More Tips on Staying Safe and Secure
"Pay Up or I'll Kill You" Scam
According to this email, a friend wants you dead and has already paid a professional assassin to kill you. The message purports to be from the assassin and claims that he will spare your life if you pay him a large fee. Supposedly, if you pay the requested amount, the "helpful" hitman will even throw in recordings of the "friend" ordering the hit so that you can go to the police with concrete evidence.
The message was not sent by a paid assassin. The people responsible for it are Internet fraudsters attempting to use fear to coerce gullible recipients into paying money to save their lives. [ More information ] Note that this scam is being taken quite seriously by law enforcement. If you receive one of these e-mails, report it to your local police department or the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Mac Scareware Site Still Open for Business
The same tried-and-true social engineering tactics traditionally wielded against Windows users to frighten people into buying bogus security software are now being used to target Mac users.
Security experts say the curators of macsweeper.com warn visitors that their machine is full of threats to the user's privacy, and that they need to pay $39.99 for software that removes the bogus threats. The MacSweeper site, based in Ukraine, has all the features of a scareware scam, including an Apple Support look-alike homepage and a boilerplate company message lifted straight from Symantec's corporate website.
Regardless of which operating system you use, here's a good rule of thumb for applications: If you didn't go looking for it, don't install it. Never install anything that uses these types of scare tactics. [ More information ]
Microsoft and Apple Security Updates
Microsoft issues patches for all Microsoft products on the second Tuesday of each month as well as out-of-cycle patches on any day of the month. The next scheduled release date is June 10. Check manually too, once every two weeks, to make sure all of the updates have been installed.
Republished with permission from OUCH! SANS Institute Security Newsletter for Computer Users March and April issues.