Sat, May
10
2014

Apple OsX Stops a Windows Trojan Over the Phone

Sat, May 10, 2014

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Before I talk about the item the title of this post refers to, a quick update about Vivian. Thanks to everybody who expressed concern and offered sympathies. Vivian is back to her old self, and was mostly back the evening after she had fainted. She may have been sick with something (Erin and I are both coming off colds), so she was a little under the weather when we were coming home on Wednesday, but she has been up and around and bouncing since then.

Still, a faint is a faint, and I took Vivian to see the doctor Thursday afternoon, and we are going to have a couple of tests done just to make doubly sure. It’s entirely possible we may never know what happened (which would be a good thing, since that would mean there was no recurrence), but at least we can rule a few things out. Also, I’m switching multi-vitamins, and adding a little more iron to Vivian’s diet, just to ensure the cause isn’t some mild anemia.

In other news, I took a call back on Friday from somebody in a call centre somewhere, speaking so softly I had to struggle to listen to him. He was calling on behalf of “Microsoft Windows”, and they had identified me as a customer, and they had evidence that my computer had been hacked into. They needed to run a security check right away to fix the problem.

Of course, if you folks have been paying attention, I’ve been a Macintosh user for the past nine years.

It was a scam, and one that has been reported by the local police: mysterious callers identifying themselves as working for Microsoft tell their victim that their computer has been hacked, and they need to download some security software so these folks can log in remotely to solve the problem. Unfortunately, it’s easy to imagine some people falling for this, and I might have been fooled for a couple of seconds too if it weren’t for the fact that there were no computers with “Microsoft Windows” operating anywhere in our house. So I just sat and listened to the man’s spiel until he asked about my Microsoft account.

“I don’t have one,” I said, almost jovially.

This silenced him. Then, tentatively, he said, “Don’t you use Microsoft Windows?”

“No,” I replied equally jovially. And I heard the man splutter a little before I finally hung up on him.

I do wonder, though, how long I could have strung this man along. What would you folks have done if you’d had this opportunity?

And, if it needs to be said, be warned about this scam: it’s real. Fortunately, if you’re aware, it’s pretty easy to suss out.


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