It can happen in an instant. You click on an attachment from Granny and the next thing you know you are watching your files getting locked up before your eyes. Then an important-looking message pops up on your desktop demanding you pay a substantial fee to a group you’ve never heard of using a online payment method. They make it clear – pay now or you’ll never see the precious photos of your Chihuahuas again.
According to a New York Times article from last fall, Android devices are a new target for “ransomware”. These malicious software apps act similarly to the fake FBI virus scams that have been attacking Windows PCs for years. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help protect your Android smartphone or device from these scammers and their malware apps.
You’re online, watching a compilation video of cute kittens, and your home phone rings. A person claiming to be a representative from Microsoft tells you they detectsed a threat to your computer. The caller tries to frighten you into allowing a remote connection to your computer, showing you a bunch of warnings, maybe even some red error messages on your computer. The caller pressures you to take immediate action and buy their service because you are in imminent danger!
The web can be a dangerous place for computer users and sometimes the latest news can be scary — much as is the case with the recent news around the recently discovered “HeartBleed” security bug in OpenSSL, a common form of encryption on many websites today.
Warning: it isn’t just your computer at risk from hackers. Some recently discovered issues with wireless routers from two different companies show that they too can be vulnerable to hacker exploits that can leave your data exposed to online evildoers. In one case, the affected routers allowed hackers to access data on the victim’s network, while in the other the router was used to distribute a self-replicating worm onto other users’ networks.
Imagine this – you are sitting at home minding your own business when you receive a phone call from an official sounding person telling you that your computer is seriously infected with viruses. They say they will help you out and eliminate the viruses if you will provide a credit card number.
Apple computer users have mostly flown under the “malware radar” for years. For a variety of reasons, the Mac operating system (OS) wasn’t targeted by hackers as much as Windows was, and Mac users were able to browse the Web largely unaffected by infections. But as Apple’s share of the computing market has grown, cyber-criminals have set their sights on the Mac OS.
So you’re sitting there, innocently using your computer, when a window flashes on the screen, bearing the logo of the FBI. You’ve been locked out of your computer for breaking some not-too-specifically-identified copyright law. The solution on the screen? Pay a fine to the “FBI” to “unlock” your computer and use it again.
So what happens when a non-Windows OS gains traction? Well, the inevitable happens – and people using such systems without malware protection face a nasty wake-up call (yes, even systems with fruit-based logos adorning the front). Today’s example? Mac Defender.
One of the more popular complaints about the home computer that we run across is “My computer is running slow. Why?” Today we are going to go over the top ten reasons your computer may be running like molasses.
Recently, the New York Times website had a rogue ad displayed in one of their banner ad spaces. Visitors to the website may have noticed abnormal operation of their computers, popup ads, or hijacked internet connections after clicking on the advertisement.
As we mentioned previously, the Conficker worm made news headlines upon the discovery that the C variant of the worm would start seeking updates to its malicious instructions on April 1st. While the world feared the worst, the day came and went with little visible activity.
Geeks and sports don’t normally mix together. However, according to a recent USA Today’s Technology Live blog, sports fans and geeks alike are being targeted in a new SEO/malware scheme. Sports fans searching Google for “March Madness” related sites could have troubles ahead.