VirtuallySurreal

Tech Services

By: V_S | July 08, 2017

Basically, Smishing is Phishing (like you get in your email), except it's on your Smartphone through SMS Text messages. The word itself is a mashup of SMS and Phishing, as you can see better when it's displayed like this: SMiShing.

Smishing is dangerous, as a text sent to your phone implies legitimacy. No longer is the case. With all of the (known) website breaches in the last 10 years, it's more than likely that your personal information (and cell number) are known to people wanting to take your money, identity, and other malicious things. Nowadays people store information about their family, friends, business relations, etc., so any one who has your information on any breached or hacked account/service, so your information is probably alre...

By: V_S | July 08, 2017

Bad guys are increasingly targeting you through your smartphone. They send texts that trick you into doing something against your own best interest. At the moment, there is a mystery shopping scam going on, starting out with a text invitation, asking you to send an email for more info which then gets you roped into the scam. 

 Always, when you get a text, remember to "Think Before You Tap", because more and more, texts are used for identity theft, bank account take-overs and to pressure you into giving out personal or company confidential information.  Here is a short video made by USA Today with some information about "Smishing": 

By: V_S | June 23, 2017


Scammers don’t really give refunds


The FTC has been cracking down on deceptive tech support operations that call or send pop-ups to make people think their computers are infected with viruses. Scammers ask for access to computers, then charge people hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs. In Operation Tech Trap, the FTC and its partners announced 16 actions against deceptive operations, and the FTC temporarily halted the operations of several defendants.

Recently, a woman who lost money to one of the defendants in the FTC cases got a call from someone who claimed to be with a company the FTC sued. (It was a lie. In reality, the company has closed.) He said the company wanted to give her a refund. He asked her to give him access to her co...

Category: Scam 

Tags: computer security, scam 

By: V_S | June 20, 2017

iOS 11 will render older iPhones, iPads and apps obsolete (And potentially cause issues with 32-bit apps in compatible 64-bit devices).


Apple’s iOS 11 update means iPhone 5 and 5C will no longer receive updates because they are 32-bit devices. Even on compatible 64-bit devices that started with the iPhone 5S and iPad Air in 2013, some 32-bit apps and games will be incompatible after switch to 64-bit.


Users can check which apps and games are affected by navigating to:

Settings > General > About > Applications > App Compatibility


This is analogous to the upgrade from Windows XP (32-bit) to Windows Vista / 7 (64-b...

By: V_S | June 20, 2017

Full Gizmodo Article - http://gizmodo.com/gop-data-firm-accidentally-leaks-personal-details-of-ne-1796211612


Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server.

The data leak contains a wealth of personal information on roughly 61 percent of the US population. Along with home addresses, birthdates, and phone numbers, the records include advanced sentiment analyses used by political groups to predict where individual voters fall on hot-button issues such as gun ownership, stem cell research, and the right to abortion, as well as suspected religious affiliation and ethnicity.


Kno...

By: V_S | June 06, 2017

The best way to avoid falling for scams, phishing, fake websites, and getting infected with malware/virus is knowing how to spot fake email and avoid clicking on anything that is suspicious.


You are the last line of defense in keeping your devices, information, and identity safe!


Social Engineering Red Flags - PDF file provided by KnowBe4, a company dedicated to training corporate employees how to avoid being tricked by suspicious/fake email:

By: V_S | June 01, 2017

A must read for everyone, although some mitigation options listed are quite expensive and others only possible in highly-managed Enterprise environments. 

Full SEI Article - 

https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/sei_blog/2017/05/ransomware-best-practices-for-prevention-and-response.html 

By: V_S | May 30, 2017

Think you got an email from a business you know? Scammers sometimes use emails that look legit to trick you into sending money to them.


The email might say it’s from a real estate professional you’re working with, telling you there’s a last-minute change and you should now wire your closing costs to a different account. Or it could seem to be an email – with an invoice – from your utility company, telling you to wire payment. Whatever the story, if you wire that money, it goes to the scammer – and you may never see your money again.


These scammers might get your information by hacking into a business. Once they know about you, they send an email that see...

By: V_S | May 30, 2017


Federal Trade Commission - HOW TO SPOT A TECH SUPPORT SCAM:

Learn how to spot and report Tech Support Scams:

FTC - Tech Support Scams

 

Some scammers call and claim to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft or Apple. Other scammers send pop-up messages that warn about computer problems. They say they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer. They claim to be “tech support” and will ask you to give them remote access to your computer. Eventually, they’ll diagnose a non-existent problem and ask you to pay for unnecessary – or even harmful – services.


If you get...

By: V_S | May 30, 2017

Identity theft, or identity fraud, is a crime that can have substantial financial and emotional consequences. Take precautions with personal information. If you become a victim, act immediately to minimize the damage.


By: V_S | May 30, 2017

Do not give sensitive information to others unless you are sure that they are indeed who they claim to be and that they should have access to the information.


By: V_S | May 30, 2017

Because of its popularity, the internet has become an ideal target for advertising. As a result, spyware, or adware, has become increasingly prevalent. When troubleshooting problems with your computer, you may discover that the source of the problem is spyware software that has been installed on your machine without your knowledge.


By: V_S | May 30, 2017

While email attachments are a popular and convenient way to send documents, they are also a common source of viruses. Use caution when opening attachments, even if they appear to have been sent by someone you know.


By: V_S | May 30, 2017

When vendors become aware of vulnerabilities in their products, they often issue patches to fix the problem. Make sure to apply relevant patches to your computer as soon as possible so that your system is protected.


By: V_S | May 30, 2017

Explore the resources in this section to learn more about cybersecurity and to better secure your home and small-business networks - Provided by US-CERT:


While it helps to have a grasp of the basics, when it comes to the protection and security of your equipment and data, the basics aren't typically sufficient. For professional help implementing any protection or security solutions, feel free to get in touch with us.

By: V_S | May 30, 2017

Alerts provide timely information about current security issues, vulnerabilities, and exploits - Provided by US-CERT:


Category: General Info 

Tags: general info 

By: V_S | May 30, 2017

Tips describe and offer advice about common security issues for non-technical computer users - Provided by US-CERT:


Category: General Info 

Tags: general info