A few days ago I was listening to CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and an interview caught my attention. My first article in the February 2013 issue of the Manzanillo Sun dealt with computer security and social engineering.
It appears the main cause of telephone fraud in Canada has now become the issue I discussed in that article. The caller starts by claiming to be from an official sounding organization, which is totally fictitious (Something like Windows Internet Security or ISC — Internet Security Commission).
The fraudster will insist that they have knowledge of a virus on the call recipient’s computer. Unless the recipient complies with the fraudster’s request for access to their computer, the fraudster will become more aggressive. The objective of the fraudster’s call is to get remote access to the recipient’s computer.
If you receive one of these calls, either hang up or ask them to hold while you call the fraud department of your police to verify their legitimacy. Either way, the call will be terminated.
If you do as the caller asks, your computer will be infected with a lock that will make your computer inaccessible. The cost for the unlock code is $100.00 and even once paid, you will never be sure that they cannot access your computer remotely, now or in the future.
Do not pay them. I advise a clean install of your Operating System and a complete restore of your back-up data. If you do not feel comfortable doing so, take your computer to a reputable computer technician and ask them to do the clean install. A clean install wipes all data and is like the computer was when new. All security updates will also have to be installed. This process will take 2-3 hours and then the restoration of your data. If you have not backed-up your data, you may have to pay the fraudsters in order to do a complete a full data back-up, prior to doing the clean install. Only you will know how much your data is worth, but if you have years of family photos; well you know what the data is worth to you.
If you do not have a back-up strategy, consider some of the following;
- Microsoft offers 1 Terabyte of storage if you purchase a subscription to Office365 www.microsoft.com
These are all cloud solutions and you can access them even if your computer is compromised.
The article title was borrowed from the TV Series (1965-1968) Lost In Space