Category Archives: Alerts

Massic Cyber Attack – 13-05-2017

As you will have heard Britain along with numerous other countries has been under fire from a huge cyber attack.  Mostly hit so far have been services such as the NHS, but not limited to them.

What may not be so clear from the general media is that this attack has NOT finished yet, it is still happening, and the cyber attackers are changing the randsomware worm to defeat those poor IT engineers out there spending their whole weekend battling with it.

The general thought is we could all feel the effects on Monday because there is no way to tell what will happen when more computers are turned on which may already have the worm waiting on them.  The worm is designed to spread via networks so can jump from one machine to others rapidly.

So what can we do? 

You need to ensure your antivirus is up to date, and if you don’t have any, download something fast… Microsoft Security Essentials for Microsofts own free antivirus, or AVG Free for another good product.

If you have Windows 10, as long as you have the Anniversary update (you can tell if you have if you check your start menu and it has only icons for shutdown and settings etc – this is the latest version, if there are written titles next to the icons you need to update) you have built in Antivirus in the form of MS Windows Defender.

Ensure your PC has all the latest updates... Run Microsoft Update – on all Windows computers with pre Windows 10 operating systems.  Even Windows XP is covered by a special update released in light of this issue, so even update the oldest of PC’s!

Back up your files! – Transfer all your valuable data to external flash drives or hard disks, and then disconnect them from your PC.

Be super careful about what sites you visit… if you normally love less safe sites, i.e. Porn, game cheats etc then avoid them for the time being because the attack can be coming from anywhere.

Mostly we know its been hitting machines with out of date patches which has allowed it in, but really we can’t say it will end there, so be vigilant and be prepared! Save your data!  The encryption worm sets a price of around £300 to decrypt your files, but there is no guarantee that you’ll ever see your data again even if you pay!

More info from Microsoft

Customer Guidance for WannaCrypt attacks

Info from UK Government

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/latest-statement-international-ransomware-cyber-attack-0

 

Filled Under: Alerts,News Posted on: 14/05/2017

Latest Threats from on the ground.

Some of the latest threats being dealt with by our Engineers are still telephone scams, which are more common, sometimes they seem to spookily follow the purchase of a new PC.  We’ve been configuring new pc’s for clients on their premises when the client has receive an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to be from companies such as “windows” or “microsoft” or similar and that the customers computer has problems which it has told them and must be resolve if they want to be able to use their computer.

Standard format, they then wish to log on to the clients PC and perform “repairs” which afterwards they inform the customer that they must pay large sums of money.

But also we’ve had more frequent reports of websites triggering splash screens that tell the user to phone a number to fix their computer.  On phoning the customer was again made to allow access to their PC, and let some unknown person “repair” the computer.  These “repairs” actually consisted of installing over 8 ad blocking programs, and a couple of remote control software presumably to allow future access if not removed by us!  The customer was charged just over £170 for this “service” by a firm called something like Web Service Online.  Days later the scammer was trying to take more money from the customer.

So be aware and careful, never allow any random caller access to your PC, big companies do not monitor your computer for problems, and will never just call out of the blue to offer help!  Its a scam, hang up the phone, and disconnect the computer from the internet, even if you feel they have provided a service!  Its a scam, give no money details!

Filled Under: Alerts,News Posted on: 10/05/2017

Fake Invoice email phishing

Currently we’ve noticed we have been receiving a huge volume of fake invoice emails.

These emails are known as “Phishing” emails and are designed to have a lure that hooks you in.  In this case the fear that someone has ordered something on your credit card that you didn’t know about. So you think you better just check the email attachment to be sure.

Well our advice is best not to open that attachment.  If you are really concerned, call the company that has allegedly sent you the invoice by searching for its details and its own website using a search engine such as Google or DuckDuckGo or similar.

ABSOLUTELY DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT!

Under controlled conditions we opened one of these seemingly harmless MS Word Docx documents and discovered the payload to a blank document was a macro script, which is like a small program, which would have caused malicious software to have been downloaded onto our computer had it been able to reach the internet.

So be careful, and don’t get lured by these fake invoices.  2015 seems to be beginning with huge batteries of them being sent randomly.

Filled Under: Alerts Posted on: 13/01/2015

*SCAM* BT Broadband Telephone Support Scam

Scammers claiming to be from BT

We’ve now had reports from three of our customers that they have received calls claiming to be from BT (British Telecom) providing support for home users computers.  This is a scam and not BT.

