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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Support Scams, Malware and Mindgames without Frontiers

It might not have escaped your notice that I write quite a lot about support scams, an issue in which most commentators in the security industry take only sporadic interest and tend to regard as of only niche interest. (As when a scammer is damaging their brand or product in some way, for instance by claiming to represent them or that the victim needs his help because their product is inadequate or worse.)
Certainly if it was still all about scammers calling victims out of the blue to tell them they have a virus infection and wanting remote access to their PCs so that they can ‘fix it’, I wouldn’t have much to say about it all at this point. But it isn’t. And I’m not just talking about minor variations on the CLSID orEvent Viewer or Task Manager gambits, in which various legitimate utilities are misrepresented as ‘proving’ that your PC has a problem with malware. (Although we still see plenty of reports of such gambits in action: if you aren’t familiar with them, quite a few of them are described in articles and papers like this: My PC has 32,539 errors: how telephone support scams really work. (Is it really three years since we presented that paper? Apparently it is, and much longer since I first started writing about the topic.)

Support Scams, Malware and Mindgames without Frontiers

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