Scam of the day – April 16, 2016 – Apple ends support for QuickTime for Windows

I am always advising you to update the software that you use with the latest security patches and updates because cybercriminals exploit newly discovered vulnerabilities in the software programs that we all use to deliver malware such as ransomware and keystroke logging malware that can steal the information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  Too often, criminals are successful in using malware against which there are already issued security patches, but that many people fail to install in a timely fashion.  It is for this reason that I am constantly providing you with the latest security updates as issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

However, sometimes when it becomes just too difficult to plug the holes in particular software, the software maker will abandon the particular software and not issue any further updates.  This was the case with the Windows XP operating system.  Continuing to use that system puts you in significant danger of being hacked.  Now, Apple has announced that it will no longer produce security updates for its QuickTime media player which handles video, audio and interactive content.  This is a major announcement and if Apple is abandoning QuickTime, so should you.

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The risk of continued use of QuickTime is too great.  Not only should you cease to use it, you should also uninstall it.  Here is a link to Apple’s instructions for uninstalling QuickTime.  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205771

Here also is a link to the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security about Apple ending its support for QuickTime for Windows.  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-105A

Also, in keeping with my advice to update your computer software programs with the latest patches as soon as they become available, here are links from the Department of Homeland Security to important updates for  Microsoft software and Google Chrome.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/04/12/Microsoft-Releases-April-2016-Security-Bulletin

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/04/13/Google-Releases-Security-Update-Chrome

Scam of the day – March 23, 2016 – Latest software security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

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 finding 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.  Today’s updates include critical updates for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple and Adobe Flash.

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Here are the links to the latest security updates and patches from the Department of Homeland Security:  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB16-081 and https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/03/21/Apple-Releases-Multiple-Security-Updates

Scam of the day – July 14, 2015 – More Adobe Flash problems and other security patches

As I wrote about previously, the recent hacking of the spyware company Hacking Team has exposed two new serious Adobe Flash vulnerabilities  that are already being exploited by hackers and identity thieves.  Anyone who uses Adobe Flash is in danger.  With its history of its vulnerabilities having been exploited by hackers for years, now may be a good time for people to consider disabling Adobe Flash and using other video software programs.  Some alternatives include LightSpark, Unity Web Player, GNU Gnash, and Silverlight.  Silverlight can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft website.

Below I will provide you with the latest security advisory from Adobe Flash although it should be emphasized that as I write today’s Scam of the Day there are no security patches yet available for the latest two discovered vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash.  However, there are security patches available for other problems with Adobe Flash that you should install if you are still using this program.  Also below you will find a link to the latest security update from the Department of Homeland Security with many critical security patches.

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Here is the link to the latest security advisory from Adobe:  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/07/11/Adobe-Flash-ActionScript-3-opaqueBackground-Use-After-Free

Here is the link to the latest security update alert from the Department of Homeland Security:  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-194

 

Scam of the day – June 26, 2015 – Samsung disables Windows Updates

Samsung is not having a particular good week.  First, as I reported to you in June 21st’s Scam of the Day a long standing security flaw in millions of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones was disclosed and, as of today, still remains unpatched and now, Microsoft engineer Patrick Barker has found a program with Samsung’s computer software that disables Windows Updates from running automatically.  This means that if you have a Samsung computer, it is necessary for you to manually update your computer with the latest Windows security patches each time they are issued.  Not only is this an inefficient way to install critical security updates that are necessary to protect you from hacking and other dangers, but most Samsung computer users probably did not even know that this Samsung disabling program even existed.  For regular readers of Scamicide, you are at least protected to some extent because whenever Microsoft issues a new Windows security update, we publish it with the links you need to download the necessary patches.  However, automatic updating of your computer’s software is always the better option.  Hackers and identity thieves consistently take advantage of people, companies and government agencies that fail to promptly update their software when security patches are released.

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If you have a Samsung computer, there is nothing you can do to turn off your computer’s software program that disables Windows Updates from running automatically because even if you turn Windows Updates back on, your computer will automatically disable it again the very next time your computer is rebooted.  Therefore it is incumbent upon you, if you have a Samsung computer to make sure that you update your Windows software with the latest security patches on your own as soon as they become available.  You can either monitor Microsoft’s website or just follow Scamicide each day and we will alert you when updates are issued.

