Posts Tagged: ‘identity thieves’

Scam of the day – December 3, 2013 – Latest software vulnerability alert

December 3, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

The Department of Homeland Security through the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Vulnerability Database regularly issue Cyber Security Bulletins to alert you to vulnerabilities in regularly used software as well as provide links to security patches and updates to correct these problems.  The vulnerabilities are rated, High, Medium and Low with High, of course, being the highest priority.  Scammers and identity thieves exploit these vulnerabilities to cause us all harm so it is critical that you download and install the necessary patches as soon as they are available.  Some people are wary when they receive notices of security patches because they are not sure whether the notices are legitimate or are from scammers.  The links provided here at Scamicide are links you can trust.

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Here is a link to the latest Cyber Security Bulletin, which I urge you to look at and click on the links to download and install the patches for the software programs that apply to you.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB13-336

Scam of the day – December 1, 2013 – Important Microsoft security alert

December 1, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Identity thieves and scammers constantly are exposing vulnerabilities in the software programs that we use for their criminal purposes, which is why it is critical that you update your software programs as soon as possible when security patches and updates become available.  Recently Microsoft issued a security advisory in which the company indicated that it had discovered a serious vulnerability in the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, two of the older Windows software programs.  At the moment Microsoft has not developed a sufficient update or patch to remedy this problem, however, Microsoft does recommend a Workaround, which is a setting or configuration change that will not remedy the vulnerability, but will block attacks until a patch can be developed.

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The full Microsoft Security Advisory including instructions as to how to construct a Workaround that will block attacks attempting to take advantage of the identified vulnerability in the affected software programs can be found by clicking on the following link and going to the Microsoft Security Advisory.  If you use either of these programs, it is critical that you take this preventive action.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2013/11/28/Microsoft-Releases-Security-Advisory-Microsoft-Windows-Kernel

Scam of the day – October 17, 2013 – Important list of security updates

October 17, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team regularly compiles a list of vulnerable computer software and the security patches necessary to correct these vulnerabilities.  These vulnerabilities are ranked High, Medium and Low.  Obviously the vulnerabilities ranked high pose the greatest threat to your security.  Below you will find a link to the latest Vulnerability summary which includes patches for the latest exposed flaws in Adobe software which are quite significant and which, deservedly, have been the subject of a number of recent Scams of the day as these vulnerabilities pose a significant threat to you of identity theft.  I urge you to not only install the new security patches, but to go to the Scamicide Archives and read all of the recent Adobe Scams of the day to determine if you want to continue to use Adobe products.  You may wish to consider alternatives which I suggest in the Scams of the day.

It is always important to update your software with the latest security patches and updates because identity thieves exploit these vulnerabilities and count on you not to be timely in downloading important security patches.  Remember, the good guys are always at least a month behind the bad guys in identifying these vulnerabilities so it is important to remedy the problem as soon as possible.  Make sure you read Scamicide every day to keep track of the latest security patches and updates.

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Here is  a link to the Department of Homeland Security’s latest Vulnerability Summary with links to security patches for many different software programs. https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB13-287

Scam of the day – August 18, 2013 – Urgent Microsoft security updates – How to prevent identity theft

August 17, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Identity thieves and hackers are constantly working to discover and exploit vulnerabilities in the various computer software that we use in our computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other portable devices  to make you a victim of online identity theft therefore it is extremely important that as flaws are discovered and patches for these flaws issued that you download the necessary security patches as soon as possible.  Identity thieves and hackers rely on the fact that many people do not keep their security software up to date and exploit this fact.  Recently Microsoft has issued new security patches for discovered vulnerabilities in various Windows programs that millions of people use.  The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security regularly issues alerts regarding software patches you need to install and recently they issued such an alert for Windows software.

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Here is a link to the Security Advisory issued by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team which, in turn, provides secure links that you can trust that will take you to the necessary Microsoft security downloads.  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2013/08/15/Microsoft-Releases-Security-Advisory

Scam of the day – June 21, 2013 – Critical Java Updates

June 21, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Regular readers of Scamicide (which I hope you all will be) are familiar with the many problems that have come with the use of Java software.  Java is a very popular software made by Oracle.  Unfortunately, it is also a software that has proven to be very vulnerable to being hacked and exploited for purposes of identity theft and stealing information by knowledgeable hackers and identity thieves.  In one of  the more interesting facts about identity theft, Kaspersky Lab, a security firm has stated that flaws in Java software were responsible for almost half of all cyber attacks by identity thieves and hackers last year.  The Department of Homeland Security has even gone so far as to advise people to disable Java or prevent Java apps from running on their computers.  However, many people still use Java for their work and personal computer use.  If you are one of these people it is imperative that you update your Java software with the latest security patches as soon as their are released.  Recently Java announced a new security patch, which you should install on your computer as soon as possible if you use Java software to help protect you from hacking and identity thieves.  Identity theft statistics show that if you install the security patch, you will lower, although not eliminate, your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.

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Here is a link to the latest Java security patch information: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/javacpujun2013-1899847.html

Unless you absolutely must use Java, my advice is to disable it.  You can find a link with instructions as to how to disable Java in my Scam of the Day for April 22, 2013 which can be found in the archives of Scamicide which you can access at the top right hand corner of this blog.

