The VDH Virus Guide: Facebook Clickjacking

Facebook recently overtook Google as the most visited website online. We all have a Facebook profile, and if we don’t, we know someone who does. The volume of people using the site makes it a very attractive target for scammers keen to make themselves rich using tactics like clickjacking, which can make them millions from pay per click advertising.

(Image: Digital Breed)

The way clickjacking works is simple. Users visit sites, videos or links that – unbeknownst to them – place ‘Liked’ content on their Facebook profile. This is done with a code placed over the link that means the user is Liking something without ever knowing it.

You may have seen videos appear on your Facebook newsfeed with shocking, compelling titles, such as ‘most users can’t watch this video for more than 25 seconds!’ or occasionally videos promising footage of snakes eating people or other such tasteful content.

When you click through to the video, it takes you to an external site, which eventually puts you through to a survey or the opportunity to get a free iPhone, iPad or similar, equally fabulous prizes.

In reality, the scammers are making a fortune from pay per click advertising – every time you visit their external link, they make money. This makes you vulnerable for malware, phishing scams and a host of other threats.

You can follow a few steps to ensure you keep safe when using Facebook:

  • Check what you’re clicking on. If something takes you to an external site that you don’t trust, don’t bother.
  • If you notice a video appear on your Timeline that you didn’t approve or Like, delete the post, block it and report it for spam.
  • Keep your antivirus up to date at all times, in case you click through to an external site without meaning to.

Facebook is a great site to keep in touch, socialise and stay up to date with what your friends are up to. With a little bit of vigilance, we can help keep it safe. 

The VDH Virus Guide: Ukash Metropolitan Police Virus

An online threat for our UK readers here, the Ukash Metropolitan Police Virus. This is a particularly nasty virus for your computer to contract, as it prevents you from accessing anything, telling you that you will only be allowed to access your files and programs again once you have entered a code for payment of £100 (the amount may vary). 

Image: Spyware Removal News

The virus will prevent you from opening Admin Tools, so you can’t do anything about it. Obviously this can be a scary ordeal, as you risk losing everything from your hard drive. This fear is how the virus works, scaring those who don’t know how to remove it into paying for their freedom. If you’re unlucky enough to be hit with the Ukash Metropolitan Police Virus, do not pay a penny. Do not enter any bank details at all. 

There are steps you can take to keep your computer safe. They include:

  • Avoid downloading software from torrent and peer-to-peer programs
  • Keep your antivirus updated
  • Refrain from answering random online surveys
  • Delete temporary files
  • Do not open suspicious emails that have attachments

These should keep you safe from most nasties. If you don’t deal with this particular virus, you risk having all of your .exe files corrupted, meaning nothing will open. It may also disconnect the PC from the internet, meaning you are unable to get help. 

If you think you’ve been hit by this scam, call in the professionals to get it removed as quickly as possible. As always, vigilance is the strongest weapon in your arsenal, so always keep an eye out and ensure that your computer is fully protected. 

The VDH Virus Guide – Rogue AV: Windows Protection Unit

Using the internet can be littered with risks. Malware, phishing scams, viruses and a plethora of other nasties that can threaten your system and personal information. Most people know that some kind of protection is necessary – but what happens when a wolf in sheep’s clothing arrives offering just that?

(Image: Trojan Killer)

Rogue Antivirus is just that. It pretends to be helping, all the while infecting your computer with malware that can lead to serious damage. The Windows Protection Unit rogue AV masquerades as an antivirus program created by Microsoft to protect your system from malware. It will be presented in a pop up that will ask you to register and purchase the product. Don’t. 

Generally, a rule of thumb is that if something pops up asking you for payment details, avoid. Other ways to safeguard yourself from Rogue AV are:

  • Avoiding downloading software from torrent or peer-to-peer programs
  • Keeping your trusted antivirus update (Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG, for example)
  • Refraining from filling out random online surveys (answer this for a free iPad!)
  • Deleting your temporary files
  • Refraining from opening suspicious emails that have attachments

If you don’t take these necessary precautions, you could end up with a completely wrecked device. This virus will corrupt internet settings, .exe files and your .dll drivers file, rendering your computer useless. 

If you’ve fallen foul of the Windows Protection Unit Rogue AV and don’t feel up to the task of removing it, don’t panic. Call an expert and ask them to guide you through the process. 

Keep safe everyone!

Rogue Antivirus: System Fix

Each week, we’ll be posting another section from the VDH Virus Guide, our comprehensive look at keeping your computer safe while you use the internet. This instalment of the Virus Guide deals with the System Fix virus, a particularly insidious nasty that renders your computer virtually unusable.

Read on, and keep safe!

System Fix

The System Fix virus has a number of symptoms that can panic anyone who doesn’t know what they’re seeing. It may appear during startup and sit on top of other windows, it may hide all of your folders. Symptoms may include:

• Appearing during startup and always on top of other windows 

• Hiding all folders in drive C 

• Blocking all known tools or exe programs and deleting/hiding them after restarting 

• Giving rogue error messages such as the one on the screenshot below 

• Giving file write error messages like: Failed to save all the components for the file \System32\00003c04 

• Giving false hardware failure messages

If you don’t take the threat in hand as soon as possible, you may lose all of the icons and folders from your start menu, your Windows root folder may show as empty, thus crashing your operating system and it could even corrupt all of your .exe applications, meaning nothing on your computer will open.

The System Fix virus is quite a serious deal. Vigilance is essential in keeping your computer safe, so make sure you follow these safety steps:

• Avoid downloading software from torrent and peer-to-peer programs 

• Keep your antivirus updated 

• Refrain from answering random online surveys 

• Delete temporary files 

• Do not open suspicious emails that have attachments

If you’ve stuck to the above and have still been unlucky enough to see the System Fix symptoms on your computer, get help immediately. Your computer will thank you later.

We’ve received a clue!

We’re getting closer to the truth, thanks to all your expert help. We really couldn’t do it without you - so thanks.  We’ve just received the following clue from the thief, sent over email.  It’s a piece of Richard’s diary, but we need your assistance deciphering the code. Can you help us? If you’ve got the answer, head over to Facebook and visit our app - kindly designed by our in house technicians so we can work together and catch the rogue. 

Richard’s diary has gone missing!

Oh no! We’ve just had reports from Virgin Head Office that Richard Branson’s diary has been stolen! We can only imagine what must be going through his head right now - all his business secrets, Facebook logins, private memories, stolen by some crook!

We need your help in order to be able to find the culprit, and to make sure they’re punished! Keep your eyes on our Facebook page throughout today - we’ve heard that the thief might post some clues, so we’d be very grateful if you could be our eyes and ears. Take a look at what Richard has to say:

Together we’ll find this rascal!

The VDH Virus Guide - Rogue AV Scanner

Vigilance is an essential trait of the modern computer user. We all must be watchful at all times that what we’re doing isn’t putting our device in harm’s way. So what happens when we encounter the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing? Something that comes along claiming to help, but is actually designed solely to infect your computer with malware?

This is the practice of Rogue Antivirus malware. You’re surfing the internet, minding your own business, when a warning pops up telling you your computer is infected with malware. The pop up kindly informs you that you can visit a site for a full security scan, which will remove this malware. Of course, there is no malware – this will be added to your computer during the scan, or when you’re asked to subscribe to the security vendor’s service for a nominal fee.

So, if you’re browsing the internet and a scan starts without you asking it to, or you’re asked to purchase a security software license from a vendor you didn’t seek, there’s a fair chance you’re being targeted by Rogue AV Malware.

·         If there’s an option to, immediately click ‘x’ and exit the pop up or page you’re on.

·         Always be wary of sites that have lots of thumbnails linking to external sites offering the chance to see free movies, photos or other tantalizing treats.

·         Enable a link checker in your legitimate antivirus that checks links on Google before you click them, as hackers will often attack search engines to insert malicious links into results. AVG Antivirus offers this service, for example. 

·         Make sure your anti-malware and antivirus software is fully enabled and up to date. 

If you think you’ve been infected by malware and can’t get rid of it, call the experts, or talk to us online. We can all keep safe if we work together. 

VDH Virus Guide

Introduction to Virus Guide

At VDH we receive an awful lot of requests for help. This covers all sorts of areas, from setting up new computers to recovering deleted files. However, one issue crops up again and again for people in need of our expert assistance: computer virus prevention and cure.

It is for this reason that we’ve written the VDH Virus Guide, the first in a series of guides that we’ll be publishing to help tech users come to grips with their devices and avoid any pitfalls that come hand in hand with their usage.

The VDH Virus Guide will cover common issues, including:

  •          Rogue Antivirus
  •          iGoogle page redirection
  •          Facebook clickjacking
  •          QR Codes
  •          Digital currency
  •          Fake apps on Google Play
  •          Pharmacy discount sites
  •          Twitter spam
  •          Zero Access Virus

Each week, we’ll be posting new sections of the guide for you to refer to whenever you have problems with malware or viruses on your computer, so stay tuned.