As you can see this is no new scam, its been carried out many times over the years.  THIS REPORT on BT’s forum is from 2010.

They follow the standard formula that they have certain details that you’d assume only BT might have, but in reality are fairly easy for scammers to obtain, such as Telephone number (obvious really because they’ve phoned you) and your email address.

Once they convince you who they are, they then tell you that someone is trying to access your computer and that they need to remote control your computer to clear the problem.

ABSOLUTELY DO NOT let these people have access to your computer.  They may get you to type in commands to show you errors that they claim are signs of the attack. Often used it things that might bamboozle you such as pointing you to the Event Logs which hold windows errors.  This data can often be manipulated to suggest  whatever they wish you to believe as there are almost always a few non-urgent errors listed in the event logs anyway.

If allowed they will certainly begin to do work on your PC, but only enough to allow you to believe they have helped, this is where the sting comes, they will then demand payment.  This payment is never a small amount, and has been reported to be figures as high as £150.  So NEVER let them in.

Doctor Watsons has dealt with the aftermath of one such remote control session when they scammer had removed software that the customer had paid for as well as selling them more antivirus software (worth £30) for over £100.  On checking the PC Doctor Watsons found it was still riddled with Malware and Spyware showing the scammer never did anything of value.

More likely is that chance that they actually install screen capture software and key logging software so using your computer for anything to do with your finances could be very costly indeed!

If you get such a call JUST END THE CALL, and if you want to be sure just call BT who will confirm it was a scam.  If you have let a scammer into your PC (they claim to be Microsoft, AVG, and many other reputable companies) then please don’t do any banking or purchasing online!  Just call Doctor Watson’s and we can give your PC a short health check to ensure you are clear of anything that could cause problems, and at the same time more than likely give your PC a boost in speed as well!

Filled Under: Alerts Posted on: 14/09/2013

Police Alert : Illegal Activity has been detected!

If you see this screen, or one similar, on your computer, STOP! Don’t pay it and don’t panic!

It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Police. They do not do this. This is malitious malware designed to defraud you out of £100, and even if you do pay then it will not always clear the message anyway.

Yes it is scary and convincing, but if you suddenly see this screen just call Doctor Watson, and we can clean your PC up. We ensure it won’t return and certainly won’t cost you £100!

Filled Under: Alerts Posted on: 03/02/2013

Facebook Privacy “hover over my name” post hoax

HERE IS SOMETHING *NOT* TO REPOST….

“For the next 2 weeks I will be posting this and please once you have done it please repost done, because those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public I will have to DELETE YOU: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don’t want strangers to have access to!!! However, with the recent changes in FB, the “public” can now see activities . This happens when our friend hits “like” or “comment” ~ automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we can not change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the TICK on “LIFE EVENTS” “STATUS UPDATES” “PHOTOS” and “COMMENTS & LIKES”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page I will do the same.”

If you post this all it does is make all your friends block your updates, so you might as well cancel your fb account and log out.

What you SHOULD do to avoid public exposure of all your stuff us either, dont post anything you dont want the world to know about ever at all, or go to your facebook privacy settings for YOUR OWN account, and make sure you set all your shared pics, status, posts etc to FRIENDS ONLY and avoid PUBLIC and FRIENDS OF FRIENDS. Dont waste your time reposting the silly message, its just closing you off to your friends.

Also you can check the privacy of anything you post at the time of posting make sure the drop down box next to the POST button shows “Friends” unless you want the world to know what you’re typing.

Filled Under: Alerts Posted on: 24/01/2013

SCAM ALERT: “Hello I’m from Microsoft (or windows) and you have a virus on your PC”

Well the “I’m calling from Microsoft (or Windows) and you have a virus” phone call scam is back with avengence.

Customers are reporting calls from 002538020308 by people claiming to be Microsoft Employees, and luring you to log on to a remote control website so they can “fix” your computer….

As ever this is a scam, and they will do no good for you, your PC or your wallet (except lighten it)

More details: General procedure is they ask you to go to your PC, do RUN and CMD from there they list information about your PC and “confirm” it with you to “prove” they have had a report specifically about your PC.  They will then direct you to a remote control website, one quoted recently was using the “gotoassist” website which in itself is not a dangerous site.  The actual address used was “fastsupport.com”  Now the problem comes because they then get you to let them take control of your PC so the can “remove a virus”.  But this is where Doctor Watsons was able to advise our customer to end the call and reboot their broadband router so we don’t know what happens next, but the usual action is to show you them fixing a problem and then charging you a lot of money (one quote previously was well over £100).  But best defense if you have let them take control  is to end the call and reboot your broadband router.  Then run a scan for viruses at the very least.

