Fake Tech Support Scams

Today I received a call from a friend informing me that they had malware loaded on their computer and that every time they were using their browser regardless of which browser they were using they were getting this nag screen claiming that Microsoft was informing them that their computer was infected by malware and to contact Microsoft to have the problem resolved.

The quick solution is to use a malware detector and remover, there are a few free ones available online.

If that doesn’t clean your computer then you may have to take your computer to a technician to remove the malware from your computer depending on the complexity of the malware that it may be an expensive venture with no guarantees that all has been removed.

Manually removing viruses, rootkits, malware and trojans can be very time consuming, I have known people to run bills over three hundred dollars.

So the cheaper solution is reinstalling the operating system, and reinstalling all your software (pain in the ass).

It is always good practice to backup you datafiles for two reasons, the first in the event that you have to reinstall your operating system the second hard drive failure.

Below is a link that will show you what this Microsoft popup window looks like.

(A dead giveaway is that if you are using a Linux os or mac os and you get a Microsoft message ) then you are being scammed … lol

The other version of this fake tech support scam is the telephone call, with this scam you are called on the telephone telling you that your computer is infected and that they can fix your problem. (Yeah Right!),

For the Microsoft Tech Support scam here are two images that you might recognise if you have encountered the experience.

Microsoft fake tech support 01

Then you may choose to click okay and immediately the next pop-up comes up.

Microsoft Tech Support Scam popup number two

If you want to know more about these Tech supports scam check out the following video.


Your First Web Site: The Basics Introduction to CSS Part III

In Part II the focus was on how HTML described content. A very simple primitive web page was created with no styling applied to the web page. The output to the browser window looks more like something that you would see in a word processor, something very generic like a letter or essay.

Part III builds upon part II. In this part cascading style sheets will be introduced at the most basic level

Three different ways of using style sheets will be discussed and they are:

  1. External Style Sheets
  2. Internal Style Sheets
  3. Inline Style Sheets.

Each Style sheet has its own use, if you’re setting up multiple pages then the external style sheet is the better choice, on the other hand, if you are creating a single page then the internal style sheet is the best choice. If you are just intending of change the style inside a previously declared id or a single occurrence of a style the inline style sheet may be worth consider. All three are discussed in the video.

Selectors have three main components to them and they are

  1. declaration
  2. Property
  3. value

There are three types of selectors;

  1. The Element Selector
  2. The Class Selector
  3. The Id Selector.

Selectors are talked about in greater details in the video and the notes.

To conclude style sheets determine the appearance, feel and layout of your webpage or websites.

files for this tutorial can be downloaded here click here to download

Your First Web Site: The Basics Part II

Part II is a continuation from part one before the basics.  The video demonstrates how to build a very basic primitive web page. The div, span, hr, and br tags are introduced.  Once the tutorial is completed you should be able to replicate the page.

When you display the page on your browser all you will see is the content, it will not look pretty because all that has been accomplished is that the Markup language (HTML) has only described the content to be displayed.

In Part III CSS2 & 3 will be introduced to demonstrate how you can change the appearance of your page, like all the videos you learn by doing.
Each video has the accompanying working files and notes for those who wish to have some theory to what they are doing.

The corresponding files and notes to the video can be found here. You will need an unzipping program like winzip, or 7-zip. You can download 7-zip for free at http://www.7-zip.org/

In the demonstration, I use the opensource text editor brackets here is the link where you can download this editor: http://brackets.io/


Your First Web Site: Before The Basics Part I

This series of HTML tutorials are for those who have absolutely no experience with HTML (HyperText Markup Language) or with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Each Tutorial includes a Video, Notes and Skeleton files. The Video focuses on learning by example and learns by doing, while it is not necessary to read the notes the notes may be helpful for those who likes written instruction.
This first tutorial “Your First Web Site: Before The Basics” discusses and demonstrates;

The four essential HTML tags to technically produce a web page.

  1. Tags without content will produce a blank web page.
  2. The Structure and Format of the four essential tags.
  3. The why its is good practice to include the DOCTYPE declaration on line 1
  4. The use of meta tags to let the browsers know what Character set that will be used and to tell the browsers that your page is scalable to the view port of any devices which may view your web page.
  5. A demonstration of the  <h1, h2, h3> Tags and the <p> tags.

Link to notes and files used in video click here

Part II Eliminate the Fear of Browser Cookies install TOR

By André  Faust

One of the biggest concern for those who do not know how browsing and the internet work.

