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ParetoLogic facing complaint of alleged wrongdoing

A short while ago we reported on the FTC ruling against payment provider RevenueWire. Now, another Canadian company is under scrutiny, and the cases are very much related. Not only are these companies hailing from the same city, they also share some founders. The company ParetoLogic is involved in a US class action lawsuit in which it is accused of having circulated programs that would charge … [Read more...]

RevenueWire to pay $6.7 million to settle FTC charges

What can you do as a scammer when no legitimate payment provider wants to process your payments anymore? Or, what if you are growing sick and tired of these same payment providers reimbursing disgruntled customers who claim that your products didn’t fix computers, like—you know—you said they would? Simple. You rely on some novel help. That is, until you get caught. Let us tell you a … [Read more...]

WOOF locker: Unmasking the browser locker behind a stealthy tech support scam operation

In the early days, practically all tech support scammers would get their own leads by doing some amateur SEO poisoning and keyword stuffing on YouTube and other social media sites. They’d then leverage their boiler room to answer incoming calls from victims. Today, these practices continue, but we are seeing more advanced operations with a clear separation between lead generation and … [Read more...]

Recipe for success: tech support scammers zero in via paid search

Tech support scammers are known for engaging in a game of whack-a-mole with defenders. Case in point, last month there were reports that crooks had invaded Microsoft Azure Cloud Services to host fake warning pages, also known as browser lockers. In this blog, we take a look at one of the top campaigns that is responsible for driving traffic to those Azure-hosted scareware pages. We discovered … [Read more...]

The lazy person’s guide to cybersecurity: minimum effort for maximum protection

Are you tired of that acquaintance who keeps bugging you with computer questions? Do you avoid visiting certain people because you know you will spend most of the evening cleaning up their machine? My uncle Bob is one of those people. He’s a nice guy, but with computers, he’s not just an accident waiting to happen—he’s an accident waiting to become a catastrophe. To keep Uncle Bob’s … [Read more...]

Christmas tech scams roundup

There’s a fair few Christmas tech scams floating around out there as 2018 winds up, and we thought it’d be a good time to warn you about them. It’s the usual mish-mash of phone antics, social media shenanigans, and click bait. Shall we begin? This scam looks divine BOOM reports on a collection of anti-aging cream websites targeting regions such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, and Colombia. … [Read more...]

Browlock flies under the radar with complete obfuscation

Browlocks are the main driving force behind tech support scams, using a combination of malvertising and clever browser locker tricks to fool users. In fact, the effects can be so convincing that people call the rogue Microsoft support number for help because they believe their computer has been hijacked. Crooks are constantly trying out new tricks to defeat modern browsers and evade detection. … [Read more...]

Mass WordPress compromises redirect to tech support scams

Content Management Systems (CMSes) such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla are under a constant barrage of fire. Earlier this year, we detailed several waves of attacks against Drupal, also known as Drupalgeddon, pushing browser-based miners and various social engineering threats. During the past few days, our crawlers have been catching a larger-than-usual number of WordPress sites being hijacked. … [Read more...]

A week in security (September 10 – 16)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we assessed the security of a portable router, identified ways to waste a scammer’s time, named the many faces of omnichannel fraud, questioned the security of 2FAs, profiled a massive tech support scam operation, and exposed a new HMRC phishing campaign. Other cybersecurity news: Trend Micro addressed the burning questions related to their Mac App store apps … [Read more...]

Partnerstroka: Large tech support scam operation features latest browser locker

Tech support scams continue to be one of the top consumer threats in 2018, despite actions from security vendors and law enforcement. Scammers are constantly looking for new ways to reel in more victims, going beyond cold calls impersonating Microsoft to rogue tech support ads using the good name of legitimate brands, and of course, malicious pop-ups. We have been monitoring a particular tech … [Read more...]