Archive for March 17, 2018

A New Extortion Phishing Scam Is On The Rise…. Here’s How You Can Avoid Becoming A Victim

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 17, 2018 by itnerd

This past week I got three calls from clients who are all men who got emails similar to this one:

Hello.
Do not regard on my grammar, I am from China.
 
We loaded our malicious program onto your OS.
 
Then I pilfered all  confidential information from your device. Moreover I have some more compromising.
The most interesting evidence that I got- its a videotape with your wanking.

I put virus on a porn site and after you installed it. As soon as you picked the video and tapped on a play button, my virus instantly loaded on your Operating System.

After setup, your camera shoot the videotape with you self-abusing,  additionally software saved exactly the porn video you watched. In next week my malicious software captured all your social media and work contacts.

 
If you wish to destroy all the evidence- pay me 205 usd in Bitcoins.

Its my Btc wallet address –   [DELETED BITCOIN WALLET ADDRESS]
You have 72 hours to go from this moment. If I receive transfer I will erase the compromising forever. Differently I will send the video to all your colleagues and friends.

Now the reason why I got a call was that they were convinced that they had malware installed on their PCs or Macs. Thus in every case, I went looking for anything of the sort that might have been installed and found nothing. But in each case, the men involved did admit to watching online porn. And they also had their email addresses found to have been pwned on haveibeenpwned.com which means that their email addresses have been part of a data breach. Given the facts above, I suspected that this was nothing more than a extortion phishing scam based on the fact that the scumbag behind the email likely got these men’s email addresses via a data breach.
What is extortion phishing? It’s when the victim receives an email suggesting they have compromised in some way and the scumbags behind the scam demand money, usually in BitCoin which is untraceable to keep this from becoming public. Now this specific scam seems to have been around for a few months based on my research and the group behind it seems to use a number of BitCoin wallet addresses. Each of which have anywhere from $200 USD to $1000 USD which implies that a few people fall for this. Having said that, this doesn’t have to have huge numbers for it to be profitable. If they send out 20000 emails with this and only 1% pay the $205 USD that they’re asking for, that’s still $4100 USD that they’ve scored. That’s not a trivial amount of cash.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Let’s start with the whole virus taking control of your webcam thing. That is possible. But if you have up to date antivirus, that should be a non issue. If you do feel paranoid, you can tape over your webcam with some tape, and you can disable your mic as well.

Now lets say that you have received an email like the one above. Remember that this is likely a scam. But if you want to be sure you can call in a professional to check your computer over to make sure that there’s nothing lurking on it. There likely won’t be but you can never be too careful. But under no circumstances should you pay up. The main reasons are that not only does it make the scumbags behind this scam want to keep doing it, but because many BitCoin exchanges or ATMs do not require you to verify your identity. Thus there’s no way for the scammer to tie you to the money that they could get from you. Which means that they have no way to delete the data that they allegedly collected if you pay them. Which means that they’re lying about having data on you.

Don’t be the 1% that falls for this scam. If you get an email like this, delete it and move on with your day.

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SURE Universal Brings Order To Market Confusion, Creating The ‘Soul’ of IoT

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 17, 2018 by itnerd

As the IoT continues its explosive global growth, “smart” hardware devices have been taking up all the media headlines. However, smart devices are only as valuable as the software that runs them. The smart money is migrating to software, recognizing the benefits and services software brings to consumers, and the business opportunities it creates for vendors.

Telcos in particular are well-positioned to dominate the smart home/IoT space says Ariel, because they hold an insurmountable lead on hardware and services penetration of households.

For Telcos and other service providers, the missing pieces aren’t new gadgets, but interoperability, security, and most importantly, a business model that can work alongside their existing models. SURE Universal’s OCF-compliant software offers all of these benefits; we make new IoT and smart home deployments easy, fast, safe, and profitable.

Using SURE Universal Platform, the operators can choose their own IoT hardware based on any existing radio protocol, such as, Wi-Fi, BLE, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Lora, NB-IoT while SURE is providing the API for connection between the OCF application layer and the smart device radio protocol. This way the operators avoid the hardware supplier lock while enjoying the interoperability and security of the OCF standard.

SURE Universal is employing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) business model because it is completely aligned with the most prevalent Telco revenue model.  For Telcos and other providers, SURE Universal’s revenue model is a low-overhead business extension that also provides an interoperable, secure, accessible, and cost effective solution for the many devices used in today’s smart home and IoT.

For more information, visit: http://www.sureuniversal.com.

aGroupForME.com: Online Support Groups Using Group Video Technology

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 17, 2018 by itnerd

Using group video technology, aGroupForME.com matches and connects people sharing the same issues and concerns for ongoing, scheduled support group sessions online.

These groups are hosted by vetted moderators, scheduled on a weekly basis, limited to 12 members at any one time, and are easily accessible on any device. Support groups vary from addiction, anxiety, anger management, cancer, depression, disability, PTSD and many other types of support groups.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 106 million Americans live in federally-designated mental health professional shortage areas. Millions of Americans across the country lack access to critical mental health and wellness services.

aGroupForME.com priority is to bridge this gap by supplementing the existing in-person support groups and expanding care to those living in shortage areas.

Here’s a video that explains how this concept came to life: