Tag Archives: vishing

ThreatFire Updated to Version 4 – Free Protection against Zero-Day Threats

I am an Internet security freak and with good reason. The Internet today presents constantly evolving security risks to computers and operating systems that at times seem to me like science fiction.

Consider; every day there are increasingly more stories about computer viruses, adware, spyware, hackers, spam, denial of service attacks, phishing, vishing and other Internet frauds, so much so that these stories have become commonplace in the news.

The relentless evolution of these increasingly more powerful and destructive attacks against home computer systems has disclosed a gaping hole, a vulnerability to zero-day threats, in many users’ Internet security defenses.

Zero-day threats are those that are defined as malware that has been written and distributed to take advantage of system vulnerabilities, before security developers can create and release counter measures. Without tools that will identify and eliminate these threats to your computer, you run the risk of infection.

A powerful free tool, ThreatFire from PC Tools’ – the developers of the highly regarded Spyware Doctor, blocks malware (including zero-day threats) by analyzing program behavior (heuristics), instead of relying only on a signature based database. ThreatFire works together with your signature based security applications to increase the effectiveness of your total security arsenal.

(Click pic for larger)

When ThreatFire detects a behavior based threat, it goes into analysis overdrive by comparing the threat against its signature database; those threats that are recognized by the database are quarantined immediately.

(Click pic for larger)

Unrecognized threats, or unrecognized behaviors, are assigned a calculated risk level (set by the user), at which point the user has the option of confirming, or blocking the action.

A good example of the effectiveness of this application was made clear to me, recently, when I was checking all of the ports on my home Windows machine, and ThreatFire immediately advised me that the Port Checker was attempting to send email from port 25.

Of course it actually wasn’t, it was simply opening it for testing purposes. But if this port was being opened, and was being used by a bot, ThreatFire would have identified this danger by its behavior, and given me the necessary warning.

(Click pic for larger)

Fast facts:

Immediately Effective with No Complicated Set Up

Proactive Defense against Both Known and Unknown Threats

PC Tools AntiVirus Included for On-demand Scanning

Quarantine and Permanently Remove Threats from Your System

Rootkit Scanner Seeks Out Deeply Hidden Files, Objects and Registry Keys

View Detailed Process Information on All Running Processes

Complementary to Your Existing Antivirus Software

Advanced Custom Configuration Options and Rules Settings

Virtually No Impact on System Performance

More Technical Details Provided on Alerts

Continually Improving Protection Technology

Free email and web-based technical support

Absolutely Free!

Based on my experience with this application, I highly recommend ThreatFire as critical component in your overall Internet security toolbox.

System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download at: ThreatFire

2 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Hacked, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Internet Safety Tools, Online Safety, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

Cell Phone Fraud – Cyber Criminals New Scam

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. National White Collar Crime Center, cell phone fraud attacks are on the rise.

Given the unsteady state of world economies, a near perfect opportunity has been created for cyber-crooks to take advantage of people’s fears, and the worries, created by the uncertainties surrounding this crisis. Not surprisingly, there has been a major increase in financial-themed phishing, vishing, and spam.

Yes, you’ve heard of phishing, but what’s this vishing you ask?

The IC³ (Internet Crime Complaint Center) describes vishing as an attempt to persuade consumers either by email, text message, or a telephone call, purportedly from their credit card/debit card company, to divulge their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), claiming their account has been suspended, deactivated, or terminated.

In a common scenario, recipients are asked to contact their bank by calling a telephone number provided in the e-mail, cell phone text message, or alternatively, by an automated telephone recording. When the potential victim calls the telephone number, they are greeted with “Welcome to the bank of …” and then requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue.

In the email scam attempt, in order to persuade the recipient that it is not a scam, the fraudulent e-mail sets out all the caveats the potential victim should be aware of in dealing with this type of email.

Who would consider that a scam artist would warn you that a bank would not contact customers to obtain their Personally Identifiable Information by e-mail, mail, text message or instant messenger?

To further convince the recipient of the validity of the email, it goes on to state that the recipients should not provide sensitive information when requested in an e-mail, and not to click on embedded links, claiming they could contain “malicious software aimed at capturing login credentials.”