Scam of the day – June 17, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

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 finding 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.  Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  Today’s updates include critical updates for Adobe Flash, Microsoft Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

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Here are links to the latest security updates and patches from the Department of Homeland Security: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-166

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/06/16/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates-Multiple-Products

Scam of the day – April 20, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

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 finding 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.  Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  Today’s updates include important security patches for Google Chrome, Oracle, Adobe Flash, Adobe ColdFusion, Flex, and Microsoft Windows.  The Adobe Flash vulnerability had been exploited by Russian hackers to obtain information from the computers of other governments.

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Here are links to the latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/04/15/Google-Releases-Security-Update-Chrome

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/04/15/Oracle-Releases-April-2015-Security-Advisory

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/04/15/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates-Flash-Player-ColdFusion-and-Flex

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/04/14/Microsoft-Releases-April-2015-Security-Bulletin

Scam of the day – April 5, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

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 finding 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.  Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  Today’s updates include security patches for Adobe Flash which is always a target of identity thieves as well as updates for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and others.

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Here are links to the latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-082

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/04/01/Google-Releases-Security-Update-Chrome

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/03/31/Mozilla-Releases-Security-Updates-Firefox-Firefox-ESR-and

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/03/26/Cisco-Releases-Semiannual-IOS-Software-Security-Advisory-Bundled

Scam of the day – February 1, 2015 – Important security patches for Apple OS X, Safari, iOS, Apple TV and Adobe Flash Player

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 finding 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.  Today’s updates are critical updates from Apple for OS X, Safari, iOS and Apple TV users.  In particular, one of vulnerabilities if left unpatched could enable a remote attacker to take complete control of the victim’s system. Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  In addition, today’s security updates provides new security patches for the popular Adobe Flash Player which is a constant target of hackers.  Although it has just been a couple of weeks since I last provided you with Adobe Flash Player security updates, there are new security patches you should install now.

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Here is a  link to the necessary  Apple updates as provided by the Department of Homeland Security:  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/01/27/Apple-Releases-Security-Updates-OS-X-Safari-iOS-and-Apple-TV

Here is a link to the security updates for the Adobe Flash Player: http://helpx.adobe.com/security.html

Scam of the day – January 7, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

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 finding 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 includes an important Facebook security update

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Here are the links to the latest Department of Homeland Security software updates and security patches: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-005

Scam of the day – December 21, 2014 – Microsoft sues tech support scammers

For years I have been warning you about the tech support scams which starts with a telephone call purportedly from Microsoft.  The caller informs you that Microsoft has diagnosed problems with your computer, such as viruses.  They then either ask for remote access so that they can fix the problem at no cost to you or they ask for personal information.   In both situations the caller is up to no good.  If you provide remote access to your computer you will have effectively turned over all of the information in your computer to the caller who can and will then use that information to make you a victim of identity theft.  If you provide personal information by phone, that information too will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  In other situations, the scammer tells you that having scanned your computer they have found a virus or malware which they can fix for you at a fee.  Of course, there is no virus or malware, but they trick you into paying for a service you do not need.  Now Micosoft is striking back and has just filed a federal civil lawsuit in California against Omnitech Support and other associated companies that Microsoft assert has been perpetrating this scam.

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Microsoft will not and does not contact you by phone in regard to diagnosing or software problems.  If someone contacts you by phone unsolicited by you indicating that they are from Microsoft tech support and they are calling you to help you with a problem that you did not contact them about, you should immediately hang up.  You are talking to a scammer.  It should be noted, however, that Microsoft does regularly issue software security updates, but they do this in automated updates if you have provided for this service or on their website.  Installing the latest security software updates and patches is a critical part of fighting identity theft and scams because hackers exploit vulnerabilities that they discover in commonly used software to make you a victim of identity theft or scams.  Software companies are just as constantly coming up with software to correct these vulnerabilities so it is important to install the latest security patches as soon as possible.  It is for this reason that I regularly provide you with links to the latest security patches for the software that you use.  I assemble this information from the Department of Homeland Security.  It is therefore to check Scamicide each day to make sure that you do not miss important information.