There is a lot of bad information in regards to cookies, and the browser’s cache. Unfortunately, misinformation of this kind leads to some anxiety about cookies and other digital items downloaded into your computer’s cache.

With the early browsers, not with cookies but with JavaScript underhanded activities were common.  Today’s modern browsers are programmed to recognize malicious JavaScript and won’t allow the script to run or to be downloaded.   So what is loaded in the cache is really the least of a users worry.

Anything that is loaded in the cache whether its Cookies or other software is loaded to increase the efficiency of the browser.  Disabling the cache will affect the performance of your browser.

Malware, viruses and other undesirable unwanted software are usually bundled with other software which you consent to install.

It is common that any software, addons, etc that are offered for free has other bundled software included.  Even a reputable corporation like Adobe, when you install their flash plugin, and if you don’t check off any to install Norton security.  The installation will install Norton security.

TOR is a browser that has been designed to help you browse anonymously if you use TOR and follow TOR’s instructions.

In   Part I Anonymous Browsing The Experiment discusses in depth what information your computers gives out and what information it gives out.  In addition, Part one discusses the strength and weakness of TOR and VPN’s Virtual Personal Networks.

The installation is pretty straight forward for what every the platform that you are using, Windows, Linux and Macs.   It is just a matter of going to their site and follows the installation instructions.


Part I Anonymous Browsing: The experiment

By André Faust

There are many stories about the information that you give when you are online, some of the stories are accurate and others are exaggerations.

To separate fact from fiction, I created a web page located on my site to collect any information from anyone landing on the page. The page does not keep any of the information that it displays. Once the user closes their browser the information is lost forever.

Using the page three tests were performed, the first test was with Firefox, the second with the browser TOR and the final test was with a VPN (Virtual Personal Network).

The first two test were strictly browser tests. The VPN tests was a hybrid test, it tested both the browser, information that is sent from the user computer online when they are not using a browser.

Two computers located on the same network were used to conduct this experiment/test. Computer A has geolocation software installed while computer B hasn’t.

Most computers don’t have geolocation software or hardware installed so for those, accurate geolocation is highly unlikely. The test will show the difference in accuracy between the both computers.

However, the tests did show that it is possible to get a person’s location under the right conditions.

What the experiment revealed is that when you are using a standard browser that has geolocation API (Application Program Interface )the browser will ask the user for permission.

Not to create any confusion, there is a difference between geolocation software and hardware and a browser geolocation API. The difference is that the software and hardware can give your exact location if your computer is communicating to the internet through a browser or not whereas the browser geolocation API detects if a request is made from the website for your geolocation.

Not all browsers have geolocation API built into them, Chrome is an example of a browser that doesn’t have the API included. When a browser does not support a geolocation API, the user’s location is not given.

The Result of the experiment/test is that you can browse with anonymity with TOR, with Firefox, Your IP address is given, The IP address that is given is the IP address that your internet service provider assigns to your router. While the IP address will identify the Internet Service Provider and the Internet Service Providers Address the IP Address will not give your location. The only way that that could be found is if someone has the legal authority to request to request that information.

Outside of geolocation, the results did show that when you visit a site, you give your IP address, you’re the browser that you are using, some of the plugins your using, your screen resolution and your operating system.

If the site requests your Geolocation, the user’s browser will ask permission to proceed, if the user declines then no information is broadcasted.

The VPN tests were successful at spoofing the IP but failed at providing any of the other information, like browser brand, plugins, screen resolution and operating system. The VPN to spoof the IP address is independent of the browser.

Outside for someone to do statistical analysis, one can browser without giving out information that can Identify the user.

Most of the personal information that a user gives is when the user fills out online forms. That is where the majority of the personal information is given, so you really have to trust the site that they will not sell or give that information out.

The focus is on information that is broadcasted while online. Cookies and browser cache was not looked at as part of the experiment/test. That is another topic. A quick word on cookies, most of the cookies are downloaded to your browser’s cache are helpful to the user and when cookies are disabled the user will lose some of the advantages of cookies.

The page that was used for this video can be found at http://jafaust.com/whoami/ It is a good tool to use because it does all three finds the users IP address, the location of the Internet Provider as well as a whois to identify the Internet Service Provider and location of the Internet Service provider

Windows 10 System Commands

By André Faust

System commands are commands that can be run from the command prompt or in linux terminology Terminal. the Commands to be similar to DOS. DOS before the days of Windows was standalone operating which was initialized with command.com.

The early programs under DOS the visual interface was dependent on A.S.C.I.I. ( American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters for the visual appearance. in figure 1 show is a screen shot of word Perfect 5.1. As can be seen the graphics are low quality compared to what we have today.

