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Thread: Colossal ventures Inc. = bad, unplug your modem this weekend?

  1. #1
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Colossal ventures Inc. = bad, unplug your modem this weekend?

    I have an iMac desktop computer. I have an HP OfficeJet Pro printer. I was having trouble printing because I was getting messages that "the printer was off-line". I couldn't seem to fix it myself so I went online and clicked on what I thought was an HP support site. It turned out to be a bunch of computer geeks in India that wanted to charge me $265 to fix the offline problem on a six month old HP printer that was still under warranty and only cost me about $150 to purchase. The guy I dealt with on the phone was here real fast talking, slick, techno geek. He kept saying my firewall has been breached and my computer it was 99% hacked. He painted a very dire picture of what was going to happen if I didn't buy their computer fixing service. He showed me what I needed and Walmart would charge around $1500 plus a service fee to do the same thing they would do for only $265.

    Anyway, colossal ventures Inc. held themselves out or represented themselves to be affiliated with HP and they sent me an email indicating as such. Just want to let people know not to do business with colossal ventures Inc., it is total bullshit.

    It is 7 AM on May 25, 2018 and I am watching the morning news. A story just came on and warned people to unplug their modems this weekend to reset them to avoid some hackers or computer viruses. I imagine there will be more coverage of this story over the next couple of days.

  2. #2
    We get phone calls all the time from Indian scammers, simple questions to ask are what is my computer IP address and tell me the exact version of operating system I am using. They can never answer it.

    Never give remote admin access to anyone unless you know and trust them.

    I've been using the internet since about 1991 I think, never had a hack or virus and won't be bothered by news items saying don't use it, firewall and using your brain should be all that is needed.

  3. #3
    I regularly get calls from broken English speaking scammers who say they are from Microsoft and need to fix my hacked Windows 10. It blows them away when I tell them I have a Mac (I don't). The response gets a moment of silence and a click. lol But they keep calling.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55+yrs. View Post
    I regularly get calls from broken English speaking scammers who say they are from Microsoft and need to fix my hacked Windows 10. It blows them away when I tell them I have a Mac (I don't). The response gets a moment of silence and a click. lol But they keep calling.
    The calls we receive are automated -- that gives a toll-free number to call to "continue the support on your Windows machine". Amusing that the voice is synthesized (I guess they can't afford a human being to record a REAL voice?). I'm always tempted to make a log of all the toll-free numbers and just start calling them from random phones around town (just to "ding" them for the calls!)

    A colleague on the East Coast is much more playful and engages them as if a supremely naive, fast-talking, panicked user:
    "OhMiGosh! My computer??! Which one? The one in the living room? Or the one in the family room? Wait, no, that one isn't on at the moment... should I turn it on, now? Oh, gee... I forgot the password -- my wife normally uses this one. YOU wouldn't happen to have it handy, would you? Wait -- let's see if I can remember it... I think she used our eldest son's name... No, come to think of it, she changed it when our daughter got upset that we used Tommy's name instead of hers! I think she ended up changing it to the DOG's name... just give me a minute, please. She's not home, now, but I can call her on her cell..."
    Surprisingly, they don't seem to share this "experience" with their fellow scammers as, sooner or later, another bozo calls and gets The Treatment!

  5. #5
    I tell them I don't have a computer but my neighbor does. Then I ask if they mean my dvd player, fun time.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    It is 7 AM on May 25, 2018 and I am watching the morning news. A story just came on and warned people to unplug their modems this weekend to reset them to avoid some hackers or computer viruses. I imagine there will be more coverage of this story over the next couple of days.
    Thanks for this heads-up, Smokey. I've just read an article about this on the Guardian website - as of right now, I've seen nothing on CNN or Fox's websites. Resetting a modem temporarily halts the progress of the virus, and the FBI is telling people to do that now - though it might already be too late to protect one's data.

