Tech support scammers threaten Windows 10’s security with new tactics

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

According to Microsoft, tech support scammers are now borrowing phishing techniques from cyber criminals who are seeking credentials.

Phishing-like emails and more tech support scams

Scammers are currently using phishing-like emails to lead potential victims to all kinds of fake tech support web sites. The new attack tactic was spotted by Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center, and it helps evolve bogus tech support.

Tech support scams have recently used a mix of malicious ads that automatically redirect users to a fake tech support page that shows a fake Blue Screen of Death or other fake Windows security alerts.

Cyber criminals have been using mass email for a long time to spread links to fake online banks or email login to phish for credentials. The latest scammers use almost identical techniques, and they’re sending emails as if they were from Amazon, LinkedIn or Alibaba. The difference is that instead of phishing for credentials, the links lead to fake tech support pages and users are asked to pay for unnecessary tech support services.

Once they reach the fake site, users face a range of social engineering techniques such as false security alert pop-ups that try to convince them to call the so-called tech support center.

Over three million users exposed to tech support scams monthly

Scammers can cast a wider net in addition to already existing tactics via phishing emails.

Microsoft’s data shows that more than three million users are affected by these scams each month especially in the US, UK, Canada, France, Australia, and Spain.

Beware of TechBrolo

TechBrolo is the most widespread tech-support scam malware, and Microsoft calls it “support-scam malware on steroids” because it uses a looping dialog box that locks the browser and it generates an audio file telling you about a fake problem and urging you to call the support number.

The most vital thing that you should remember is that Microsoft never reaches out to users to offer them unsolicited tech support, so stay alert.

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