Would this convince you that this email was genuine? It just might.

A new version of this scam recently reported to IC³ involves the sending of text messages to cell phones claiming the recipient’s on-line bank account has expired. The message instructs the recipient to renew their on-line bank account by using the link provided.

These types of attacks against financial institutions, and consumers, are occurring with such frequency that IC³ has called the situation “alarming”.

To reduce the chances of being victimized the following are minimum safety precautions you should take:

Consider every email, telephone call, or text message requesting your Personally Identifiable Information as a scam

Never click on embedded email or cell phone links

When contacting your bank; use a telephone number from your statement, a telephone book, or another independent source

You can read more on this issue at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

4 Comments

Filed under Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Phishing, Windows Tips and Tools

Cell Phone Fraud – Protect Yourself from Vishing

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. National White Collar Crime Center, Vishing attacks are on the increase.

Yes, you’ve heard of Phishing, but what’s this Vishing you ask?

The IC³ (Internet Crime Complaint Center) describes Vishing as an attempt to persuade consumers either by email, text message, or a telephone call, purportedly from their credit card/debit card company, to divulge their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), claiming their account was suspended, deactivated, or terminated.

In one scenario, recipients are asked to contact their bank by calling a telephone number provided in the e-mail, or alternatively, by an automated telephone recording. When the potential victim calls the telephone number, they’re greeted with “Welcome to the bank of …” and then requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue.

In the email scam attempt, in order to persuade the recipient that it is not a scam, the fraudulent e-mail sets out all the caveats the potential victim should be aware of in dealing with this type of email. Who would consider that a scam artist would warn you that a bank would not contact customers to obtain their PII by e-mail, mail, and instant messenger?

To further convince the recipient of the validity of the email, it goes on to state that the recipients should not provide sensitive information when requested in an e-mail, and not to click on embedded links, claiming they could contain “malicious software aimed at capturing login credentials.”

Would this convince you that this email was genuine? It just might.

A new version of this scam recently reported to IC³ involves the sending of text messages to cell phones claiming the recipient’s on-line bank account has expired. The message instructs the recipient to renew their on-line bank account by using the link provided.

These types of attacks against financial institutions, and consumers, are occurring with such frequency that IC³ has called the situation “alarming”.

Minimum safety precautions you should take.

Consider every email, telephone call, or text message requesting your PII as a scam.

Never click on embedded email or cell phone links.

When contacting your bank; use a telephone number from your statement, a telephone book, or another independent source.

You can read more on this issue at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

2 Comments

Filed under Email, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Windows Tips and Tools

Internet/Cell Phone Fraud – Vishing, Cyber Criminals New Scam

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. National White Collar Crime Center, Vishing attacks are on the increase.

Yes, you’ve heard of Phishing, but what’s this Vishing you ask?

The IC³ (Internet Crime Complaint Center) describes Vishing as an attempt to persuade consumers either by email, text message, or a telephone call, purportedly from their credit card/debit card company, to divulge their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), claiming their account was suspended, deactivated, or terminated.

In one scenario, recipients are asked to contact their bank by calling a telephone number provided in the e-mail, or alternatively, by an automated telephone recording. When the potential victim calls the telephone number, they’re greeted with “Welcome to the bank of …” and then requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue.

In the email scam attempt, in order to persuade the recipient that it is not a scam, the fraudulent e-mail sets out all the caveats the potential victim should be aware of in dealing with this type of email. Who would consider that a scam artist would warn you that a bank would not contact customers to obtain their PII by e-mail, mail, and instant messenger?

To further convince the recipient of the validity of the email, it goes on to state that the recipients should not provide sensitive information when requested in an e-mail, and not to click on embedded links, claiming they could contain “malicious software aimed at capturing login credentials.”

Would this convince you that this email was genuine? It just might.

A new version of this scam recently reported to IC³ involves the sending of text messages to cell phones claiming the recipient’s on-line bank account has expired. The message instructs the recipient to renew their on-line bank account by using the link provided.

These types of attacks against financial institutions, and consumers, are occurring with such frequency that IC³ has called the situation “alarming”.

Minimum safety precautions you should take.

