Don’t accidently help the hackers…



Recently there has been an increase in serious, malicious virus computer infections.  These viruses are getting into computers through email and NO ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAM CAN PROTECT YOUR SYSTEM IF YOU HELP A VIRUS GET ONTO YOUR COMPUTER.


We at Uncommon have seen a trend developing recently with several of our clients becoming infected.  These viruses have resulted in costly and time consuming efforts to get rid of the virus.


The most common way your computer will become infected is through PHISHING.


Phishing is really tricky and even the most experienced computer user can be fooled if they let their guard down.  Hackers or criminals try to get your personal information (such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, etc.) by pretending to be a trustworthy entity… like your bank or Facebook.  A Phishing email can even come from a friends email if they have been infected of their email address has been attained.


The only way to protect yourself from Phishing is to become aware of the tricks used.  Criminals use Phishing for two purposes… virus infection and identity theft.




  • MASKED EXECUTABLE PROGRAMS… Criminals install viruses directly into your computer by using links that look legitimate.  The link looks legitimate, but when you click it a hidden executable program fires off and installs the virus on your computer.  This virus can either be malicious by itself, or it can open security holes in your system to allow other viruses to enter and corrupt your system.




  • MASKED LINKS… Criminals will use a link in an email to download a virus into your computer.  It is really quite easy… simply mask the true destination or meaning of the link.  In the example below, if you take your mouse and hover over the link (DON’T CLICK IT), you will see where the link is actually pointing.



You think you are going to the Uncommon Solutions site when actually you are being taken to an exact replica that is designed to convince you to give away your personal information.  The best way to avoid this is to simply go to your usual web browsing tool (Google, Bing, etc.) and type in the company name.  This is not a guarantee that you won’t be fooled, but these browser companies spend big bucks trying to make sure that Phishing doesn’t happen on their sites.




  • Many people know these tricks, but get fooled anyway.  Criminals are often highly intuitive about human nature and know exactly which buttons to push to get you to go along with their scams.  The most commonly used trick is the threat.  We grow up listening to our parents… then we become adults obeying the law… so it is not so surprising that when we hear an authority figure threaten us, we do what they say.  For example, an email from your bank shows up in your Inbox and states that the FBI has flagged your account due to a search warrant.  Now you’re freaked out.  It goes on to say that you need to sign into your account and download the legal paperwork to respond to the government complaint.  Now you’re a bit more relaxed because you have a solution at hand.  You are instructed to click the link provided to take you to the document site of the bank and download the paperwork.  Now you’re happy because the bank is obviously trying to help you resolve this issue quickly… the hook.  Do you think you might click the link… maybe just to see what more information the bank has for you?  INFECTED!  The threat/resolution is the #1 process criminals use to get you to go along with the scam.




  • For all their intuitive intelligence, most criminals are not very book smart… and they are pretty lazy.  They work off the idea that people even “sort of” looking for Phishing won’t fall for it.  These people are going for the mass numbers.  Mail out 100,000 “phishing” lines and if only 1% of people click a link then they get 1,000 people to steal from.  Therefore, the fake emails usually have spelling mistakes.  Professional companies usually have a staff of copy editors that go over any outgoing email like a pack of children hunting for Easter Eggs.  Criminals can’t seem to get the idea of spell check.




Here is an example of what a phishing scam in an email message might look like using Facebook as our example.


  • Spelling and bad grammar
  • links in email
  • Threats
  • Spoofing popular websites or companies



This quick email gives you the most obvious things to look for in Phishing scams.  But if you want to be the smartest kid in the class, check out these links that go into this billion dollar issue in more detail.




If you have any doubts or question any type of emails or programs, please contact us immediately…


Thank you for your cooperation,


Your Uncommon Solutions Engineer