Thursday, 9 June 2011

Skype Phishing from ONLINE HELP

It seems that many users are receiving Phishing phone calls through Skype from a profile called 'ONLINE HELP'. This call, if answered, plays a recorded message telling the user that their computer is not protected and that they must go to visit www.hosog.com. If you do visit this site, it is riddled with malware. This is a phishing scam!

The user account that I have observed is drationlinehelpgb and shows as being registered in the US, but seems to have been taken down now. However, others have reported a user account of drajizonlinehelp, which appears to be registered in Afghanistan. This one is still live at the time of writing and is using the same 'ONLINE HELP' profile name. It would appear that new accounts are being created as the old ones are blocked by people and reported for abuse to Skype.

It is slightly worrying the number of people who are reporting having answered this call. If you receive any unsolicited calls through Skype from users outside your contacts, don't answer them. Indeed you should actually change your privacy settings in Skype if you haven't already. Choose the Privacy... menu item in the Skype menu to open up the Privacy settings tab in the Options dialog. Make sure that all the options are set to people in my Contact list only. I suggest that you also don't share your online status on the Web. You shouldn't now receive calls out of the blue from scammers.

The problem is that people are becoming trained into accepting connections in social media sites and it spills out into their other online activities. People still think that SPAM and phishing scams only happen over email. Actually, people are usually fairly vigilant with their email, so it is more likely to be successful if they try other avenues. Sophos did an experiment at the end of 2009 where they created two fictitious Facebook users, one with a profile picture of a rubber duck. They had thousands of people sign up to 'friend' them. How carefully do users check links from their 'friends'? It opens up a very good channel for SPAM and phishing attacks. As a general rule of thumb don't connect or share details with anyone you don't personally know through social media, voip, email, etc. Also, if you use these media channels a lot, you should think about investing in a security product to help protect you.

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