The latest hacking scam proves that pop up ads aren't a thing of the past. The advert pertains to be from your internet service provider (ISP), and looks so authentic that even security experts are almost falling for it.
The pop up features a telephone number, and a the following message, 'Our system scans have detected malicious software on your computer. Your personal photos, credit card information and passwords may be at risk. Contact our certified technicians for immediate assistance.'
The scam is particularly convincing because it looks as if it comes straight from whoever provides your internet. Companies like BT, Virgin and Sky are likely to be brands that you trust, which makes the scam much more effective at drawing people in.
This information isn't particularly well protected, in fact it only takes a rogue advert from the hackers on a normal web page to figure out who your internet service provider is. On its own, this information is pretty harmless - but it does help to convince victims that they have actually been infected.
Hackers are then able to get potential victims to call them directly, rather than the other way round - essentially cold calling the cold caller. From there it only takes a little social engineering to convince victims that something on their computer is causing trouble, and encourage them to install something to 'fix' the problem.
If you suspect that your computer may have been infected, run your own scan for viruses and malware using Windows Defender, or your own security program. If you do get an alert informing you that your computer has been hacked, look up the number for your ISP and contact them directly, without using the number on the pop up.
If you're still concerned, give Transcendit a call on 0191 482 0444 and give our IT support team a look. They're happy to talk your through ways to secure your computer against viruses and malware.