  • Consider every email, telephone call, or text message requesting your PII as a scam
  • Never click on embedded email or cell phone links
  • When contacting your bank; use a telephone number from your statement, a telephone book, or another independent source

You can read more on this issue at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

3 Comments

Filed under Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, internet scams, Online Banking, Online Safety, Phishing, Privacy, Uncategorized, Windows Tips and Tools

ThreatFire 3 – Free Protection Against Zero-Day Threats

I am an Internet security freak and I make no apologies for it. The Internet today presents constantly evolving security risks to computers, and operating systems, that sometimes seem to me like science fiction.

Consider that every day there are increasingly more stories about computer viruses, adware, spyware, hackers, spam, denial of service attacks, phishing, vishing and other Internet frauds, so much so that these stories have become commonplace in the news.

The relentless evolution of these more powerful and destructive attacks against home computer systems has disclosed a gaping hole, a vulnerability to zero-day threats, in many users’ Internet security defenses. Zero-day threats are those that are defined as malware that has been written and distributed to take advantage of system vulnerabilities before security developers can create and release counter measures. Without tools that will identify and eliminate these threats to your computer, you run the risk of infection.

A powerful free tool, ThreatFire 3 from PC Tools’ – the developers of the highly regarded Spyware Doctor, blocks malware (including zero-day threats) by analyzing program behavior (heuristics), instead of relying only on a signature based database. ThreatFire 3 works together with your signature based security applications to increase the effectiveness of your security arsenal.

When ThreatFire 3 detects a behavior based threat, it goes into analysis overdrive by comparing the threat against its signature database; those threats that are recognized by the database are quarantined immediately. Unrecognized threats, or behaviors, are assigned a calculated risk level at which point the user has the option of confirming or blocking the action.

A good example of the effectiveness of this application was made clear to me, this week, when I was checking all of the ports on my Windows machine, and ThreatFire 3 immediately advised me that the Port Checker was attempting to send email from port 25. Of course it actually wasn’t, it was simply opening it for testing purposes. But if this port was being opened, and was being used by a bot, ThreatFire 3 would have identified this danger by its behavior and given me the necessary warning.

Based on my experience with this application, I highly recommend it as critical component in your overall Internet security toolbox.

System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download at: ThreatFire

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5 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System File Protection, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Vishing – The New Scam on the Block!

internet-crime-center.jpgAccording to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. National White Collar Crime Center, Vishing attacks are on the increase.

Yes, you’ve heard of Phishing, but what’s this Vishing you ask?

The IC³ (Internet Crime Complaint Center) describes Vishing as an attempt to persuade consumers either by email, text message, or a telephone call, purportedly from their credit card/debit card company, to divulge their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), claiming their account was suspended, deactivated, or terminated.

In one scenario, recipients are asked to contact their bank by calling a telephone number provided in the e-mail, or alternatively, by an automated telephone recording. When the potential victim calls the telephone number, they’re greeted with “Welcome to the bank of …” and then requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue.

In the email scam attempt, in order to persuade the recipient that it is not a scam, the fraudulent e-mail sets out all the caveats the potential victim should be aware of in dealing with this type of email. Who would consider that a scam artist would warn you that a bank would not contact customers to obtain their PII by e-mail, mail, and instant messenger?

To further convince the recipient of the validity of the email, it goes on to state that the recipients should not provide sensitive information when requested in an e-mail, and not to click on embedded links, claiming they could contain “malicious software aimed at capturing login credentials.”

Would this convince you that this email was genuine? It just might.

A new version of this scam recently reported to IC³ involves the sending of text messages to cell phones claiming the recipient’s on-line bank account has expired. The message instructs the recipient to renew their on-line bank account by using the link provided.

These types of attacks against financial institutions, and consumers, are occurring with such frequency that IC³ has called the situation “alarming”.

Minimum safety precautions you should take.

·        Consider every email, telephone call, or text message requesting your PII as a scam

·        Never click on embedded email or cell phone links

·        When contacting your bank; use a telephone number from your statement, a telephone book, or another independent source

You can read more on this issue at www.ic3.gov.

4 Comments

Filed under Internet Safety, Living Life, Malware Advisories, Online Banking, Online Safety, Privacy, Safe Surfing, Windows Tips and Tools