Malware Crooks Plant Fake YouTube Ads on Google to Trick Users

Sep 30, 15 Malware Crooks Plant Fake YouTube Ads on Google to Trick Users

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The latest internet scam does not involve Nigerian princes or secret lotto winnings, but it’s tricky enough to fool users who are just trying to find some cute kitten videos. According to The Inquirer, popular antivirus software firm Malwarebytes says that the latest trick that online criminals are using involves Google search results. It’s called “malvertising,” and it can convince even the most adept computer veterans to funnel money into the scammers’ pockets. Malvertising is a portmanteau of “malware” and “advertising.” In basic terms, it’s a strategy used by crooks on the internet to install a virus on your computer that can extract confidential information from your hard drive and, in a worst-case scenario, allow a hacker to steal your identity. In this latest scam, Google users who search for the popular video website YouTube will see the malvertising at the very top of the search results in the ad section. Having the top link for a commonly-searched keyword on Google is one of the best ways to drive traffic to a website. The internet has made people impatient, and 75% of users never even get past the first page of search results. These scammers bid for the rights to be at the top of search results for YouTube, which is one of the most popular keyword searches on the entire internet. By displaying the actual link to YouTube, users think they are being led to the website. “Cybercrooks made this one look very real, with the supposed URL destination actually being the real YouTube website, and providing a preview to a YouTube channel when hovering over the link with your mouse —- making this one good enough to trick even some security-savvy users,” explained Jerome Segura, researcher at Malwarebytes. Instead of going to YouTube, the user sees the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death,” informing them that their computer is infected and displaying a “toll-free phone number” for them to call. According to InfoSecurity, Malwarebytes also released a statement on how the scam works...

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8 Members of Ohio’s Beef Jerky Burgling Ring Indicted for Theft and Money Laundering

A Delaware County grand jury recently indicted eight beef jerky bandits who operated a theft ring across central Ohio, according to the Marion Star, following a six-month investigation of the group’s alleged thefts. The group had been running a shoplifting ring across 10 Ohio counties, reported This Week News, and primarily focused on items like beef jerky, batteries, and laundry detergent. The items may seem petty for thieves, but targeting stores that sell cheap items is one common strategy for long-winded crime rings like this one. It’s estimated that only one in every seven businesses today has a working alarm system, and these alarm systems almost always guard more valuable items, making it riskier to steal them. According to local authorities, the group would shoplift these small items and an unnamed contact would resell the items, for a profit, at auction houses in Bellevue and Clinton. All eight members have been charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (a first-degree felony charge) and money laundering (a third-degree felony charge); certain individuals are facing additional charges for theft in the fifth degree and money laundering in the second degree. The charges, according to court documents, are as follows: Corrupt activity (first degree), money laundering (third degree), two counts of theft (fifth degree): Brittany Chafin, 23, of Delaware Stevie Henry, 25, of Marion Sasha Steele, 23, of Marion Corrupt activity (first degree), money laundering (third degree), three counts of theft (fifth degree): Jordan Emmons, 23, of Marion Corrupt activity (first degree), money laundering (third degree), four counts of theft (fifth degree): Justin Emmons, 26, of Marion Wendy Emmons, 45, of Marion Michael Jenkins, 32, of Marion Corrupt activity (first degree), three counts of money laundering (all third degree): Philip Burkholder, 82, of Forest Believe it or not, this isn’t the only jerky-related theft that has occurred recently. Last year, Ohio had another jerky incident involving hundreds of dollars of stolen jerky and about $40 worth of candy stolen from a store in Grove City,...

