Watch out for fake “Microsoft account Verify your email address” spam!

We at SUPERAntiSpyware have noticed in uptick in spam that claims to be associated with verifying your email address to set up a Microsoft Account.

Fake Microsoft account verification email

We recommend you immediately delete this email, do not click the “Verify Your email address button” it will redirect you to a known phishing site to try to steal your account information. You can tell the button is fake by simply hovering your mouse over the button and taking a look at the URL, clearly non-Microsoft related.

Clicking this button does not verify your account, it brings you to a phishing website that will lure you into giving up your account information!

If you have been scammed by this email, immediately change your Microsoft account password and consider looking into changing your spam settings to avoid future spam emails such as these. Remember, if you do not recognize the sender address, do not open the email!

How to protect your PC from Petya/GoldenEye ransomware

There are two ways this strain of ransomware is infecting large businesses, governments, and other entities around the world:

  • An attack via a vulnerable Windows Server Message Block (SMB) service which windows uses to share Files/Printers across networks.
  • The Microsoft PxExec tool with admin credentials from target computer.

These problems have been patched by Microsoft, but there are still users out there who have not downloaded the patches for their Windows Operating Systems so the ransomware keeps spreading.

To fight back and protect yourself from this global ransomware attack make sure you do the following:

1) You have Windows Automatic Updates turned on and you are up to date. If you don’t have auto update on, you can download the security update for your version of Windows HERE

2) Make sure your copy of SUPERAntiSpyware is the latest edition and is current with the latest definitions. If you own the Professional Edition, make sure Real-Time Protection is enabled.

3)Backing up your computer regularly and keeping a recent backup copy not connected to any PC. We recommend using Support.com Online Backup which we offer on our online shopping cart as an optional offer when purchasing SUPERAntiSpyware Professional.

What Are Cookies?


Cookies are files, typically text files which are stored on a user’s device. They are made to contain data specific to the user or website, and can be accessed either by a web server or the users device. Cookies cannot themselves harm your computer in any way. Cookies allow the web server to deliver a web page “suited” to the user, or the web page itself can contain a script which is reading the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website to the next website.

Typically what this means is that cookies are used to remember logins and keep track of user settings on websites, this information might include the name of the site, particular products being viewed, pages visited, etc. Cookies can be used to track your movement on the Internet ONLY if a site is aware of the cookies and is designed to use the specific cookies. Because of their use in tracking online activity, many feel that this constitutes spyware. Most antispyware applications, including SUPERAntiSpyware, detect tracking cookies in one form or another.

Cookies are not blocked by SUPERAntiSpyware because they are required for most web functionality.  Cookies will come back every time you surf the web, and can be cleaned by running a Quick or Complete Scan.

Worried about WannaCrypt Ransomware? Update your Windows OS!

Home users and businesses should make sure their Windows Operating Systems and security software are updated in order to stop the spread of WannaCrypt. Make sure your copy of Windows is updated, click HERE to read Microsoft’s Customer Guidance post about this ransomware. Microsoft even took usual steps and released updates to unsupported Operating systems such as XP. From the article linked above:

Additionally, we are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Customers running Windows 10 were not targeted by the attack today.”

WannaCrypts ransom message

We at SUPERAntiSpyware stress that you also make sure you are using the latest edition of SUPERAntiSpyware, version 6.0.1240 as of this blog post with the most recent definitions AND make sure you have Real-Time Protection set to enabled.

If you have your Windows Firewall disabled, immediately enable it. If you have a third-party Firewall, make sure it is enabled and the software is current.

Our Top 5 Google Chrome Extension Picks For Better Web Security


Security and privacy are some of the major concerns when using the internet. One of the more popular internet browsers Google Chrome allows users to add extensions to the browser adding new functionality. Here are our picks for the top 5 Google Chrome security and privacy extensions that you should install for safer web browsing along side using your SUPERAntiSpyware software on your PC.

Click on each link and it will bring you to the Chrome Web Store where you can learn more about the extension and its creators. Most of these extensions are available on other popular browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera so do not feel limited to only Google Chrome!

1) uBlock Origin – A lightweight ad-blocker and anti-tracking extension that is efficient on memory and CPU footprint.

2) Privacy Badger – Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).  Privacy Badger is an anti-tracking extension that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from tracking where you go on the web. Privacy Badger Works great alongside uBlock Origin.

3) HTTPS Everywhere – Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and The Tor Project. HTTPS Everywhere ensures that you always connect to a website using a secure HTTPS connection if one is available. HTTPS is a form of encryption making your browsing much more secure.

4) DuckDuckGo for Chrome– DuckDuckGo is the search engine that doesn’t track you. This add-on makes DuckDuckGo your default search engine and includes some other useful features.

5) LastPass: Free Password Manager – “Only remember one password. Your LastPass master password. Save all your usernames and passwords to LastPass, and it will auto-login to your sites and sync your passwords everywhere you need them.”

Do you have any Google Chrome extension recommendations? Feel free to leave a comment below!

-SUPERAntiSpyware Team

Watch out for fake USPS delivery emails!

We at SUPERAntiSpyware have been alerted to scam emails hitting users claiming to be from the US Postal Service (USPS) that contains a link that will infect them with malware. One of the emails being used by this scam is notice@ussp(DOT)com

The subject line of the email will typically be titled “Delivery notification – Parcel delivery *NUMBER* failed” containing a message that the user please call the number on the shipping notice we left at your doorstep (which there will be none!) to arrange a new delivery, and a link which you can view the delivery notice online, on the USPS website.