If you have any additional questions, or areas you think we should cover, just let us know over on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks!

Give the Geek A Break

We were delighted to be featured on the great Freaky Frugalite blog this week, with a post about our service. Take a look below. 

Tech Support for the Tech Support, or, give the geek a break

I had to reformat *another* one of our computers this week. The Windows Updates ALONE took THREE days, a staggering wait, I think. I am the chief tech support person in the house, and now that everyone has his or her own computers, troubleshooting all the electronic gadgets sometimes feel like a full-time job. I just don’t have that kind of time anymore, maintaining the family’s digital lifestyle! I’m starting to think about out-sourcing some of the stuff. I’ve already subscribed to an automated backup service, which lifts a big weight off my shoulders. When my computer got a virus and my blogs were later hacked (twice!), it was a ton of work rebuilding everything.

Not everyone knows how to manage all the in’s and out’s of PCs and other devices. And not everyone has the time anymore to fix it all and still have a life! So if you are one of those folks, here’s a little tip: Get tech support help! Ever hear of Virgin Digital Help? The company is very impressive. They handle everything, and I mean everything – Laptops, routers, smartphones, hardware and software problems. They remove viruses, fix slow computers, set up email, set up Internet games, home networking, fix Windows errors, everything. What you do when you have a problem is give them a call and describe your problem.

Virgin Digital Help will diagnose it, suggest a solution, and fix it remotely. No hauling your stuff to the shop. No mailing your computer to the warehouse.

Prices are outstanding. The “pay per fix” cost starts at $30. I think that’s an exceptional bargain. When your computer has a virus, this is a STEAL, believe me. I would have gladly paid them to remove my computer virus had I known about Virgin Digital Help then. I lost several work days, fixing my computer. $30 is nothing.

Or, if you think you need a partner on standby for help, Virgin Digital Help has support plans at $15 a month. That’s less than a New York pizza. And it’s better than harassing the geek in the home with all the computer problems. ;)

So next time you have a tech need, check them out. I am definitely bookmarking the site!

Summer is here!

The sun has got his hat on! In this weather, you want to get out of the house, hit the beach, relax in the park, dance the night away at festivals and generally shake off all of the remaining winter blues. Getting out into the sun presents a few extra challenges with your tech. The beach, for example,  is full of hazards for your camera, tablet or MP3 player. Sea, sand and sun may be great for you, but they aren’t necessarily the best for your treasured gadgets. 

Below, we’ve listed a few of our favourite pieces of summer tech to make your time in the sun even better. Enjoy!

Waterproof camera 

When you’re by the beach, in the park or by the pool, you want your camera at the ready so you can look back on winter and remember just how fun summer is. However, where there’s water, there’s danger for your gadgets. 

The Olympus TG-310 removes this danger. Waterproof to a depth of 3m,  able to take a drop of 1.5m and made to withstand temperatures as low as -10c, the TG-310 is your perfect poolside companion. 

Available for around £100, it has 14 megapixels, a 3.6x optical zoom and all sorts of effects to play with. A great buy for summer. 

The X-Mini II Portable Speaker

While the portable speaker market is a crowded one, we’re constantly amazed by the X-Mini II. In terms of price it can’t really be touched. £13-£20 will buy you a speaker that charges by USB, lasts for hours, has surprisingly good bass and is great for playing music in the park. 

Where the X-Mini II gets even better is its ability to daisychain. Buy two or more of the speakers and you can hook them up, effectively doubling the volume without compromising on sound quality. 

Yes, there are better quality speakers out there – though the build of the X-Mini II is very solid – however for this money you’d be mad to miss it. 

Kindle 3

The Kindle is perhaps an obvious choice here, but it’s not just one of our favourite pieces of summer kit, it’s one of our favourites year-round. The £89 version will give you a 6” screen, let you store around 1,400 books at any one time and a full battery charge will last up to a month. 

The fact that you don’t need to cram your suitcase with books for the beach means the Kindle is ideal for taking on holiday, and the crystal clear E Ink display is impervious to glare from the sun, meaning you can read your Kindle in all conditions. 

Solio Universal solar charger

If you’re out in the great outdoors for a whole day, you’re unlikely to see any power outlets. This means your phone, MP3 player or camera batteries are more than likely to die on you, leaving you without music, photos or – more seriously – any means to call anyone in an emergency. 

In steps the Solio Universal solar charger. Its award winning design makes it light enough to carry around with you anywhere, it’s durable, weather resistant and an hour of sunshine will give you an hour’s worth of playback or ten minutes of talk time. You’ll never need to worry about your battery letting you down again.