The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced, for the ninth year in a row, that October is the National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The announcement was made by FBI because, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller, “Cyber security may well become our highest priority in the years to come.”
The FBI reports that it is focusing on two of the greatest threats to national security, which include computer intrusions and network attacks. The FBI also reports the creation of two different task forces in each field office. The first task force, called Cyber Task Force, will focus primarily on intrusions and attacks while receiving help from other cyber units. The second task force, called Child Exploitation Task Force, will focus on crimes against children. The FBI is also increasing the size of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force which combines several agencies to address cyber threat concerns and stop future attacks.
The announcements add to the programs already operating under the FBI. For example, the Innocent Images National Initiative targets online child predators. Additionally, the Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Crime Center that makes it easy to report cyber complaints.
The FBI reports that every American can help amplify cyber security by using simple techniques like those listed below:
• keep strong passwords and keep these passwords to yourself
• keep all system, browser, and other software updated
• keep from posting too much personal information online, and use privacy setting to only share information with your friends
• use caution when reading material online
• talk with your family, friends and community about internet safety
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
On October 4, 2012, Todd Lindgren, a Public Affairs Specialist, made a special announcement to all residents in central and southern Ohio. The announcement was made because residents in the central and southern parts of the state are still reporting that their computers are becoming infected by a virus called the Reveton ransomware virus.
The virus can install itself on a person’s computer when the internet user travels to a certain website. Once the virus is downloaded, the computer will lock and show a message that states the FBI or Department of Justice has identified the computer as engaging in illegal activities under federal law. Further instructions state the internet user needs to send a prepaid money card to have the machine unlocked or they will face criminal prosecution.
The FBI reminds the public that this message is a virus and internet scam used to extort money. The FBI never sends messages that request money. Even though the FBI has issued previous warnings, the FBI Cincinnati Division is still receiving complaints about the virus.
If you believe your computer has been infected with the virus, you need to take the following steps:
• Do not send any money or provide any personal information
• Contact a professional right away and have the malware and virus removed from your computer
• If you can unfreeze your computer, you still need to contact a professional right away because malware can hide in the background and steal personal information like user names, passwords, financial information, and more
• Make sure to file a complaint at www.ic3.gov and keep updated on the Reveton virus on the same website
If you want more information about this scam and other scams, you can visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
A systemic scam is exposing Facebook users to malware and other computer viruses. This new Facebook scam with Photo Notification is initiated via email; the virus is triggered by an email claiming “one of your friends added a new photo of new you.” When receiving this notification it is essential that you scour it for abnormalities.
The gist of the Facebook scam with Photo Notification revolves around the email that claims one of your friends added a photo of you. The email is somewhat slick as it features a Facebook-like blue headline and greeting. The click button—the tab that ultimately triggers the new Facebook scam with Photo Notification—reads “view photo with you in the attachment.”
Needless to say, if you receive the email, do not click the “view button.” If this email is perpetually sent to your inbox you should check with Facebook Security to be advised to any additional protection measures. Never open any attachment if you do not know the sender.
The new Facebook scam with Photo Notification is a new strain of malware identified by various Internet security firms as Troj/Agent-XNN. If you click on the infected link, which again is disguised as a Facebook notification email, you will open a malware-containing ZIP that allows hackers to gain control over your Windows-operated computers.
Facebook scams often appear to be constructed under different guises; however, the crux of the cyber-attacks possesses a common threat—malware is always hidden under catchy phrases or notification alerts that aim to trigger your attention. “See who is looking at your profile!” Or in this case “your friend added a new photo with you to the album.” The primary difference between the Facebook scam with Photo Notification email and a tagging email sent by the actual company is that Facebook will tell you which friend tagged you, whereas the scam email will not provide actual names of your friends.
Although Facebook scams–which use the popular social networking site as the primary duping mechanism– are cleverly-crafted, there is one simple defense to prevent the infiltration of harmful software on your computer—simply do not click on any emails from senders you do not know.