KC News

A Friend in Need is a... Phishing Scam?

!Hoax warning!

Your friend did not lose their wallet and they do not need money!

Have you gotten a desperate email, text, IM or phone call from a friend or family member who needs money?

They usually say "I lost my wallet" and "I am traveling" and naturally "I need money" as well.

fakeTheir request may sounds legitimate. You may get really worried. Stop!

Don't fall for it. Don't send money! It is probably another scam.

 

Who is Affected

Rich people. Poor people. Famous people. Sexologists. UK Politician Jack Straw...

Web-based email sites like Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail are all susceptible. Facebook and other social networking sites too.

You too!


How the Phisher/Hacker/Scammer Works

  1. Scammers are getting smarter. They are using proper language. They are using more personal details (obtained through hacks and identity theft).
  2. You get an emails supposedly from your email admin. They ask you to reply to the Email with your username and password (and occasionally with other personal info). They say refusal will result in your account being cancelled.
  3. You receive a chat request - e.g. on Facebook - from a friend. After accepting the request, the friend tells you their wallet was stolen and they need money.
  4. You get a message asking you to run a program. It sounds legit, but it is actually a Trojan Horse that can compromise your computer or network.
  5. Phishing messages today look just like legitimate messages. They look like they come from friends or businesses such as banks, phone companies, electronic payment services, credit card companies, etc. Even the graphics look legit. They may even warn you about fake messages! But the link they want you to click is usually fake, although you may not be able to tell.
  6. Spear phishing is a new form of phishing which targets a specific user. These emails look authentic. They may even include your complete name or refer to other real things. Spear phishers gather this info by doing research or breaking into databases. These emails can fool even tech-savvy people.
  7. Scammers hack into your friends email (usually by guessing their useless password), and then send out the "help me" note to EVERYONE in the address book.
  8. Newer phishing emails do not contain any obvious fake links. They don't ask you to visit fake Websites or install Trojan Horse software. They try to fool you in other ways to create a hole in your computer or network.


What You Can Do

1) Call your friend (don't reply to the email!)

2) Tell them their email was hacked and suggest they do the following:
a) reset or close their account
b) warn and apologize to everyone in their address book
c) notify their email company
d) only use secure passwords

3) Tell your friend that their password was probably not safe. This resulted in a scammer getting access to all the emails and addresses in their email account. Ouch! Now your friend and everyone in their address book is more susceptible to identity theft.

4) Use a browser such as Mozilla Firefox with antiphishing features. It can warn you about bogus sites.

5) Use email software such as Mozilla Thunderbird with antiphishing features. It can warn you about bogus emails.

6) Run antimalware or antispyware software and keep it updated

7) Verify ANY requests for MONEY


More Information

UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw hacked

Family Member Impersonated

Sexologist Hacked


Sample Scam Email


Hope you get this on time,sorry I didn't inform you about my trip in Scotland for a Program, I'm presently in Scotland and am having some difficulties here because i misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept. presently i have limited access to internet,I will like you to assist me with theloan of $ 2500 to sort-out my hotel bills and to get myself back home.

I have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively,I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with,I'll Refund the money back to you as soon as i return,let me know if you can be of any help.I don't have a phone where i can be reached.
Please let me know immediately.

 

 


SAFE COMPUTING PRACTICES

Spyware and malware attacks are becoming much more aggressive than even just a few months ago. And your computer that is connected to the internet is vulnerable! So what can you do?

First of all, having antivirus and antispyware on your computer is NOT ENOUGH.

You must follow safe computing practices in order to avoid infection and transmission of harmful software.

We strongly recommend you follow these SAFE COMPUTING PRACTICES:

1. Don't open any chain emails or mass emailings.

If you do open one then don't forward such communications to others. Just hit delete!

2. Don't open any attachments from unverified sources.

That means DO NOT open any attachments that are unexpected. Just hit delete!

3. Don't install it!

Don't install any specialty applications found in Facebook and similar applications; don't click on any Twitter links. Ignore them!

4. Mac users are no longer safe.

Macs are no longer virus-free products - in many ways, they are more susceptible to malware/virus attacks than their Windows counterparts. Mac users, don't be complacent and make sure that you exercise safe computing, too!

5. Don't fall for fake Pop-ups

If a window pops up on your computer indicating that you have some sort of virus infection and that you should click on a link to scan your machine or download software, DO NOTHING! DO NOT CLICK ANYWHERE ON THE POP-UP WINDOW MESSAGE, DO NOT CLICK CANCEL, DO NOT CLOSE THE WINDOW. Interacting in any way this pop-up window can lead to the installation of password catches, key loggers, and all sorts of other terrible things on your computer. Instead, press Control+Alt+Delete on your keyboard and then end all applications listed in Window's Task Manager.