This is a fake link to a malware infested website.

If you see a link in a suspicious email such as this do not click the links or open the attachments no matter how innocent they sound. If it claims to be from an official organization, call them and ask if the email is legit. Better safe than sorry!

How do I submit spyware samples to the SUPERAntiSpyware team?

If you wish to send our Spyware Research Team a sample, please use the SUPERSampleSubmit tool which may be downloaded HERE

 

SUPERAntiSpyware
Submit your spyware samples to our Spyware Research Team

Please ONLY submit files that you believe are threats. These samples will be placed into our queue for review and analysis.

“The HoeflerText Font Wasn’t Found” Google Chrome Malware Scam – What it is and how to avoid it!

You are browsing the web and accidentally land on a website with nonsensical characters instead of letters and you receive a prompt to download a missing font in order to read the website. You are told in order to fix the error and display the text, you have to update the “Chrome Font Pack”. Whatever you do, please do not click that blue Update button!

Fake Google Chrome Prompt asking you to install the malware

It is a scam designed to trick users into installing malware onto their systems. This malware is ranging from Ransomware, to Trojans, to various adware bundles.

How to avoid it

The fake dialogue box informing you that the “The HoeflerText Font Wasn’t Found” will claim you are using Chrome version 53 even if you are not using that version, which tells you something isn’t right and that the prompt you are seeing is fake.

Make sure you are using the latest version of Google Chrome which you can download by clicking here

Make sure you are also using the latest version of SUPERAntiSpyware with Real-Time Protection enabled, a feature only available for SUPERAntiSpyware Professional users.

Tax Season is here – Watch out for Identity Stealing Spyware!

Keep your personal information safe this tax season by doing a Free scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition

We want to remind everyone that tax season is the time of increased attacks in the forms of spyware, various methods of phishing , and scams. Spyware and Malware authors significantly increase their activity during the tax season in order to try to steal data and withdraw money from bank accounts, steal credit cards, passwords, and other malicious acts.

During this tax season its important to do a few things to help protect yourself online:

1) Make sure your Operating System and software applications such as web browsers and email clients are up to date.

2) Run a Complete Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware regularly with the latest updates, at least twice a week during this period of increased activity.

3) Be cautious before visiting strange websites, or opening strange email attachments. Think before you click!

4) Manually erase, or use privacy software, to delete sensitive data from you PC. Spyware cannot steal what isn’t there!

5) Lookout for spam phishing email impersonating government, bank, or tax company officials asking for sensitive information.

Do you have any security recommendations that help you stay safe during the tax season? Feel free to leave a comment below!

-SUPERAntiSpyware Team

How to deal with Tech Support Scams

You get a pop-up message that says you’re infected and for you to call “Microsoft” Tech Support with the provided number, a voice may come from your speaker instructs you that your data is in harm’s way and you should not shut off your PC. In a panic, PC users call this number and long story short, end up paying hundreds of dollars to a scam artist that claimed to fix something that was never an issue to begin with. This story is common today if you read the news.

A tech support scam artist claims to be an employee (or work with) of a major software company offering technical support to the victim. This can range from someone claiming to be your ISP, your cable provider, or even a Apple or Microsoft. The scam artist will claim the “company” has received notifications of errors, viruses, or issues from the victim’s PC. Scam artists are also claiming to work on behalf of the government to fight computer viruses and threats from enemy nations, hackers and terrorist organizations.

How they get you

Tech Support scam artists have a few tricks to try to extort you or scare you into paying them:

Cold Call. You’ll get a random call from the scammer who claims your PC is infected or has a serious error.

Pop-Up or Rogue Website. This is the more popular tactic where the victim will accidentally stumble upon a rogue website or receive a pop-up claiming you have a Windows OS Blue Screen Error, a massive data error, or a serious infection. Sometimes, it will lock your screen up and freeze your internet browser, or play a sound or voice over the speaker in an attempt to scare the victim. The pop-up or rogue website will always include the scam phone number for the victim to call.

Once you are speaking to them and letting them in

They will attempt to scare you further and instruct you to allow them to remote access your PC or devices to “fix” them. One they are in, they will claim they found the “errors” or “viruses” and ask you to pay for them to be removed, this usually amounts to hundreds of dollars. The money is collected from the victim usually by debit/credit card, wire transfer, or even prepaid gift carts!

If the tech support scammers are remotely accessing your devices, they can use this as a way to hold your information hostage and ransom you. They can intentionally install malware onto your PC, or steal your sensitive data on your PC such as passwords, financial accounts, and other data. There have been reports of the scammers becoming so agitated they have threatened to destroy the computer and all its data unless the victim pays on spot.

What can you do to stop them?

We at SUPERAntiSpyware recommend a few different forms of defense and mitigation against the plague of tech support scams:

Do NOT give out credit card or bank information.

Recognizing what is occurring and ending the call immediately if you are speaking to a tech support scammer.

Do not allow unknown and unverified organizations remote access your devices such as your phone or PC.

Make sure you are using the latest version of SUPERAntiSpyware and it is up to date.

If you see a pop-up or you stumble upon a rogue website that is claiming you are infected, have an error, or a Blue Screen of Death go ahead and close your web browser, if needed force it down via the Process Manager. If you cannot do that, reboot your machine.

If you are a victim

File a fraud report with your Bank or Card issuer immediately and stop payment, or see if you can dispute the payment if it has already been made.

File a Complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

Change your passwords to the services the tech support scam artists may have uncovered when they remote accessed your PC.

Remove any remote access software the scam artist may have had you install on your PC.