A crazy thing happened to me this morning. As I started my day, I read and shared an article about a group of cybercriminals that were recently caught and charged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for creating a program which freezes the victim’s computer and then offers bogus technical support services to fix the issue.


For me, and probably most of you, articles like this are “business as usual.” Nothing too alarming here. I often search for these types of stories since my company, Flagship Solutions Group, provides security and business continuity products and services. By sharing the information on social media, I hope to educate our customers and partners on the latest trends and threats in the marketplace. Rarely do I ever have the opportunity to experience them firsthand, like I did today.

It wasn’t more than 5 minutes after reading and posting the article that I got this screen. (See below.)


It popped up when i was trying to access Google Sheets and was accompanied by a loud buzzing alarm sound. I was unable to close the message or go to any other window within Chrome. The screen says that my “system has detected possible suspicious activity.” and then it says to “call the toll-free number below for a Microsoft-Certified technician” to help me “resolve the issue.”

It continues with a scare tactic, “For your safety… (blah blah blah),” and then tries to interject some urgency via all caps stating, “PLEASE DO NOT SHUT DOWN OR RESTART THE COMPUTER. DOING THAT MAY LEAD TO DATA LOSS AND POSSIBLE FAILURE OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM AND POTENTIAL NON BOOTABLE SITUATION RESULTING IN COMPLETE DATA LOSS…” (notice run-on sentence and questionable grammar)

The first thing I did was turn the volume down on my laptop – that noise was a bit much.

Next, I called our company Tech Support Rep, Norman Enriquez, who quickly said, “I know what this is.” (Music to my ears)

He knew exactly what to do and told me to click the box that said, “Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs.” Then he told me to click “OK.”


That was it! Easy fix. Phew!

After that, I was able to close the window and continue to use my PC normally.

What I got out of this experience:

  1. Educated users are smart users. I was lucky to have just read that article just before this happened.
  2. Always call your trusted Tech Support line rather than a toll free number that pops up on your screen.
  3. Sometimes the fix is as simple as 2 clicks, but the mistake of doing the wrong thing can be much more complicated and expensive (reference the above article for more information). Call Tech Support before you do anything.
  4. Even though some of these “bad guys” were caught and an article was written about them, there will always be more to pick up right where they left off.

If your organization is in need of trustworthy Technical Support resources, schedule a consultation with Flagship. We partner with IBM to provide world-class multivendor support for organizations of all sizes.

You can also view our latest infographic: How to Find the Right Vendor for Technical Support Services

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IBM Security: QRadar Intelligence and Ops

IBM's integrated solutions harness security-relevant information from across your organization, and use analytics and automation to provide context and help you detect threats faster, identify vulnerabilities, prioritize risks, perform forensics analysis and automate compliance activities. 

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  • Organizations today need integrated security intelligence solutions that can grow as their business grows, both in terms of size and capabilities. The IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform meets these requirements by providing an integrated security solution that is highly scalable, and can expand it’s capabilities to meet increasingly hostile security challenges. This short video describes how IBM Security QRadar delivers scalability, visibility, vulnerability management, risk management, and performs forensics analysis to help you quickly and efficiently detect and respond to security threats. To learn more, please visit http://ibm.co/1HNzm2n

  • Report: IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Report 2016

  • In the modern era of mega breaches, there seems to be an ever-upward trend of more attacks, more leaked records and more varied threats. Yet, by the numbers, 2015 was not a complete disaster. While significant interruptions, shifts in perspective and challenges to the security industry continue to evolve, there are some areas of slowed growth and even improvement. This paper takes a look at some of the notable highlights from 2015 and makes some projections at what we might glean for the future.

