Las Vegas, Nevada, December, 06, 2012
Techvedic, a renowned tech support provider, in its latest issue under “Techvedic: Scams & Alerts” has revealed about burgeoning “tech support phone scams” that are exploiting innocent computer fraternity across the globe.The list of cyber-attacks is getting richer now. After phishing and spamming, there is one new entrant, seemingly legitimate than ever before. This time, attackers don’t appear in the background of any fake websites, instead they share words of mouth over phone, pretty much like your friends and family, and victims have been found to be surrendering each and every detail what they asked for in an absolute conscious manner, without knowing the aftermath.
In the context, Microsoft consumers were the key-target, and attackers took advantage of the software vulnerabilities linked with products like Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Live Mail, etc. The alleged cybercriminals might have used the publicly available phone directories to know the name and other personal information of potential victims, and later connected them to offer Microsoft Support services. To win the trust and faith of victims they portrayed themselves as representatives of one of the below organizations:
• Windows Helpdesk
• Windows Service Center
• Microsoft Tech Support
• Microsoft Support
• Windows Technical Department Support Group
• Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
By manipulating the brand popularity, it became easier for them to persuade victims to get the remote access of their PCs either in pretext of troubleshooting Microsoft products’ issues or installing any fake software, or so called update, and evidently divulging money through credit cards. Usually, they tricked Microsoft consumers to make the payment through fraudulent websites, and also altered the computer settings in a way to make it unstable and insecure.
Though, the attempt seems to be the “rarest of the rare” in the tech support industry, but ‘yes,’ computer users must take a lesson from it and stay safe. Microsoft is clearly of the opinion: “neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security nor software fixes.” So one should never entertain such phone calls or services, and avoid disclosing any financial information to any person pretending to be from Microsoft.
In Techvedic Mirror
This type of attack is a setback for the tech support industry as well as Microsoft consumers. Hence, a cognitive mindset is required to clear the foggy atmosphere, and consumers have a conspicuous role to play into. However, in case, the unfortunate has happened already, where users have downloaded certain files from any fake websites, Techvedic recommends to take instant action, as follows:
• Change computer’s password, change the password on main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially bank and credit card.
• Take help of Microsoft Safety Scanner or any third-party Internet security software to clear off installed malware files.
• Victims can download and install Microsoft Security Essentials or any of the most compatible security software available in the market.