15 days of fame

Screenshot 2019-09-03 11.03.37 Looks like the storm of visitors to this blog looking for information on that fake video circulating Facebook is over. Most of the searches were for the hostname of the server which I happened to mention in the post. Which, I guess put me to the top of the search results.

One individual found me on Facebook and accused me of being the creator of the video because I mentioned it on my blog. Of course, I had her read the blog post for help addressing her account to getting the hacker’s session kicked out and securing it.

Fb Messenger virus

Got a message from a coworker that suggested I was in a video. Naturally, I am supposed to click on it, but it felt wrong. A quick Duck Duck Go search revealed it to be a virus.

If you think a virus was installed on your device, then my advice is to find a trusted anti-virus software to scan your computer. There are also malware apps to scan & protect your phone. Some carriers offer them for free.

Some reports suggest if you click on it, then you get a Facebook login page.

Only, it is not a real one and designed to capture your credentials. That gives another party your credentials so that they can:

  1. send this out as messages to your contacts
  2. capture more information from your account

If you fell for the 2nd login issue, then my advice is to:

  1. Immediately change your password.
  2. Kick off all sessions in the “Security and Login” page. There is a “Log Out Of All Sessions” option.
  3. Also in the security section, setup two-factor authentication.
  4. Turn on getting alerts about unrecognized logins.

Of all the things I can report, I cannot report this?

It seems like Facebook should be able to detect this virus or phishing by now. What I can see of the link goes to a Facebook server: si-chao.cstools.facebook.comĀ  So, at least the link to virus/phishing is on their servers enough that they could check for its presence.

The person who sent it me says the account was locked out for 24 hours for behaving suspiciously. The act of sending hundreds of messages in a few seconds alerted Facebook to automated behavior. So, these are accounts they could be checking for being compromised.

TED Talk: All your devices can be hacked

No, a person cannot catch a computer virus. But, as more wireless technology is implanted in people, I can see worse things being done. Given an example was the exact model of a former vice president of the United State’s pacemaker, I can see the Secret Service going into fits figuring out how to prevent anyone from using wireless near anyone they are supposed to protect.

If the above video does not load, then try All your devices can be hacked.

Viruses, worms pose threat

Here is an article on computer viruses for which I was interviewed for the Spectator, the university student news paper.

Lindsey Giddens
Staff Writer

Nathan Justin / The Spectator — Ezra Freelove, assistant webmaster for Microcomputing and Network Services, explains viruses

Viruses are running rampant and are extremely contagious. But these viruses don’t attack your immune system–they attack your hard drive.

The term virus is used to describe viruses, worms and trojans. Viruses programs designed to use your computer to attack others can be malicious if they show up on your computer. Viruses that have been found locally have been NIMDA, SIRCAM, MAGISTR and ETHAN, a virus that affects Word files.

Usually these viruses are picked up through e-mails, downloads, infected floppy disks and hacking. They can cause minor problems such as a few system glitches or can be harmful enough to reformat your hard drive, overwrite the hard drive boot sector, delete files or render computers inoperable.

According to Ezra Freelove, assistant webmaster for Microcomputing and Network Services, viruses have not been a major problem for VSU.

All of the approximately 2600 computers on campus have Officescan software installed.

“It scans the file and looks for patterns Trend has provided,” Freelove said. “It tries to clean the file, but if it is not cleanable, it quarantines the file or deletes it.”

Officescan is regularly updated on computers around campus. “Usually when a new virus is found, within six to seven hours, anti-virus software is available for it,” Freelove said. “The only situation (that might pose a problem for students using on-campus computers) is when a virus is so brand new that the anti-virus software hasn’t been released to counter it.”

According to Freelove, it is uncommon for viruses to spread so quickly that they don’t have an anti-viruse soon enough to counter it.

“Over the past year, there have only been about four that have spread that fast, NIMDA being one of them,” Freelove said.

Microcomputing and Network Services take care of all the computers on campus. Students who have viruses but live off-campus can call the Help desk at 245-4357. A help desk technician will walk the student through what to do to get rid of the virus.

The most important thing to do to ward off viruses is to make sure you have anti-virus software on you computer.

“Most computers come with Norton Anti-Virus already installed, but it’s usually a 30 day trial, and no one keeps it updated,” Freelove said. “You need to make sure you register it and keep it updated.”

Also, for those who do not have anti-virus software, Information Technology offers PC-Cillin to VSU staff, faculty and students. Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/antivirus/pccillin/ and enter your GRITS account and password. For more information on viruses, what’s out there and how to avoid or get rid of them, contact the help desk 245-4357, on the web at http://www.valdosta.edu/antivirus/index.shtml or email at antivirus@valdosta.edu.