  • How IBM Helps Secure the Cloud

  • IBM Security helps customers secure public, private and hybrid clouds. With IBM Security customers can manage user access to cloud applications and protect the data that lives in the cloud. Customers can use IBM Security products like QRadar to gain full visibility into security threats facing their organization.For more information, please visit http://ibm.co/1zlRM6Y

  • Benefits of Security Intelligence on Cloud

  • Watch this short video and listen to Vijay Dheap, IBM Global Product Manager for Security, describe the benefits of Security Intelligence on Cloud, a new offering from IBM. These include lowering costs, increasing efficiency, shifting from a CapEx to an OpEx model, and improving compliance and reporting. Vijay also touches on the advantages of incident forensics and the rapid analysis of security offenses. For more information, please visit http://ibm.co/1zlRM6Y

  • KocSistem Replaces Their SIEM & Deploys QRadar For Log Management & Regulatory Compliance

  • Many organizations are challenged with meeting regulatory compliance mandates. Watch this video and learn how Ko?Sistem, one of the largest IT services companies in Turkey, is complying with regulations using IBM Security QRadar. You will hear about how they removed a SIEM from another company and installed QRadar, and lowered costs, improved performance, and benefited from greater ease of use.For more information on QRadar, please visit: http://ibm.co/1DFd42q

  • The Next Era for Security – IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform

  • “IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform provides real-time transparency to see better into your organization than ever before,” says Steve Robinson, Vice President, IBM Security Division. Implementing the security information and event management (SIEM) dashboard, the IBM QRadar platform brings security operations teams full visibility through a single window. It also automates the tedious task of vulnerability management. Security teams can spend less time on manual tasks and more time on network security assessments. This means, according to Robinson, “QRadar will probably pay for itself right out of the gate.”For more information on Security Intelligence go to: http://ibm.com/software/products/us/en/subcategory/SWI60For more information on IBM Security: http://ibm.co/ibmsecurity

  • IBM Security Intelligence for the Cloud with QRadar

  • IBM QRadar Security Intelligence helps you monitor the cloud for security breaches and compliance violations using advanced security analytics. Using a flexible deployment architecture and connectors to popular cloud services, IBM QRadar Security Intelligence provides deep visibility of threats across both on-premise IT and hybrid cloud deployments.To learn more, please visit http://ibm.co/1DwamZk

  • How to Investigate Security Incidents Quickly and Easily

  • What’s behind a cyber attack? Gaining insight and clarity into the what, when and how of an enterprise security incident: IBM Security QRadar Incident Forensics helps you win the race against time when a security breach occurs by allowing you to rapidly and easily perform in-depth security incident investigations. It provides visibility and clarity to potentially malicious activity by thoroughly analyzing packets captured from your network, and in most cases can help resolve security incidents in minutes or hours instead of days or weeks. It is integrated with IBM Security QRadar solutions, allowing the same person who has visibility to logs and network flows to conduct searches and learn more about an incident. With QRadar Incident Forensics, security staffs can analyze many types of data, understand their relationships, re-trace the steps of an attacker, remediate damage, and reduce the chances of a recurrence. Learn more about QRadar Incident Forensics: http://ibm.co/QrSCg3

  • IBM Security QRadar and iSecure Work Together to Improve Customer Security

  • This short video describes the benefits that customers receive from the IBM Security QRadar and iSecure partnership. iSecure wraps their services around IBM’s QRadar products and helps clients address their security gaps. iSecure chose IBM because of the visibility QRadar provides to security exposures, and IBM’s continued investment in new capabilities such as vulnerability management, risk management, and incident forensics. iSecure also endorses IBM ability to provide a solution that combines multiple point products into a single, consolidated security solution.Learn more about IBM Security: http://ibm.co/ibmsecurity

  • Local Government Secures Their Data With QRadar

  • Securing people and funds is a challenge for the public sector. With these limited resources, IT departments must choose a security tool set that will be easy to implement as well as easy to manage. In this video, a local government explains why they chose IBM Security’s QRadar and how it has been a true asset to their work process.To learn more about QRadar, please visit http://ibm.co/1HNzm2n

  • Quickly Investigate & Resolve Security Events with QRadar Incident Forensics

  • When you make intelligent analytics part of your IT security strategy, you gain access to the tools to quickly identify and stop network security breaches, before real damage is done. IBM QRadar Incident Forensics helps security professionals reduce time spent on manual searches to identify a true threat, quickly analyze and stop the attack, and reconstruct the incident to gain the knowledge to prevent a similar attack in the future. To learn more, visit http://ibm.co/15NUhEI