Category Archives: Security

Keeping users safe online.

Beware Fake SWCP Tech Support Email Warnings

It happens just about every day. Some slimy scammer comes up with a new way to impersonate SWCP’s renowned tech support in order to steal your data. Here’s the latest that a customer recently received word for word (only the false tech support phone number has been obscured): IF YOU ARE A Southwest Cyberport CUSTOMER PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING TO it appears that your OS X computer and Firefox web browser has popup ads ENABLED and may be at a security risk. Please call TOLL FREE to repair this now at 1-866-283-XXXX. PLEASE FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS: Before you use , it is strongly advised that you call to disable popup ads. You can do so by calling 1-866-283-XXXX now. ********************* Browser: Firefox IP: Users might be impressed by the fact that the scammers seem to know what system and browser are being used and the IP address. But it’s fairly trivial to discover those things, or the bad guys might just have guessed, and like most phishers, are just hoping to get lucky. But there are two obvious clues (apart from poor grammar): 1) The phone number is NOT for SWCP Tech Support. While Area Code 866 is reserved for toll-free tech support and the like, why would we not use our local number (232-7992) or our own well-established long distance toll-free number (1-888-792-7966)? 2) Firefox and all other browsers block popups on the user’s own computer – it … Continue reading

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The Crowdsourcing of Terror

The world is still reeling from the horrific Friday the 13th terrorist attacks in Paris; the cost in dead and wounded are still being counted, the clean-up is barely underway, and the investigation into the perpetrators is in its earliest phases. There will be much debate in the following days and weeks, but already the French have said that the 8 attackers, 7 of which killed themselves, were all members or inspired by ISIS, and they have taken responsibility as well as threaten more attacks The full extent of the so-called caliphate’s involvement is not yet known; whether the killers were radicalized French citizens, foreign fighters who snuck in as refugees, or hardened veterans of the Syrian conflict. It’s quite possible that all these types were involved, but however it turns out, there’s no question but that it has changed the security landscape around the world. Major factors that must be confronted in all this is that ISIS has been adeptly using social media to recruit would-be killers, and that wherever they came from and however they were organized, the attackers managed to stay completely unsuspected by the security services and thus were able to plan and execute a coordinated attack on at least 6 targets. What this means, simply enough, is that terror has become crowdsourced. As we have discussed in a recent issue of the SWCP Portal, crowdsourcing leverages the mass audiences of the Internet to achieve specific … Continue reading

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Don’t Panic: How Anxiety Aids the Bad Guys

Fear and anxiety are the biggest allies spammers have. Every month, for instance, that more of our customers than usual have problems with their bill, there’s also a corresponding uptick in the number of them that fall for phishing attacks. The reason why seems clear: people who are worried or feeling guilty that non-payment will cause us to shut down their accounts tend to take the phishing bait more easily, which is exactly what the bad guys want. Specifically, anxious users tend to respond far more readily to emails appearing to be from Southwest Cyberport and demanding that they log in or reply than other customers do. There’s no shame in this: these criminals are very clever, and their sneaky methods are evolving all the time. They’re constantly looking for new ways to get you to react without thinking first. It used to be that such emails had a “Reply to:” address, but that was too easy for us to block; so nowadays they more often use a Web address that is disguised to look like ours. However, the link actually goes off to some poor hacked website somewhere, where they’ve set up a small customized password-stealing page designed to look like our webmail page or like a bank or some other standard-looking login.  As soon as you enter your information, the spammers are quick to use or sell that info to other spammers to send out junk mail. Sometimes, … Continue reading

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