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PC Support Scams – Virus Bulletin paper

Another year, another fine Virus Bulletin conference come and gone. And some of us even got long-service badges. (My first VB was in 1996, and my first VB presentation in 1997, but there are people like our own Righard Zwienenberg whose attendance record goes back way further.) (Yes, it did rain the last day or

Support-Scammer Tricks

Information and resources regarding tricks used by coldcall/support desk scammers

Support scams: What do I do now?

ESET’s David Harley returns to the theme of what to do if a scammer gets a foothold on your system – people are still worried about support scams.

Tech Support Scams: Top of the Pop-Ups

Support scams and fake alerts are still big business. We look at scammer psychology and a little parapsychology.

Tech Support Scammers with Teeth

Some support scammers and their assassination threats may seem dumb, but they’re no joke.They can cause serious damage as we discuss it in this article.

Scams: Tech Support, Accident Insurance, PPI, Oh My My

It’s not just fake tech support: call centre cold-callers are operating various kinds of insurance scams, too.

Support Scams: we don’t really write all the viruses…

…and nor are we responsible for fake AV/scareware and (more recently) ransomware, though I did suggest in a paper I presented at EICAR a couple of years ago that the bad guys who do peddle that stuff are all too proficient at stealing our clothes, and that maybe some security companies were making it easier

Support Scams On The Rise (2)

The problem with preventing such scams is that social engineering is very lo-tech in nature, requiring little in the way of technical resources and investment. Scammers are relying on the victims naivety, to grant them access to their computer and credit card details, so there’s very little a security company can do to prevent them,

Support Scams: Cold Calls, Cold Hearts

Here's a diagnostic window that your shouldn't panic over, certainly if some cold-calling scammer directs you to it by persuading you to run a diagnostic on your own system. But I'm getting ahead of myself. You might think I've blogged more than enough about support scams already – you know, where someone calls you out

David Harley: “New scams are difficult to spot even for a trained eye”

Harley says that scams and social engineering have been a constant in cybercrime – but in the past few years, some scams have got markedly more sophisticated, and more difficult even for a trained eye to spot.

Support Scams: Microsoft Strikes Back

…I didn’t think I could let the recent flurry of publicity on Microsoft’s disavowal of one of its Gold Partners because of their alleged implication in cold-calling scams…

Support scams now reign in Spain

If you thought that the problem of tech support scams was disappearing, think again, says Josep Albors and David Harley.

Support scams, malware and mindgames without frontiers

Introduction 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

Support Scammer Update: Misrepresenting Task Manager

David Harley describes a support scam that uses a slightly different twist, misrepresenting the output from Windows Task Manager.

Support Scammers (mis)using INF and PREFETCH

As well as misusing Event Viewer, ASSOC or a system CLSID, scammers hijack “prefetch” and “inf” to con victims into believing they have malware.

Tech Support Scammers: Talking to a Real Support Team

It so happens that I live over 5,000 miles from the ESET North America office in San Diego, and so tend not to have water cooler conversations with the people located there. Of course, researchers working for and with ESET around the world maintain contact through the wonders of electronic messaging, but there are lots

Fining Support Scammers

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is planning to impose harsh penalties on support desk scammers. (Hat tip to Andrew Hayter for drawing my attention to that item.) According to chairman Chris Chapman, nearly half of all the complaints they've received about calls to numbers on the Do Not Call Register have been about cold-calling

(More) Confessions of a Support Scammer

David Harley examines the latest confessions of a support scammer to appear on the web, this time from a Reddit Q&A.

Fake Support: the War Drags On

After quite a few months of trying to raise public awareness of the problem of fake support cold-calling both here [and elsewhere, it's good to see other vendors also starting to publicize the issue. I've previously cited an article by Symantec's Orla Cox that describes one exchange of civilities with one of the scammers, and

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