fishing lure

The internet’s been hit with increasingly tricky “phishing” scams — emails where a criminal tries to trick you with phony information.

What Do Phishers Do?

They might spoof your bank, or a company you’re likely to have an account with like Amazon or Facebook. Sometimes they spoof your ISP. Sometimes, as in the “sextortion” described above, they pretend they can watch you at your computer.

The internet — and email in particular — were originally designed with a small number of trusted users in mind. Programming to block nefarious emails has limited success, as hackers work hard to get past filters. So while email providers block most fakes, some always manage to get through.

How is Cruzio addressing the problem?

We asked our ever-resourceful and remarkably calm Customer Service manager, Justin Von Besser, about the best approach for a responsible ISP.

Says Justin: “We’ve developed procedures to kill these attacks as quickly as possible. First we report the fraud to the FBI. Next, we contact the compromised server— the owners usually know nothing about it, they just have an infected computer — and we tell them what’s happening so they can take their server down and scrub the virus. Our anti-spam software blocks most bogus messages and we are constantly working with our software vendor to make that process more effective. And we’ve been adding a network status to voice mail when an attack seems widespread, so people know what’s going on.”

What can you do to protect yourself? Here’s a summary from Boston University with great advice. We agree with them, except that instead of informing Boston University, you are welcome to tell Cruzio.