6. Don't get infected by infected websites

The worst attacks on the internet at this time get on your computer from infected Web sites - these may be perfectly legitimate sites that have been subverted by hackers.

By time you see a pop-up window you may already be infected. The worst of these infections tell you you're infected and may put up something that looks exactly like a Windows report. They will tell you to purchase a clean-up tool. And if you pay them, that's just the beginning of your problems. These infections are written by experts. They are extremely difficult to remove. Special tools and techniques are needed.

7. Always update windows and browsers immediately!

Make sure your Windows and Web Browser are updated with patches and fixes as soon as they come out. This is extremely important as these infections exploit flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer and other programs. The moment a patch comes out the bad guys analyze it for how to exploit the vulnerability it fixed - then write exploits to go after all the unpached computers out there. it takes them only 3 or 4 days.

8. Avoid Microsoft Internet Explorer

Use Mozilla FireFox, Opera, Chrome or Safari rather than Internet Explorer, as it is the most vulnerable Web browser.

9. Make Backups

Purchase an external hard drive and back up all your files to it regularly. Think of this hard drive as $100 insurance that comes in the form of a little black box.

10. Antivirus recommendations

Make sure you have a good antivirus program and it's always up-to-date. Windows includes a free built-in antivirus called Windows Defender (formerly known as Microsoft Security Essentials) which does a decent job.

We don't recommend the popular Norton or McAffee software. AVG or AVAST or even 360 is what we recommend to clients (the free versions usually suffice). Anti-virus programs can't stop everything out there, but at least they may be able to slow some things down - if they're up-to-date. And regular backups are still more important!

11. Antispyware recommendations

Make sure you have antispyware which is not exactly the same as antivirus software. We recommend Spybot Search & Destroy.

Need more advice? Contact Kahl Consultants or speak with your computer or IT expert.

2010 is the year that Augmented Reality will become mainstream

Augemented RealityAugmented what? Augmented Reality! Unlike SMS, GPS, and Facebook, this brand new technology has yet to have its potential fully realized. And 2010 is the year that Augmented Reality will go mainstream.

If you have not heard of Augmented Reality, here's a quick definition:

Augmented reality (lets just call it "AR") is a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated imagery - creating a mixed reality.

Still not sure what AR is all about? Here's how it can work: you are walking (or driving) down the street. With AR displays (they may look like a normal pair of glasses) informative graphics will appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect your movement. Sounds futuristic? Nope, this technology is already here! Devices and applications already exist! If you have an iPhone or other smart phone you can try downloading some of the new AR applications using the links below.

The AR market is expected to reach $700 million in only five years.* AR applications are being developed for cell phones, GPS units, and cameras. Search Youtube for "Augmented Reality" and you can watch videos that show how this technology is taking the mobile industry by storm - and how it will soon affect your personal life and business.

Help your business? Sure! Think about advertising your business on AR apps. AR overlays real-world objects or locations shown in a camera display and adds text, links, and images, pointing to specific things. This enables the user to learn more about everything from stores with discounts, available services, special promos, restaurants, and even the latest gadgets.

Traveling? Take it along with your GPS device (or a phone that has GPS) and you've got real-time specific information for your exact location. Coming back from a long weekend and you need a massage? Find the massage therapist nearest to you. Meeting a client at a new location? AR helps you track, locate and describe the spot.

What about education and research scenarios? Imagine a camping trip where you can immediately identifying the terrain you see, or the animals you encounter.

There are so many opportunities for this technology and it is quickly becoming a standard feature for all mobile service providers.

Learn more:

17 Best Augmented Reality iPhone Applications

Yelp MOnocle for iphone - 3GS uses your iPhone's camera, GPS, and compass to show virtual items in the real world

Layar - free mobile phone application shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone

Urbanspoon has an AR app called "Scope." This camera-based app shows the popularity and distance of restaurants.

 Juniper Research

Credits:

Photo and definition above from Wikipedia


Networking and Referral Marketing with BNI

Kahl Consultants has been a BNI member since 2006.

Who is BNI? Well, Business Networking International is ONLY the World's Largest Business Networking Organization!

BNI members share ideas, contacts and most importantly, referrals. Being in BNI means you belong to a chapter where all the other members act as sales people for your business (and vice-versa). Everyone helps everyone market their products and services.

Do you need to be in a networking group to get referrals and do word of mouth marketing? No!

Nevertheless a networking group such as BNI does provide a structured environment for developing and exchanging quality business referrals and this can be very advantageous.

Are referrals important for your business? Then check out BNI!

BNI Power Lunch

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area then we invite you to visit the BNI Power Lunch chapter which meets in San Rafael every Tuesday at Noon at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

BNI Power Lunch Marin website