Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) wants you to be aware of a new malware scam. The tech titan is warning Windows users to pay attention to a new tech support scam. It identifies itself as a Microsoft security product that locks an infected computer and then attempts to trick victims into contacting a support hotline. Will the madness ever cease?
Microsoft Corporation Finds New Malware Scam
Security Essentials is the tech firm’s anti-malware product for Windows 7 and earlier. Now it seems criminals are trying to exploit the product by creating a fake installer and getting victims to call fake tech support centers
As part of the new scam, hackers have produced new Windows malware that apes its free Security Essentials antivirus. It gives you the much hated blue screen of death, otherwise known as BSoD. It also displays an error message and a 1-800 number.
The malware, which is called Hicurdismos, disables Task Manager. This means the user can’t end the fake BSoD and hides the mouse cursor to make the user believe Windows is not responding.
In a “severe” warning on its Malware Protection Center blog, Microsoft confirmed that genuine error messages from the company “do not include support contact details.” The messages never request payment for tech support.
“We’ve seen attackers becoming more sophisticated with their social-engineering tactics to try to mislead users into calling for technical support and then they are asked for payment to ‘fix the problem’ on the PC that does not exist,” Microsoft wrote.
Microsoft is urging you to report these incidents if you receive them. You can report it to the firm using its Report a Scam form. The tech giant regularly collects the data and investigates the matter with relevant authorities.
Hicurdismos is part of the latest tech support scam trend. Rather than cold-calling targets, scammers utilize bogus security warnings or pop-up ads. These alerts try to get people to call these support centers, and apparently it is working.
Microsoft Corporation Disappointed in Millennials
Millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are the most tech-savvy generation. They know everything about technology. Everything from desktops to mobile devices, millennials ostensibly know all things technology. Well, not quite.
Last week, Microsoft published the results of a new study that found millennials are more likely to fall for these tech support scams than their older counterparts. With unscrupulous individuals using online pop-up ads as part of their arsenal of tactics, millennials are becoming victims.
According to the study, half of the survey respondents who conceded to continue “with a fraudulent interaction” after being exposed to a scam were millennials. Now, compare this with 34 percent of those between 36 and 54 and fewer than one-fifth of those over 55.
Indian, Chinese and American millennials are being duped. And this is rather surprising. Shouldn’t millennials be far more cautious about pop-up ads and being redirected to fake websites? Millennials grew up with this stuff.
Perhaps this is a case of millennials knowing how to use technology rather than knowing what’s inside.