Scam of the day – July 25, 2014 – Important security updates for Java and other software

Constant updating of the software we all use with the latest security patches and updates is a critical part of avoiding scams and identity theft threats.  Whenever new security updates and patches are issued, we provide access to these so that you can update your software to provide better security on your computers, smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.  Updating your software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as possible is important because identity thieves and scammers are always identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that we all use.  Delay in updating your software could lead to disastrous results.  However, it is also important to be sure that you are downloading legitimate patches and updates rather than being tricked by an identity thief or scammer into downloading malware under the guise of downloading a security patch or update.  That is why we provide links to the necessary patches and updates as provided by the Department of Homeland Security and the companies directly.  Today’s updates provide critical security updates for a number of important software programs which we all use which if not used will put you in serious jeopardy of identity theft and being hacked.  In particular, this round of security updates provides important security updates for Java software.  Java has been a favorite target of scammers and identity thieves so much that the Department of Homeland Security has even advised people who don’t have to use Java, to disable it.  For more information about Java software I suggest you check out earlier Scams of the day that dealt with Java problems.  You can find these in the Scamicide archives.


Here is a link to the latest security alert and updates as issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security:

Scam of the day – February 21, 2013 – The threat to you of the recent hacking of hundreds of companies

As I have been reporting to you, there have been a recent wave of serious hacking into companies such as Facebook and now Apple, that were long thought to be secure and safe from cyberattacks and these two companies are only two of the hundreds  that have been hacked.  Often companies do not publicize it when a hacking occurs. There is initial evidence that suggests that in the recent Facebook and Apple attacks, it may be the same people and the same vulnerability that is being exploited, namely a vunerability with Java software.  The Department of Homeland Security and many computer security experts are advising people to disable Java on their computers.  As I have told you previously, the computer security company Kaspersky Lab has indicated that Java software  security flaws were responsible for almost half of all cyber attacks in the world last year.  There are conflicting reports as to the source of these most recent hacking, some say Russia, some sayChina, but whoever it is,  the result is the same.  You and I are in danger.  There are plenty of criminals and foreign enemies who can get access to the technology necessary to hack into the computers of the companies and intrastructure of our country.  We are in grave danger.


So what can you do?  President Obama spoke of the dangers of cyberwarfare in his State of the Union Address.  The President and Congress need to act now!  Email your Congressman and Senator and demand that they take action.  Their lack of action in the face of a problem of which they have been aware for a long time has made this problem worse.

As for you and I, as I have said before, our information is only as safe as the security of the weakest institution that holds it and we have seen that banks and other institutions are not secure.  Security begins at home so the first thing that you should do is to follow the security practices I describe in and in my book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age.”   Security software is important, but studies have shown it to be no more than 5% effective in protecting you from the latest viruses.  It generally takes about a month for the software security companies to catch up.  However, it is still important to have security software and make sure that it is current.   In addition, you need backup documentation in case records at your bank, brokerage house or any other place that holds your assets are hacked into and lost.  Copy them regularly to a thumb drive and keep the thumb drive in a secure place in your home.  You should also make paper copies on a regular basis of your bank accounts, brokerage accounts and all other financial accounts and keep them in a locked safe in your home.  Other personal documentation that you should copy and keep locked in a safe include birth certificates, Social Security cards, Deeds, Mortgages, credit card statements,insurance documents and evidence of all accounts that you may have.  This may seem a little over the top, but it really is necessary in case of a major cyberattack on this country.

Scam of the day – May 29, 2012 – Facebook cancellation scam

Facebook users are always targeted by scammers because there are so many of them.  The latest Facebook scam occurs when you receive an email telling you that your Facebook account has been canceled and that you need to click on a link to either confirm or cancel the request.  the link doesn’t take you to an official Facebook page, but it does take you to a third party application present on the Facebook platform.  this unfortunately is enough to fool some people.  If you click on the link, you are asked to allow an unknown Java applet to be installed on your computer.  Unfortunately, if you agree to have the Java applet be installed you are told your Adobe Flash must be updated.  Unfortunately, when you click to update your Adobe Flash, you are not updating your Adobe Flash but downloading keystroke logging malware that will steal all of your personal information from your computer.


Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.  Never click on links unless you are absolutely positive that they are legitimate.  If you get an email such as this and are concerned.  Contact Facebook security on the phone or over the Internet at addresses and telephone numbers that you know are accurate.