I got a call — Your internet is compromised! (Scam call)

Photo by Pickawood in Unsplash.

Some may get into their trap

Help some readers protect themselves

Our backstory

Harbour view from Marina Bay Sands balcony, Singapore. Photo capture by Author — available on Unsplash.

The fateful morning

Let’s start with Nida’s account

Then, I take the call

zsh: command not found: netstat
Result of running `netstat` on PC. Screenshot by the Author.

At this point, I was 100% sure — its a scam.

  • Local Address on netstat result shows the IP address and port information of the local end of the connection — the connections starting from an application on your computer. 127.0.0.1 points towards a local IP address.
  • Foreign Address on netstat result shows the address and port number of the remote end of the connection. A very naive example would be if an application was directly accessing https://blog.minhazav.dev it may show something like 185.199.108.153:8080 on the Foreign Address.

It doesn’t point towards any foreign individual — 100%!

How does the rest of scam works?

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash.

LOL!! This is something I would never do — give full remote access to my computer to some shady guy!

Seriously, never do this! Unless you know the person on the other side of the call.

Don’t let anyone install random apps or make any arbitrary changes to your computer.

Result of running `assoc` on my PC. Photo by Author. You See the CLSID line has a unique ID 888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04D7D062, it’s not really unique to each individual but is a common ID.

Important notes for readers

  • Never ever, ever .. give remote access to your system to any stranger who calls you. Even if they claim to be Obama.
  • Don’t run arbitrary commands that you are not aware of. Most commands can be harmless — but even without remote access, they could instruct you to install Malwares and get you to give it admin privileges.
  • It goes without saying, don’t give any password or PIN or OTP or credit card info to anyone on call.
  • If you are not sure about such calls, get more context by calling the authentic service center numbers that were given to you by the company during installation.

What did we do next?

I hope people don’t fall for this kind of scam.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash.

I am publishing this article outside of paywall — so more and more folks can read it.

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Minhaz

Minhaz

4.2K Followers

Senior Software Engineer @Google. Leading team democratising computational photography for masses. Writes about programming generics & specifics.