Archive for June, 2011

Con Artists or software scammers? dont be an idiot

Scareware is deception software. It is also known as “rogue scanner” software or “fraudware”, the purpose of which is to frighten people into purchasing and installing it. Just like any trojan software, scareware deceives unwitting users into double-clicking and installing the product. In the case of scareware, the scam tactic is to display frightening screens of your computer being attacked, and then the scareware will make claims to be the antivirus solution to those attacks.

Scareware and rogue scanners have become a multimillion dollar scam business, and thousands of users fall for this online scam every month. Preying on people’s fear and lack of technical knowledge, scareware products will bilk a person for $19.95, just by displaying a bogus screen of a virus attack.

What Exactly Does a Scareware Screen Look Like?

Scareware scammers use fake versions of virus alerts and other system problem messages. These fake screens are often very convincing, and will fool 80% of the users who seem them. Here is one example of a scareware product called “SystemSecurity”, and how it tries to frighten people with a fake Blue Screen of Death (Ryan Naraine / www.ZDnet.com).

Here is another scareware example where a web page pretends to be your Windows Explorer screen (Larry Seltzer / www.pcmag.com).

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Scareware criminals or IDIOTS?

Scareware has taken on a human face. Criminals posing as computer security engineers are having success in calling victims at home and stealing their money, according to a survey issued Thursday by Microsoft. Fifteen percent of 7,000 computer users polled in the United States, Canada, U.K. and Ireland said they have been been contacted by a phone scammer, and 22 percent of those were tricked into following the fraudsters’ directions, which included giving them remote access to a computer or providing credit card information. Seventy-nine percent of those suffered a financial loss as a result. Victims were out an average $875 in the United States, the survey found.

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Idiot Collateral damage to 150,000 citigroup

Citi says 150,000 more affected by breach
Citigroup revealed Wednesday that hackers gained access to the account information of significantly more customers than originally thought. In an updated news release issued Wednesday, the nation’s third-largest bank said that after completing an investigation, it concluded that 360,083 accounts were compromised in the attack, in which hackers infiltrated Citibank’s online banking platform, Citi Account Online, and viewed customer account numbers and contact information, including email addresses. Additional data that would be needed to commit fraud, such as expiration dates or card security codes, was not exposed. Citigroup originally reported that 210,000 account holders were affected.

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