    Edited to add: Just now saw warnings on Yahoo News and https://digitaltrends.com/computing/...router-reboot/. The Guardian article is at https://theguardian.com/technology/2...ing-russia-fbi
    Last edited by Bonnette; 05-26-2018 at 09:40 AM.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    Thanks for this heads-up, Smokey. I've just read an article about this on the Guardian website - as of right now, I've seen nothing on CNN or Fox's websites. Resetting a modem temporarily halts the progress of the virus, and the FBI is telling people to do that now - though it might already be too late to protect one's data.
    Routers (the box that sits between your intranet and The Internet -- typically also supporting wireless devices) are routinely hacked and will continue to be hackable next week, next month, etc. Much of the blame for this lies with manufacturers who focus first on features and cost and only begrudgingly address "security".

    Have you ever "logged into" your router? If not, it undoubtedly has the "factory default" password still in place. Hackers can do a google search for these passwords ("default password model XYZ router") just as easily as you can (when you have lost the original instructions telling you how to access the "virgin" device).

    Devices should refuse to operate until the user has picked a login name (one more thing for a hacker to have to guess, other than "admin", "Cisco", etc.) and set a strong password -- "passw0rd" doesn't cut it! (the password on my router is 18 characters long! No need to remember it -- I wrote it on a label affixed to the top of the router as the only folks who will SEE it are those of us who live here!) Default settings should be very conservative (e.g., disable remote administration so access to the router's "controls" is blocked for any connections coming IN from The Internet)

    Of course, any of the devices on your internal intranet can also be hacked (default passwords, software bugs, etc.). And, if hacked, they can act as an agent for an external attacker ("OK, I can't access the router's controls from The Internet but, I can have the malware that I just installed -- when the user visited my 'Free Pron' website -- in the BabyCam attack the router from INSIDE the user's intranet!") So, you have to limit the potential exposure of devices to attackers.

    I only allow one machine to talk to the outside world. It can only surf the web and handle email. If it is compromised, I restore a backup image from an external USB disk (takes 10 minutes) and I'm up and running with a "clean" machine, again. Any online banking/ecommerce is handled by a separate laptop that is only used for that purpose. It can be an older/slower model because it's only in use for ~10 minutes a week -- so, it can be an inexpensive hand-me-down.

    Of course, those of you yoked to MS's update servers for your hours of W10 downloads will be inconvenienced by this -- any machine that you use to do REAL work won't be "online" to fetch those updates! (Gee, would you NEED those security updates if your machine wasn't connected to The Internet?? )

  8. #8
    When NL picks up these "you've got a problem with your computer calls." she plays her wide, doe eyed routine..."Really...you mean you can save me from being hacked," "What do I need to do now," "I really hope you can help me, because, I really don't want to have a problem with my computer," "So please, help me." By the time she gets done with that routine, she usually gets a comment like, "Wait a minute, are you making fun of me." She delights in saying, "You bet I am, you asshole." CLICK! NL is one of the all time dear, sweet ladies ever, but she can have a salty tongue when necessary! You've got to love all 5 feet of her! She is not one to take lightly or toy with!
    Last edited by gjnl; 05-27-2018 at 10:05 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    When NL picks up these "you've got a problem with your computer calls." she plays her wide, doe eyed routine..."Really...you mean you can save me from being hacked," "What do I need to do now," "I really hope you can help me, because, I really don't want to have a problem with my computer," "So please, help me." By the time she gets done with that routine, she usually gets a comment like, "What a minute, are you making fun of me." She delights in saying, "You bet I am, you asshole." CLICK! NL is one of the all time dear, sweet ladies ever, but she can have a salty tongue when necessary! You've got to love all 5 feet of her! She is not one to take lightly or toy with!
    You go, NL! Love that spirit.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    I have an iMac desktop computer. I have an HP OfficeJet Pro printer. I was having trouble printing because I was getting messages that "the printer was off-line". I couldn't seem to fix it myself...
    I'm having the same problem with my iMac and HP DeskJet 3054. Did you eventually find a fix?

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