Be aware, but don’t be frightened of scareware!

You might have heard of Malware and Ransomware, but what is ‘scareware’ and why should I be aware of it?

The IT security industry uses the term “scareware” to describe software that produces alarming warnings or threat notices that make the you believe your device is either infected or vulnerable.

Scareware gets into your network by hiding in links within legitimate websites, or by being installed on websites with URLs that are very similar to commonly used sites. The text, or sometimes audio, will be along the lines of “Your computer may be infected with harmful spyware programs, immediate removal may be required. To scan, click ‘Yes’ below.” It is common practice for these applications to lock the browser on the device which makes the threat feel even more real.

To resolve the issue, you are usually instructed to call an ‘engineer’ can access your system to ‘clean it up’. What is actually happening, is that you are calling a cyber-criminal, giving them direct access to your personal data which they can steal; or they are turning your computer into part of their criminal network.

Over the past month the team at Zenzero have seen an increasing number of incidents, so if something like this happens, don’t panic…keep calm, and follow the steps outlined below:

Windows
1. Hit “Control – Alt -Delete” on your keyboard and then click “Task Manager”.
2. With the “Processes” tab active, highlight any processes related to your browser and hit the “End Task” button at the bottom of the Task Manager window.

Mac
1. Hit “Command + Option + Esc to open the “Force Quit Applications” window.
2. Select the name of the browser you are using and hit the “Force Quit” button.

Once the browser is closed make sure that you open a new session (DO NOT restore previous session).

At Zenzero, we use a combination of market leading enterprise antivirus software and firewall management to block most threats. But keeping one step ahead of the cyber-criminal is an ongoing battle, so we ask all our customers to remain vigilant…