A concerning call?

A friend of our called me tonight because she received a call from someone explaining that their systems had been “contacted” by her computer which was infected.

They knew her name, they stated that her Vista machine was infected with something and they “saw” that and suggested they send someone out for “free” to have it looked at…

I have not been able to nail down a trend or others that have seen or hear of this, but personally it appears to be “social engineering” and taking the most common denominators and praying on the fears of unsuspecting PC users.

Here is my theory (this is my THEORY):
**There are PLENTY of smart, talented and reputable technicians out there.
Someone of questionable motive starts by plugging a phone number into google (I tried with my home phone – I got a first inital and address). Many people have their entire name on their listing. i just punched in the next 10 numbers and found about 5 more people, their address and names.
Now, someone takes that info and calls a home number and reaches someone on the line. They begin by stating they are from a computer company and have been alerted by their PC or “know” their “Vista PC” has been compromised.
Now think about this – in 70% of homes, that is going to make someone perk up… In 10% of homes people will comment “I have a Mac” or “I’m not running Vista” and the caller disconnects with some excuse, “sorry I was looking at the wrong record”.
Of the 70% that have a PC with Vista on the machine, 25% are not all that tech savy and get very worried very quickly. They do not have someone close by they trust and and ask some more questions. The caller recommends a free visit by their local technicians.
This could provide a number of opportunities for the nefarious organization. They could send someone in to visit the home, do some poking and prodding and basically “case the home”. They could use the access to the technology to plant their own tools for monitoring the computer at a later date and time remotely. They could download any and all info from your PC and disappear into the night (how many people have TurboTax on their PCs right now)…

At the end of the day – BE CAREFUL!. Handing someone access to your PC is like letting someone go through your wallet. Think about what is on your PC. Would you share all that with just anyone…

I would suggest working closely with a technician (literally). Ask questions, request followup, expect some professional courtesy by not just expecting a nose to the keyboard for 4 hours and glaring at you when you walk into the room or ask a question…

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One response to “A concerning call?”

  1. Ted says :

    Useful info, thanks. I`d like to add that your PC can be also accessed remotely.

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