Of course it can’t be garanteed that you don’t have any viruses lurking on your PC, but these guys wouldn’t know or care about any real ones.

We do advise running a regular full virus scan on your PC at least every month, and particularly after a call such as this.

If you are still concerned having let a caller such as this access your PC then please call Doctor Watsons so your PC can be professionally checked for any residual remote control software or anything else untoward.  And we can assure you the bill will be nowhere near as pricey and will give full value for money!

Best advice is BE ALERT – MICROSOFT DON’T CALL PEOPLE TO RESOLVE THEIR UNKNOWN VIRUS PROBLEMS… so just tell them politely (or not so…) to get lost and put the phone down!

Filled Under: Alerts,Twitter Posted on: 13/06/2012

New Year, New Scam!

HAVE YOU RECEIVED AN UPGRADE MESSEGE FROM ADOBE?

We did today, it reads as per the text below. Yes as you guessed its a fake spammy malicious link to questionable software. Absolutely DO NOT click the link provided in any email like this. The link originates in China, as is known to be questionable.  This email has no link what-so-ever to do with Adobe software.  If you need an Adobe update, or Skype (another linked to scams doing the rounds) then pop over to the website either adobe.com or skype.com and download it safely from there, NEVER FOLLOW LINKS IN UNEXPECTED EMAILS.

Adobe software, if already installed, will automatically update itself not via an email, and the same for Skype.

Email text example below (with web addresses obscured to avoid linking):

 

 

 

“INTRODUCING UPGRADED ADOBE ACROBAT READER 2012

Since the Holidays are in full swing and the New Year is approaching, we’ve decided to unveil our Acrobat Reader/Writer 2012.

http:// instant-acrobat-upgrade

Advanced features include:

– Collaborate across borders
– Create rich, polished PDF files from any application that prints
– Ensure visual fidelity
– Encrypt and share PDF files more securely
– Use the standard for document archival and exchange

To upgrade and enhance your work productivity today, go to:

http:// instant-acrobat-upgrade

Our whole team has been working hard to satisfy your product needs.

This has been a great year for PDF Reader/Writer and it’s all because of You.

We hope to see you in the New Year

Copyright 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Adobe Systems Incorporated
343 Preston Street
Ottawa, ON K1S 1N4
Canada”

Tags: , , Filled Under: Alerts,News Posted on: 02/01/2012

Still Beware of Fake Help Calls

From Doctor Watsons inside knowledge, we are still receiving reports of bogus phone calls purporting to be from various sources that “know” that you have computer problems.

They will claim to be from anything that they feel may convince you that they are plausible, such as…
Microsoft, Nortons, “Your support team” and so on. Be very careful. Unless you have a contract with a support company, and that does not include software you’ve paid for like McAfee or Nortons etc, then you won’t be likely to receive helpful calls so don’t trust any “out of the blue” calls.

We just remind you, before letting a telephone caller lead you to your computer to “show you” what is the matter with it, and bamboozle you into a “free” support call that will cost you in the end one way or another, just let a Doctor Watsons engineer pop round to check with a “no-fix no-fee” call out.

Remember there is no call out fee within our local area and Businesses can use Doctor Watsons adhoc as required without a contract if desired.

Give Doctor Watsons a try.

Tags: , , Filled Under: Alerts Posted on: 02/09/2011

Beware of too good to be true Telephone support calls…

Be aware…. foreign phone calls from ‘your computer support company’ or any other firm saying something vague about who they are saying they can fix a problem you are having with your computer, that they have noticed.

They will usually tell you the check is free, but once they have started work they will require payment of a not insignificant amount.

Don’t let them access your computer, don’t visit a website they tell you to, don’t let them gain remote control of your PC.

It is a security risk to allow anyone you don’t know access to your computer.  They could just damage it causing you costly repair bills, they could compromise your data, steal your passwords, or even join your computer to a ‘bot-net’ used to attach other people, companies or other malicious purposes.

Remember Doctor Watsons never uses anyone else to provide our support, we will only ever access your machine remotely if you have agreed previously during an inperson visit, or are a previous customer that is known to us.  So if you are not sure if a call is linked to Doctor Watsons, just call us on 0800 6125 118 to check

Tags: , , Filled Under: Alerts Posted on: 12/07/2011