If you still wish to use Java software, make sure that you download the latest Java security patch at the link indicated above.  It will help provide identity theft protection.

Scam of the day – May 20, 2013 – Critical Microsoft updates

May 20, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

As I often tell you, it is critical to keep your software programs updated with the latest security patches.  Identity thieves and scammers are constantly locating and exploiting flaws in the software we all use in an effort to steal from us, make us victims of identity theft or gain control of our computers to make them a part of a bot net of zombie computers that they can use to spread viruses and malware as well as attack companies.  Consequently I regularly report on the latest software security updates for you to download.  Microsoft recently announced new updates for Windows, Internet Explorer, NET Framework, Lync, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows Essential.  Since everyone uses at least one of these programs, it is important for you to update your programs.

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Here is a link you can trust to the official Microsoft updates that you should download as soon as possible:  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA13-134A

If you have not already done so, you should consider making future updates automatic.  Links to enable you to do this can be found on the page that I am linking you to above.

Scam of the day – April 8, 2013 – Mozilla Firefox updates

April 7, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

It is very important to keep all of your software patched with the latest security patches to prevent scammers and identity thieves from exploiting vulnerabilities in your software.  Mozilla Firefox is an excellent web browser used by many people and recently it issued a security alert in regard to fixing security issues identified in the software.  Identity thieves and scammers are always taking advantage of people who neglect to promptly update their security software so it is critical if you use Mozilla Firefox that you update your software as soon as possible.

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Here is a link to the latest security bulletin from Mozilla Firefox with links that will enable you to download the security patches.

http://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vulnerabilities/firefox.html

I also invite you to check out the vast number of scams contained in the archives of scamicide.com which can be accessed directly from the bottom of the blog where it says “older entries.”

Scam of the day – March 17, 2013 – Safari 6.0.3 and OS X Mountain Lion security updates

March 17, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

As I constantly remind people, it is critical to keep your software programs updated with all of the latest security updates.  Some people have their software automatically updated, but others wait until they learn of the latest security patches and some don’t get around at all to updating their software security.  That is a big mistake.  Identity thieves take advantage of vulnerabilities in popular software programs that they discover and then exploit, often before the vulnerabilities are discovered, but even after the vulnerabilities have been dealt with by the software companies in computers of people who fail to update their software programs as soon as possible.  Safari is a web browser created by Apple that is included with Macs.  Recently Apple became aware of security flaws in the software and took steps to patch those flaws.  But those patches are only helpful if you use them.  Apple has also issued updates to its security for its OS X Mountain Lion desk top operating system.  Failure to update your software could easily result in your becoming a victim of identity theft.  At one time hackers and identity thieves focused their attention on PC users, but as Macs have increased in popularity with the public, so have they increased in popularity with identity thieves who are now exploiting security vulnerabilities in Macs and their software.

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Here is a link to an Apple update with information about the latest security patches and links to installing updated security patches.  If you use Safari, do not delay updating your software’s security.  Here is the link to updating your Safari program.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5671

Here is a link to updating your OSX Mountain Lion program.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5672

Scam of the day – March 9, 2013 – Important software security updates

March 9, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Identity thieves and hackers continuously try to exploit vulnerabilities in software programs that we all use in order to permit them to avoid security features and hack into our computers or perform other misdeeds.  It is critical to update the various software programs that you use as quickly as new patches are issued to address these vulnerabilities.  The delay or failure to do so can be devastating.  I will keep you updated as soon as new updates are issued and also provide links that you can trust to go to the proper places to download the patches.  Google has just issued a patch for its Google Chrome program for Windows, Linux and Macs.  If you use Google Chrome you should download the latest updates that apply to you.  In addition, a number of other companies have also issued security updates that you should install immediately.

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Here is a link from the United States Computer Readiness Emergency Team, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security with a list of all of the most recent security patches and links to those patches.  You should definitely update those programs that apply to you.

http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB13-063

 

Scam of the day – March 1, 2013 – How to protect yourself from the next Facebook hacking

March 1, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Many people spend a considerable amount of time on Facebook.  Identity thieves and hackers know this and are focusing their efforts against both Facebook as a company and individual Facebook users, attempting to gather personal information that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Many people have already been victimized by identity thieves and hackers who are able to either gather information from your Facebook account to make you a victim of identity theft or induce you to download keystroke logging malware that steals all of the personal information from your computer including your Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, passwords and other information that leads to your becoming a victim of identity theft.

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There is nothing you can do to totally guarantee that you will not become a victim of identity theft, however, there are important and relatively easy steps that you can take to protect yourself from identity theft when using Facebook.  Don’t use your proper name for your account.  Don’t make it easy for an identity thief to see who you are.  Don’t list your real birth date.  This is another piece of information that can be exploited by an identity thief.  Never store your credit card number on Facebook or any other website for convenience.  This also makes it quite convenient for an identity thief to access your credit card if he or she hacks into Facebook or your account there.  Be careful about the amounts of what may appear to you to be innocuous information on your Facebook page.  Some of it can lead to the answers to your security questions on various accounts of yours.  Don’t befriend anyone who asks.  Among those new friends might be identity thieves.  Never click on links or downloads from your “friends” unless you have confirmed that both the message containing the link or download actually came from them as opposed to an hacker who has hijacked their account and  that the material being sent is secure.  Follow these steps and you will put a happy face on your Facebook page.