Online Security

Earlier today in the office a colleague of mine shouted out for help. He said he received an email telling him that his Facebook profile has been compromised. Someone was accessing it, and worse changed the Email for the user. With the help of another colleague who is an expert on online security and computers, they were able to sort it out.

We also had a similar experience from my previous company. However the email was a malicious one. First it says that your Facebook account has been hacked/compromised. And you need to click on a link, or download something. One guy opened it, and there a spyware was infesting his system. I was able to fix his spyware temporarily. This was done via editing the Registry, he was using a Windows XP OS.

On another account also, a malicious email was received, but this time it falsely claimed to come from UPS. The email has an attachment. In the email it states that you need to download the attachment and open it to view your tracking number, or something like that. This was the more malignant spyware, compared to the “your facebook profile…” one.

I was not able to fix it. Anyway, both cases did not appear to do anything on the computer except that it “hijacks” a program, like Internet Explorer. So that when you open up Google.com, or any site you want, it opens up some warning about a virus in your computer. Sometimes it pops up from your System Tray. These types of “spywares” can easily be dismissed by a techie. But for an average user (i use it loosely, as there is a big debate on what an average user is on the web), might not be able to dismiss the warning and proceed with downloading the supposed Antivirus from the spyware.

This will lead to more spywares and maybe even a trojan.

I am not an authority on online security, but this afternoon’s event just popped (no pun intended) a memory bubble. Sometimes we just need to maybe ask first. “Am I going to download this file?” “Am I going to click this link?”

If they are from an unexpected sender. You won the lottery! er.. you might just have been duped.