Fake Microsoft security update, gift registry danger and airports with free Wi-Fi: Internet ScamBusters #136
It’s time for another ScamBusters Snippets issue, and we have 4 excellent Snippets for you today:
– Fake Microsoft Security Update
– A Little Known Danger of Gift Registries
– Will Mars Pass Once-in-our-Lifetime Close to Earth in August?
– Which Airports Offer Free Wi-Fi?
Before we get going, we wanted to let subscribers who are BBQ lovers to know about a second new BBQ site created by one of our associates: BBQRecipeSecrets.com. (BTW, if you missed last week’s new BBQ site announcement for BBQMyths.com, you can find it here).
Our newest site, BBQ Recipe Secrets, was created by ‘Barbeque Bob’ Quinn. In addition to great-tasting BBQ recipes, you’ll also discover useful, practical and helpful tips — everything from 7 common BBQ mistakes to avoid to the secret for making your own BBQ sauce.
On to today’s Snippets…
Fake Microsoft Security Update
Last week Microsoft released its monthly Security Update, and not surprisingly, a fake Microsoft Security Update that included a virus was released the next day.
This fake Microsoft Security Update claims to offer patches against the Mytob and Sober Zafi worms, but in fact, it contains the SDBot Trojan.
Like clockwork, fake Microsoft Security Updates now follow real updates each month. The real Microsoft Security Updates are released on the second Tuesday of each month. We’ve seen the fake Microsoft Security Updates that contain viruses or worms spammed the next day.
How do you know if the Microsoft Security Update is real or fake? One good indication is that Microsoft will never send you an attached file.
Microsoft always includes a link back to their website, where you can download the real patch.
Unfortunately, you might also receive a phishing scam that claims to be a Microsoft Security Update. So, the safest thing to do is to just go to the Microsoft site security section and click on the current month’s Microsoft Security Update rather than click on the link for an update.
A Little Known Danger of Gift Registries
Many wedding, baby and other gift registries make recipient addresses publicly available. Others will simply give out an address to anyone who asks for it.
This can obviously be dangerous, especially when you couple this information with the date of the event. Thieves can use this info to figure out when a house is more likely to be unoccupied — and perhaps even filled with gifts!
Action: When you set up a gift registry, make sure your address will be kept private. Do not use an online or offline registry that makes your address info available.
Will Mars Pass Once-in-our-Lifetime Close to Earth in August?
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about an urban legend making the rounds that claims that the planet Mars will pass extraordinarily close to Earth in August 2005.
This urban legend is false. Mars did pass extraordinarily close to Earth in August 2003, and will pass fairly close to Earth in October 2005 — but nothing spectacular will happen next month.
You can read more about the August 2003 Mars event here.
Which Airports Offer Free Wi-Fi?
Since so many subscribers are finding themselves in airports at this time of year, we thought we’d let you know about a useful website that lists airports that offer free Wi-Fi to travelers. If you don’t know what Wi-Fi is, click here.
This website, called Wi-Fi Free Spot, lists airports that offer free wireless high speed Internet access, either throughout the airport or with access limited to specific terminals or waiting areas.
Airports are listed by state and country. We were pleased to find that the largest airport near us in Charlotte, NC, is on the list.
Although most of the airports are smaller or regional airports, some larger airports offer free Wi-Fi. For a list of airports, click here.
You can also find hotels and motels with free Wi-Fi, RV parks and campgrounds with free Wi-Fi, and even vacation rental properties with free Wi-Fi.
And a reminder to make sure you keep your laptop secure – visit now.
That’s it for now. We hope you’re having a great summer. Please follow the advice on Microsoft Security Updates and the other tips — and stay safe.