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The FTC Orders Advanced Tech Support to Pay $10M in Refunds
Advanced Tech Support, previously known as Inbound Call Experts, is a company that used online ads, search results and even partnered with software companies to scam users. The ads/alerts were claiming the device was in need of technical support and the user was urged to call Advanced Tech Support to remediate the issue. However, there was never an issue with the device.

The FTC recently won a case against Advanced Tech Support. The company was ordered to pay $10 million in restitution for the victims of their scams. Soon, the FTC will be sending out emails to those who are entitled to a partial refund. The FTC stated,

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Read more: $10M Available in Refunds for Tech Support Victims

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Scammers Portray Charitable Giving for Hurricane Harvey Victims

It’s unfortunate this article even has to be written. But it does. Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc throughout Texas, and it is clear the storm has not yet passed. It is now, when our country works together to bring some kind of peace to those victims. Often times, that peace comes through charitable donations. Scammers know this. If you choose to donate to the victims of hurricane Harvey, it is important you do so through legitimate avenues. There have already been numerous GoFundMe accounts established to help the victims. However, it is incredibly easy to set up another one that anyone can be behind. There have also been sponsored ads on social media platforms with donation links.

Read more: Scammers Prey on Goodwill of Others During Hurricane Harvey

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August 17, 2017 Kayla Thrailkill


Locky Ransomware is Back

Locky, a ransomware variant that was once upon a time one of the most popular types of ransomware, is back. This return is not surprising. Cyber criminals would rather make slight alterations to existing malware and reuse it, then have to create it from scratch. By making even the simplest changes, a known threat can become an unknown file. This is exactly what the hackers want, and here’s why.

Most security programs utilize a blacklist as their primary method of malware detection. A blacklist is a list of all known threats. If an unknown file tries to execute on a computer with a security program that uses a blacklist — it will run. Why? Because it is not a known threat. See the issue?

Read more: Locky Makes Yet Another Return

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Hackers Target Websites with Fresh WordPress Installs.

 Within recent months SonicWall Threat Research Labs recently received reports of attackers targeting newly installed WordPress sites. Attackers search for the following phrases:

  • WordPress
  • Setup Configuration File

If both phrases exist, then it is possible that the site has WordPress installed but has not been configured properly. In fact, doing a Google search for the above, results in many vulnerable sites.

Once the attacker has control over the WordPress website running in the target server, the attacker can do any of the following:

  1. Use the WordPress website for hosting malware, exploit kits, etc.
  2. Use the WordPress website as a launching pad to attempt control of the server. This can be done by executing specially crafted PHP scripts.

If an attacker finds your fresh install, they can easily click through the first two steps and then enter their own database server information in this final step. Their database can be on their own server, and it doesn’t have to contain any data – it can simply be an empty database. They just need to get a working WordPress installation running on your site that they have admin access to.

Once this step is complete, WordPress confirms that it can communicate with the database – in this case, the attacker’s database:

  

Read more: Hackers Target Websites with Fresh WordPress Installs

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Nonsense Facebook Messenger is not listening to or tracking your every move.facebook disable microphone access

Did you know that the Facebook mobile app has access to your smartphone microphone? And recently, a conspiracy theory that the mobile app listens to your conversations for advertising purposes went viral so Facebook had to issue a statement denying that claim.

“Facebook does not use microphone audio to inform advertising or News Feed stories in any way. Businesses are able to serve relevant ads based on people’s interests and other demographic information, but not through audio collection,” said Facebook in a recent blog post. "We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates." Facebook also requires microphone access to record and share live video for the Facebook Live feature. 

 

Read more: Nonsense Facebook Messenger is not listening to or tracking your every move.

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Consumer Reports Original Ransomware Interview With Short Circuited Consumer Services Owner Raul Glasgow Circa 2016

 

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Ransomware is a form of malware, or malicious software that is a lot more complicated that typical malware. Ransomware can present itself in a few ways, two forms described below:

  • Locker ransomware encrypts the whole hard drive of the computer, essentially locking the user out of the entire system.
  • Crypto ransomware will only encrypt specific, seemingly important files on the computer, such as word documents, PDFs and image files.

Ransomware does exactly what it sounds like – it presents users with an ultimatum: pay a fee to unlock and reclaim personal data, or don’t pay the fee and lose the data indefinitely.

Read more: Consumer Reports Original Article about Ransomware. Short Circuited Computer Repair Featured

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Happened to me ransom

Consumer Reports Article Raul Glasgow and Short Circuited Computer Services Referenced

By Raul Glasgow, Owner, Shortcircuited Computer Repair Services, Brooklyn, New York

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I do info-tech consulting and computer repair. I’m basically the computer guy for a number of dental and medical offices. One day last summer I got up and checked on the server where I keep my website—and the site was just gone. The files were encrypted, and I saw a message appearing in a pop-up window.

This wasn’t the first time I’d encountered ransomware, so I knew what the message was going to say: To get the files back I’d have to pay the hackers in bitcoin, a digital currency.

I started seeing ransomware attacks targeting some of my clients two or three years ago, and since then it’s become more common.

The first time it was a dental office, and they were being told to pay about $2,000 in bitcoin to get their files back. But we were worried they could lose the money if the hackers didn’t actually restore the files—after all, we didn’t know who these guys were. We ended up wiping everything and starting fresh with a new computer. We could do that because everything was backed up.

Read more: My Files Were Locked Up By Ransomware Consumer Reports Article

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The FCC wants to repeal net neutrality, and it just made its opening move

Network neutrality is the idea that your cellular, cable, or phone internet connection should treat all websites and services the same. Big companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast want to treat them differently so they can charge you more depending on what you use.Network neutrality is the idea that your cellular, cable, or phone internet connection should treat all websites and services the same. Big companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast want to treat them differently so they can charge you more depending on what you use.
If you like the current state of the internet, you should know about net neutrality. 
Internet is built around the idea of openness. It allows people to connect and exchange information freely. 
Much of this is because of the idea of net neutrality. 
If you like the current state of the internet, you should know about net neutrality. Many web users are aware of it.

Read more: Defending Net Neutrality

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Short Circuited Founder Raul Glasgow Does a CBS 12 News Interview about Ransomware.

 

 Ransomware is a new form of computer malware that is rapidly developing and spreading in the New York City area. NYC Brooklyn Computer Repair owner Raul Glasgow does an interview for CBS News 12 about the rise of ransomware and his experiences with the malware..

The malicious programs infect machines then encrypts user files with an unbreakable encryption code.

Read more: Short Circuited Founder Raul Glasgow Does a Consumer Reports Interview about Ransomware.

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Brooklyn Computer Repair Cost-Consumer

The computer repair rates for consumers are more simple.computer repair cost brooklyn nyc

For an onsite tech to come to your home or business: $150. Fee covers 1 hour of service.

Basic PC repair charge: $100. 

PC Laptop Screen Repair- Non Touch Screen: $100

PC Laptop Screen Repair -Touch Screen: $150

Macbook Screen Repair: $150 for older model macs.

Read more: New York City, Brooklyn, Local Computer Repair Rates - Consumer

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