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Tech support asking for passwords


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#1 cmptrgy

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:59 PM

I have a friend who had a problem on her computer and she called her ISP Comcast for help since she uses their Norton anti-virus program. To make a long story short, she had to provide them with both her log in & email passwords and then they wanted to charge her $215 to clean her computer.

That doesn't make sense to me - I'm not aware of any reliable ISP tech support asking for passwords. I know they ask for permission to take control of a computer and then supply a service number the computer user has to enter. Is this something new that an ISP tech support asks for passwords.

 

She has changed her email password and I recommended to her to also change her log on password.



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#2 quietman7

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:00 PM

I'm not sure of ISP Comcast procedures but Remote Assistance opens with a Password the users needs to provide to the person they are requesting help from so that person can connect to the computer.

Remote Assistance FAQs
Invite Another User to Troubleshoot Your Windows 7 Machine with Remote Assistance
How to Use Windows 7 Remote Assistance Easy Connect

Asking for a log in and email passwords sometimes makes it easier for the Tech to do what they need to do especially when dealing with a novice user who knows little about computers. This is not something I would do but it does occur and some folks provide that information. $215 seems like a lot of money but again I don't know exactly what they had to do to clean this computer or how long it took. This sounds like an issue she should follow up by contacting ISP Comcast and speaking to a supervisor in their support division.
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#3 cmptrgy

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:09 AM

Thank you for your input.

 

She didn't have them clean her computer because of the steep price

--- However in her case I don't understand why they didn't explain to her how to use their Norton program which is included in her plan with them

When I checked her computer, it wasn't infected, it was 47 tracking cookies; doubleclick etc. and that's what irked me

--- I took the time to show her how Norton works (BTW - it had reported the computer was safe & secure and up-to-date)

 

I don't know what phone number she called, but I suppose that could be another story

--- Unfortunately this is another case of not being able to get information when trying to help someone

 

However in the end, her computer runs just fine, I ran Norton's full scan, reviewed the other Norton functions with her and then showed her how to run the quick scan so she can do that herself whenever she suspects anything

--- I couldn't find when Norton does a scheduled scan but since it runs real time, Live Updates run automatically and other functions are in order, she should be fine if she follows through with what she's learned



#4 quietman7

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:13 AM

QM7's MODUS OPERANDI: "Knowledge and the ability to use it is the best defensive tool anyone could have. An uninformed user can be their own worst enemy when acting in ignorance."
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#5 bory504

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:20 AM

I work Tech Support remotely and physically, the only time I need a password is if something is wrong with a particular application that requires the user to log on with a password. And if its remote, technically if the customer is behind the computer watching, the user can just type it in for the remote tech. So, I would not trust it based from my experience.


Sincerely, Blake.

7 year Computer Hardware + Software Technician.

Operations Technician at a retail company.

Rhythm guitarist for the band Headspill.

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#6 quietman7

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 05:47 PM

And experience tells us that those who call for Tech support are usually desperate and know little about the process of remote assistance. As such, they generally do what they are told.

This is another one of those security areas where there is not much we can do about it other than to educate folks.
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#7 cmptrgy

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:32 AM

Points well taken especially about the desparation factor because it is so true. Unfortunately I've run into too many people who just don't want to bother maintaining and protetecting their computers at least decently but then more than complain when its time to finally have their computer taken care of. BTW I do not do computer work as a business but I help volunteers at the non-profit organization I volunteer at. For me, I would like to note thanks to advice I see here on BC I'm able to keep my 10 year old Dell Dimension pc running like new.



#8 quietman7

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:57 AM

You're welcome on behalf of the Bleeping Computer community.

Bleeping Computer is a family oriented site where we offer assistance to those who know very little about computing. As such, our forum discussion board is primarily targeted more for the novice user as they comprise most of our membership. We provide help based on that premise since it is impossible for us to know the extent of a member's background, knowledge level and experience until we get to know them.

However, CryptoLocker and similar ransomware are new breed of moneymakers for malware developers and in these cases there is not much help we can offer except to educate the public. You may want to read this topic: Cryptolocker Hijack program.
 

Education is really the only way to prevent this unfortunately. Without education people will continue to open email attachments they shouldn't, use weak passwords, and provide little or no network security.

These types of encrypting malware are the new breed of moneymakers for malware developers, especially as they be created by individuals, or small groups, rather than larger organizations. In the past it was rogue anti-spyware programs, but then the credit card/merchant companies caught on and that method was pretty much eliminated. Ransomware, such as this Cryptolock, ACCDFISA, and DirtyDecrypt, are the future as the ransom payments are typically anonymous, are essentially cash, and very difficult to trace. These payment methods are typically MoneyPak, Ukash, and now BitCoins....

Grinler (Lawrence Abrams) Post #17
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#9 cmptrgy

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:26 AM

Wow, I read that info and I must admit most of the technicalities are over my head.

--- This adds to the fact that computer users should be using the common sense points to avoid such an infection

--- I'm going to show this one to my friend and I hope she gets the message



#10 quietman7

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:48 AM

This one especially shows the importance of regularly backing up your data which even the most novice user should be able to do. The key is educating them to do so.
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#11 cmptrgy

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:30 AM

In case you would like to know. I just talked to a friend of mine yesterday who has Verizon and had to call them for help 3 weeks ago. His computer became seriously infected so Verizon took control of his computer to take care of his problem. He wasn't asked for his password. After he logged in with his password, the Verizon tech sent a request for permission to take control of my friends computer. Once my friend ok'ed it then my friend had to input some number he was asked to enter by the Verizon tech and after that all went well



#12 quietman7

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:13 PM

That's the correct way.
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