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The Time for Heating and Cooling Upgrades in Connecticut is Now

The hot summer days are in the rear-view mirror, and before long the temperate fall weather will give way to the bitterness of winter in Connecticut. On top of getting mentally prepared for that cold fact, it’s also time for homeowners to make sure their houses are ready to withstand the hardships of winter. Enter Energize Connecticut, an in-state initiative aimed at saving residents money by helping them update their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to cleaner units that accommodate their homes more efficiently. Two of the unique ways in which they are going about this is through a loan assistance program and a subsidized energy audit. The first is a straight-forward and practical. Energize Connecticut is offering loans up to $15,000 with 0% APR financing through October 31, according to one local newspaper The Bristol Press. The money can be used to check, repair, or completely upgrade residential units to newer, more energy efficient models; by law the lowest efficiency allowed for gas furnaces is currently 78%, and new models can reach levels of 97%. The low monthly payments can be spread out from three to 10 years. Michael Fontaine is a local business owner and industry expert with over 20 years of experience who currently owns Fontaine Mechanical. It should be noted he stands to benefit from the increase in business, but his knowledge and credibility in the field is respected. “This is a great opportunity for people to upgrade to more energy efficient units,” Fontaine said. “A lot of people who might not be able to otherwise purchase a new furnace or boiler should be able to afford these low monthly payments.” The second program designed to help home owners decide if/what services they’re in need of is the Energy Audit Program, which is only available for customers of Eversource and United Illuminated, according to NBCConnecticut.com. Basically, for $99 homeowners can have energy experts come in and run a procedure in their house that will show them exactly where...

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Family of 3 Left Homeless After Orlando Apartment Fire

A family of three is homeless today after a fire in an Orlando apartment complex ravaged their living space. At about 4:20 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 24, the Orlando Fire Department was called to the Village at Rosemont Preserve apartment complex, according to News 13 in Orlando. Authorities have so far been unable to determine the cause of the fire, but they believe it might have started from the bedroom of the family’s apartment. While it’s unfair to accurately speculate at this time, it could have been something as simple as an improperly discarded cigarette, which is one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths. When firefighters arrived on the scene they found flames spewing from their second-story window. Fortunately, they were able to contain and extinguish the fire in about 10 minutes, and all three of the residents made it our safely. One family member was treated for smoke inhalation, but officials expect everyone to be fine, reports clickorlando.com. In total, four apartments were forced to evacuate, but the other three escaped major damage and residents were allowed to return. The American Red Cross is helping provide temporary relief and shelter for the displaced family. It’s another sad reminder of the importance of smoke detectors and keeping them properly maintained. Every apartment should have at least one smoke detector, and renters should regularly check the battery life and replace the alarms every 10 years. Apartment fires can be especially dangerous because of the limited access and close quarter living arrangements. The quick response time and efficient rescue operation by the Orlando Fire Department likely saved multiple other units from suffering the same fate as the family in...

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Local Bakery’s Egg and Butter Cartoon Characters Violation of Ordinance

In July the Knoxville City Council in Tennessee approved a new sign ordinance outlawing signs on the top of businesses roofs, with an exception for artwork, according to the local ABC affiliate WATE.com. Presumably, the regulation was meant to prevent big chains from mounting massive, flashy eyesores in an attempt to attract business from the nearby highway. However, the first challenge to the ordinance has come from a much different source. Peggy Hambright has owned the local Magpies Bakery for over 12 years. Hambright had wanted to put a sign of a cartoon butter and egg on the top of her business for awhile, but didn’t have the necessary funds. She was saving up the money, however; why wouldn’t she, given that 50% of new customers say they are attracted to businesses by an outdoor sign? She did finally save up enough to mount the porcelain figures, but that was after the ordinance had passed. She knew about the new regulation, but was anticipating her sign would fall under the art exemption. “I believe this is a work of art, and I think it would be really great iconic piece of art up there to welcome people to the neighborhood,” Hambright said. Unfortunately, the Knoxville Plans Review and Inspections Division makes the final decision on such matters and they see the situation differently. The director of the division, Peter Ahrens, made the initial ruling that it wasn’t art, and therefore a violation. “As we looked at their website, it almost seemed that the egg and the butter became a logo, almost like a Nike Swoosh,” Ahrens said. “Where you see the butter and egg dancing, you think of Magpies, and that’s how they are trying to brand their business. That would be considered advertising.” The next step for Hamright is to appeal to the city Board of Zoning Appeals, which cost her $250 and will not be heard until October. If denied there, she would go directly to the City Council. Until then, Hamright...

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