Ohio Business Gateway Phishing Scam
Thursday, May 27, 2010
For those of you who use the Ohio Business Gateway to electronically file your sales tax or perform other functions, I wanted to let you know there is some spam going around that, at first glance, appears to come from the Ohio Business Gateway (see link below for a screenshot). The poorly written email asks users to take several steps to secure their OBG profiles as well as their computer systems, ending with a request that users download “OBG Secure Software” and it provides several download links for various operating systems.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, the email appears to be a hoax and the file to be downloaded (each link takes you to the same TinyURL redirection and asks you to download the same, generic Setup.exe file) is likely a virus or malware. The official Ohio Business Gateway website, does not have any notification for needing such software and does not mention that you will lose OBG access by June if you don’t install it, as the email states.
The download location for the “setup.exe” file is a server based in Amsterdam with an IP address different from that of other Ohio.gov servers, which are based in Columbus.
I’ve notified the Ohio Business Gateway IT Department as well so that they can be aware of it, if they’re not already. I’ll also do a little investigating to see what the file does in the event someone finds themselves infected. Should I hear back from the OBG or find evidence that this is not a malicious email, I’ll let you know. Better safe than sorry. For those of you who process sales tax on behalf of your clients or work in the advisory or financial services industries, you may want to pass this information along to your clients or other employees within your organizations that are in charge of handling this type of work.
Update: The email itself does not appear to cause any issues or alter your system. The "setup.exe" file, if run, will cause damage and as of 3:15PM is only detected by 7% of antivirus suites. It adds processes to your computer without visably affecting your system. If you've run the file, please contact us.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
As of Saturday, April 17th 2010 our temporary outage of email is over. Please continue to send email to the "@avrem.com" domain.
Another round of hardware upgrades is scheduled for next weekend.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Beginning after hours Friday, April 16th, 2010 we will be performing routine hardware upgrades in our office that will result in our internal email addresses being unavailable for an extended period of time.
Most mail servers will hold mail for about 72 hours so your communications are not lost, we should be back up and running with plenty of time for your servers to relay your messages.
If you do need to get in touch with us, feel free to send an email to our backup email address, "firstname.lastname@example.org". We appreciate your cooperation.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Our clients often poke fun at us for stagnant web content and our usual reply is "Hey, if we're working on ours we're not working on yours." The truth is, while we may not always have witty news items to post on the home page, that doesn't mean the rest of the site has gone untouched.
If you look in the top left corner of this page, you'll see a line that says "Last Updated". That line indicates when the site as a whole was changed. While the homepage posts may look older, our last updated date is the true indicator of the work we spend on our site.
Some things that you may find new and exciting are:
1.) An updated Contact page (http://www.avrem.com/contact/
2.) New content on the Resources page to better assist our clients (http://www.avrem.com/resources/
3.) And last but not least an update to our Web Portfolio (http://www.avrem.com/portfolio/
Plus there's a lot more to come! Check back for updates on all the great new service offerings we're rolling out in the next few weeks.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
At Avrem, we're proud to say that we have grown rapidly, experiencing 900% growth from 2007 to 2008, and we've continued to achieve triple digit growth in 2009. As a result, exciting changes are in the works at Avrem! Over the last few weeks, we've looked closely at how we do business and the services we provide and have begun taking steps to improve our operations.
As a result, we've made changes to our Terms and Conditions. If you're a new client or have placed an order with us in the last two weeks, you've probably already reviewed these changes. Otherwise, you'll be receiving a packet in the mail detailing the changes, as well as our plans for moving forward in the coming years and how those plans affect you!
The most up-to-date copy of our new policies can be found at http://www.avrem.com/policies/
. We're looking forward to continuing to expand into 2010 and all the challenges, opportunities and partnerships that lie ahead!