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Clark Howard: Boston scams

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Updated: 5/07/2013 11:20 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's not the first time hackers have used tragedy to trick unsuspecting people into downloading Malware. 

They use major news events to lure you in. This time using the Boston Marathon bombings and the plant explosion in Texas.

"They send out e-mails saying like 'suspect identified', 'video of him here', and of course a lot of people were waiting on authorities to make that identification, so a lot of people clicked on it without thinking because they were very eager to find out what was going on," says Dell Secureworks Don Jackson.

The link might take you to a page with a video to watch, but once you visit the page, a program scans your computer and installs a virus called a Botnet.

It gives hackers complete access to your computer. Once they have access, they can install whatever Malware they like.

"There's Malware that can spy on bank information, it can spy on where you browse. There's other spyware that will take your passwords and take over your e-mail accounts."

Jackson spotted two different types of Botnet viruses following the tragedy in Boston.

He says if you are infected by one of these Botnets, the only thing you can do is to have a professional completely erase your computer.

"A remote hacker in another country still has control of your computer, so he can install whatever he wants."

These e-mails are coming in all shapes and sizes. In fact I just got an email from a friend of mine whose email account had obviously been hacked into. 

I knew not to click on the link in it. My rule, don't click on any hyperlinks from anyone, even someone you know. 

But you know what else, you should download at least a free antivirus program, like AVG. I have a list for you of free antivirus on my free and cheap page at clarkhoward.com.

Watch Clark Howard weekday mornings on Action News This Morning on FOX30 beginning at 7 a.m.
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