-mail is dead.

Loyal Friends and True know that Tech–for Everyone is always on the cutting edge of technical innovation, and that I am a World Renown Tech Journalist whose fame springs from bringing you the latest in breaking IT news. (Ignore the man behind the curtain.)

It is my skill and extensive research (ahem) that allows me to be the first to inform you, Dear Reader, that e-mail, as we know it today, is utterly passe — completely old hat– and, like, so yesterday that it ‘gags me with a spoon’.

Yes my friends, e-mail is dead.
(And you heard it here first.)

Some of you are surely saying, “Why, Tech Paul! E-mail is the single greatest contribution to society that the IT Geek’s ever made! It enables commerce, and has facilitated ‘Globalization’! A couple billion e-mail messages are sent everyday! Dead? Surely you are mistaken!”
Right? You did say that?

It is true… it is very hard to picture a world without e-mail (I can envision a world without spam e-mail just fine, thank you very much) and it is impossible to deny that the ability to send electronic messages has radically altered the way we communicate with friends and family, conduct business, and.. share jokes. Yes, e-mail has had an incalculable impact on our lives.
Keywords: “has had”.

My extensive (ahem) research, and whetted-finger-held-aloft-to-the-Winds-of-Change , tells me (and now I’m telling you) that a New Thing has come along which is going to replace e-mail entirely.. and that is a little thing I have named “v-mail”. (With a little “v”. To those of you old enough to remember Victory Mail, I salute you.) The little “v” stands for “video”.

My Award-Winning* Nose for News has led me to uncover a service (which I am revealing as Today’s free link:) that allows us to send 30-second video clips of ourselves instead of boring -old letters and words and punctuations and stuff. No longer will we need emoticons and “smileys”. Avatars are doomed too. Video, my friends, trumps them all!

Why type “wink”, when you can just.. well.. wink?!

Bonus: Typos and outright misspellings will no longer embarrass us, and ruin careers! (Bad hair days are another story..)

As I mentioned in my recent article , at this stage in the game you really should have a webcam, and the odds are pretty good that, by now, you have added a microphone and used Skype or SightSpeed  to make calls or video conference (aka “video chat”).
* With v-mail, you don’t have to worry about if your “buddies” are available at the moment.. you just create your message and send it.
* With v-mail, you don’t have to download any special software, or manage a “Contacts” list.. it is entirely browser-based (it uses Flash).
* With v-mail, you don’t have to pay any subscription fee.
* It is one-click simple. (And you don’t have to learn that “texting” lingo used in Instant Messaging/Chat.)
* It is not some new “beta” thing. It has actually been around for a while now, and it works like it should.

Now.. when you add all that up, doesn’t it spell the end of e-mail to you too?
Today’s free link: Get your v-mail at EyeJot (or, go there and take a look at their “how it works” examples). All you need to do is provide your first name and a valid e-mail account (doesn’t have to be one of your real accounts). This creates your eyejot account. Your microphone and webcam are automatically detected, and you can start recording your v-mail right away.
Folks.. don’t you want to be an early-adopter, nay, trendsetter, for once? Blow your kids away and be the first to send a v-mail.

* The prestigious Annie Award. (An award that I just made up, and named after a beloved family pet.)

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

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May 5, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, how to, Internet, PC, tech, VoIP, webcams | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments