Cyber Attack Alert

A renewed warning to be aware of Viruses & Cryptolocker RansomWare, Scam emails and hackers. There has been a world wide cyber attack with over 200,000 affected cases already confirmed.

Be alert, this new attack is very sophisticated and it is the first of its kind to be seen. This virus can spread through an entire network rapidly and is not necessarily received via email.

If you receive a virus or are even concerned you may have a virus, do the following:

  • Turn off the computer straight away
  • Call Consulting IT
  • Notify all staff to be alert

If you receive a virus on more than 1 computer:

  • Shut down every computer you have
  • Call Consulting IT

Possible warning signs may be:

  • Unable to access files
  • Strange error messages
  • PC background changes

There is already 1 confirmed case in Australia and another 2 potential cases yet to be confirmed. The nature of this virus is such that it could spread rapidly.

Cryptolocker Virus Warning to 365 Users

365 Users are the latest targets of ransomware viruses such as Cryptolocker and it’s various mutations. You may even see the term “Cerber Attack” used in the media to describe these ransomware infections.

This latest threat was received by 365 users as spam or phishing emails and the file attached contained the virus. When the attachment was opened it had a message at the top of the screen asking you to “Turn on the Edit mode and click on Enable Content” similar to the below images.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 1 is similar to a message we have all seen on Microsoft products.
Image 2 is not a normal Microsoft warning and should be an indication that there’s a problem with the file.

By clicking enable content the virus was activated. Once activated, the virus acted like all other Cryptolocker viruses and started locking up files it determined as being “important” to the user and displayed a ransom note. However, this virus also broadcasted a message over the users speakers telling them about their files being locked up “encrypted” as well as read the ransom note to them.

Microsoft have since blocked this particular virus, however, it is important to note that we shouldn’t rely solely on a programs built in security tools or antivirus as the only protection against Cryptolocker attacks. Especially when Cryptolocker virus attacks are sadly becoming a daily occurrence.

What you can do

  • Always keep your antivirus up to date
  • Always backup your data files, photos (anything you don’t want to lose) to another location and regularly
  • Do not open attachments to emails from sources you don’t know
  • If you are waiting for an email with an attachment, check the sender and other information in the body of the email (such as grammar and spelling) prior to opening
  • Check with Consulting IT if you are not sure of the files legitimacy, it’s better to be safe, than sorry.

We can help you!

We are constantly upgrading our own security and testing new products that may benefit your security. We can provide you with a tailored solution to suit your businesses security needs such as:

  • Antispam
  • Antivirus
  • Backups / Disaster Recovery
  • Hardware to improve overall security

Beware of the latest scams

Internet scams are a continual threat to us all and they are becoming more and more sophisticated in an attempt to catch even the most security conscious people off guard.

We have become aware of another 2 scams that you should all be aware of.

1.  A “Telstra” scam.

A Consulting IT client was recently contacted by someone who identified themselves as being a Telstra representative. This person offered them a free check of their computer, stating that it had been identified as being old and that it may have some problems.

This is a scam, Telstra will not contact you under this premise. This is similar to the Microsoft scam we reported previously, where a person purporting to be a Microsoft representative contacts you to advise that your computer has received a virus and that they need to log into your computer to remove it.

Do not give anyone who phones you access to your computer unless you have prearranged for someone to contact you accordingly. Once these people gain access to your computer, they will have an opportunity to copy all of your passwords and personal information contained on your computer, including login details to your banking sites, details of which many people keep stored in their history.

2. “Facebook” login scam

An employee of Consulting IT has received an email that looks just like any other Facebook notification, which we all would have received!  This notification advises you that your account is locked and that you should “click here” to complete the security checks. This is a fake email and an attempt to capture your relevant information. If you look closely at the senders email address, it will be in a different format to that of the normal Facebook notification emails.

If you believe that you have been a victim of any computer related scams, you should report it to Police, they have special task forces dedicated to internet crime.

What can you do to help protect yourself?

  • Have complicated passwords with a mixture of upper and lower case letters and numbers
  • Do not use pin numbers or dates of birth in your passwords
  • Do not store your username and password details in your internet browsers
  • Do not open emails from addresses where you do not know the sender
  • Be careful opening email attachments, even if you do know the sender

If you would like further information on how we can assist you with your security, please do not hesitate to contact our office.




Ebay Password Change

If you have an Ebay account, it is advisable to change your password as soon as possible to ensure your accounts are secure. It is also advisable to change your PayPal password as well, after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Ebay don’t believe that any money was taken during this hack but it’s possible that they obtained passwords, names, addresses and other personal information.

Earlier this week (a week or so after the breach had been made public) Ebay sent an email notification to users requesting them to change their passwords. Since sending that notification, users are automatically being redirected by Ebay to the change password page, whenever the website is logged into.

Password protection

A reminder that any passwords should not be written down or shared with other people. When changing your passwords (in particular those for banking sites) remember they should be complex, most sites have minimum requirements based on strength for their passwords, however a general guide is as follows:

  • Minimum of 8 characters
  • Contain upper and lowercase characters
  • Contain numbers
  • Do not include either date of birth or your first or last name

Don’t let yourself be scammed

We’re sure that you’ve all heard about the Internet “Scams”? There have been a number of television and print media articles highlighting victims stories and warning people to not become a victim themselves.

There are a number of different approaches, most common of which is that the callers tell you that they are a representative of Microsoft and that there is a problem with your computer and therefore, they need to access your computer to fix the issue. What happens is that they either direct you to a location on your computer that appears to be showing errors (or tell you to run a command that will result in errors). The unsuspecting victim thinks that the issue is legitimate. The caller will either ask you for your credit card details to take payment for fixing the issue or, they will install key logging programs on your computer that will provide them with all of your online banking login and password details.

These people, like those behind the “Nigerian scams” are continually adjusting their tactics and stories in order to try and fool you. The new approach is to target people who’ve been previously scammed. They tell you that they want to give you a refund, which is just another attempt to gain access to your personal information.

DON”T EVER fall for it!!  Don’t let anyone on your computer, other than Consulting IT and certainly don’t give them your credit card details… These scams don’t just target the elderly, so don’t be fooled into thinking that it wouldn’t happen to you.

We urge you to read the latest article written by the “QPS”, just click on the following link  Queensland Police Service and also, please take the time to read the previous articles written by QPS in relation these scams.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact QPS straight away.