Computer News & Safety – Harry Waldron Rotating Header Image

January 9th, 2018:

Security – FAKE AV popups trick users into unneeded repairs

The ISC documents a popular and dangerous scam that is increasing in frequency.  A realistic AV screen popup appears that warns of a virus infection.  It references user to a fake tech support phone # where the user may receive fraudulent charges on their credit card or malware may be implanted on the device as well.  Only rely on pop-ups from the AV product installed on your device and users should be educated on these risks.

https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Fake+antivirus+pages+popping+up+like+weeds/23207/

I found several compromised sites leading to these fake AV pages and other unwanted destinations.  They all had the same characteristics, and I documented how these compromised sites could be found through Google (link).  However, that particular campaign isn’t the only one pushing fake AV pages.

Below is an example of a fake AV page as seen on a Windows host using Google Chrome.  When I used Internet Explorer, I could not close the popup notifications (they just reappeared), and the browser window would not close unless I killed the process using Task Manager.  This is a social engineering scheme to trick people into calling a fake tech support phone number.  Once you call the number, a fake support technician will walk you through several steps to supposedly fix your computer.  Eventually, you’ll be asked for a credit card number to pay for this service.

Spectre and Meltdown CPU design vulnerabilities – further updates JAN 2018

At this point in time, the following links are well written on both vulnerabilities & their potential for manipulations. 

Latest status & further developments from ISC as of JAN 8th

https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Meltdown+and+Spectre+clearing+up+the+confusion/23197/

Excellent educational & detailed article — sectionalized by each chip major & major vendors … At this point in time, it is well written on both vulnerabilities & their potential for manipulations

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/01/meltdown-and-spectre-heres-what-intel-apple-microsoft-others-are-doing-about-it/

Cloud impacts are more about multiple users being all exposed at once — as hackers could hit the lottery v. single users

The CPU catastrophe will hit hardest in the cloud

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/4/16850120/meltdown-spectre-vulnerability-cloud-aws-google-cpu