Fig 1 WordPerect

In 1993 Microsoft deployed Windows 3.1 Fig 2. it was one of the GUI (Graphic User Interface),e however it was almost Identical to the Mac Classic. Apple launched a lawsuit against Microsoft which dragged on for years..

Fig 2. Microsoft Windows 3.1

DOS (Disk Operating System) was still then OS (Operating System) with Windows 3.1 running on top of it. 1995 was the release date for Windows 95, in 98 Windows 98 introduced into the market, in 99 Windows 98 SE deployed to the consumer market.

All three versions of Windows 9x sere still running on top of DOS the change came with windows millennium in 2000 where Microsoft change the architecture of the Operating system to incorporate DOS in the architecture. the result is that DOS and the windows operating system are the same.

While on the surface the commands may look like DOS, it isn’t. No longer the operating system separate form the windows kernel

Fig 3 is Windows 10 with the command prompt, will it may look like dos commands it isn’t

Fig 3. Windows 10 with the terminal window open

Below are all the command prompt commands, some of the commands will work with earlier Window versions, but not all.

System Commands Description
Displays or modifies file extension associations.
Displays or changes file attributes.
Sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking.
properties in boot database to control boot loading.
Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of
Calls one batch program from another.
Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
Displays or sets the active code page number.
Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
Checks a disk and displays a status report.
CHKNTFS Displays
or modifies the checking of disk at boot time.
Clears the screen.
Starts a new instance of the Windows command interpreter.
Sets the default console foreground and background
Compares the contents of two files or sets of files.
COMPACT Displays
or alters the compression of files on NTFS partitions.
CONVERT Converts
FAT volumes to NTFS. You
cannot convert the current
Copies one or more files to another location.
Displays or sets the date.
Deletes one or more files.
Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a
DISKPART Displays or
configures Disk Partition properties.
Edits command lines, recalls Windows commands, and
creates macros.
DRIVERQUERY Displays current
device driver status and properties.
Displays messages, or turns command echoing on or off.
ENDLOCAL Ends localization of
environment changes in a batch file.
Deletes one or more files.
Quits the CMD.EXE program (command interpreter).
Compares two files or sets of files, and displays the differences
between them.
Searches for a text string in a file or files.
FINDSTR Searches
for strings in files.
Runs a specified command for each file in a set of files.
Formats a disk for use with Windows.
Displays or configures the file system properties.
Displays or modifies file types used in file extension associations.
Directs the Windows command interpreter to a labeled line
in a batch program.
GPRESULT Displays Group Policy
information for machine or user.
GRAFTABL Enables Windows to
display an extended character set in graphics mode.
Provides Help information for Windows commands.
Display, modify, backup, or restore ACLs for files and
Performs conditional processing in batch programs.
Creates, changes, or deletes the volume label of a disk.
Creates a directory.
Creates a directory.
Creates Symbolic Links and Hard Links
Configures a system device.
Displays output one screen at a time.
Moves one or more files from one directory to another directory.
OPENFILES Displays files opened
by remote users for a file share.
Displays or sets a search path for executable files.
Suspends processing of a batch file and displays a
Restores the previous value of the current directory
saved by PUSHD.
Prints a text file.
Changes the Windows command prompt.
Saves the current directory then changes it.
Removes a directory.
RECOVER Recovers
readable information from a bad or defective disk.
Records comments (remarks) in batch files or CONFIG.SYS.
Renames a file or files.
Renames a file or files.
REPLACE Replaces
Removes a directory.
ROBOCOPY Advanced utility to
copy files and directory trees
Displays, sets, or removes Windows environment variables.
SETLOCAL Begins localization
of environment changes in a batch file.
Displays or configures services (background processes).
SCHTASKS Schedules commands
and programs to run on a computer.
Shifts the position of replaceable parameters in batch
SHUTDOWN Allows proper local
or remote shutdown of machine.
Sorts input.
Starts a separate window to run a specified program or
Associates a path with a drive letter.
SYSTEMINFO Displays machine
specific properties and configuration.
TASKLIST Displays all
currently running tasks including services.
TASKKILL Kill or stop a
running process or application.
Displays or sets the system time.
Sets the window title for a CMD.EXE session.
Graphically displays the directory structure of a drive
or path
Displays the contents of a text file.
Displays the Windows version.
Tells Windows whether to verify that your files are
written correctly to
a disk.
Displays a disk volume label and serial number.
Copies files and directory trees.
WMIC Schedules commands
and programs to run on a computer.