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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...]

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...]

Did my comment on your blog get lost?

If you ever feel bad about your job because of mindless tasks you must perform day after day, or if you’re bothered by the fact that your chosen work pays crap, produces nothing useful, and helps no one: have a look at blog comment spammers and breathe a sigh of relief. They make almost any job look fantastic by comparison. Unfortunately, they also spam up the very comment sections where … [Read more...]

Where did the tech support scam blacklist go?

For about five years, we’ve maintained a blacklist of recognized tech support scammers, along with websites and phone numbers they might use to contact victims. The blacklist was part of our Tech support scams: help and resource page, which tells readers how scams work, what tricks to look out for, how to get help after you’ve been scammed, and who to contact to report the scam. The … [Read more...]

Shoppers Stop tech scam draws from thousands of forced ad injections

These days, there are a lot of browser locker campaigns fueled by malvertising or redirection from hacked sites. But the Shoppers Stop tech scam campaign is actually a bit of both, using compromised sites injected with advertising code that redirects users to other threats, including tech support scams, via malvertising. We believe those ad injections came from pirated CMS themes. Normally, these … [Read more...]

Boomerang spam bombs Malwarebytes forum—not a smart move

Tech support scammers are generally not the best and brightest. As such, they will occasionally post ads for their fake companies in the comment sections here or on the Malwarebytes forums. Last week, however, scammers struggled with configuring their spambots, resulting in spam bombs on the forum lasting roughly 72 hours, with a slow taper down for two more days. Over six days, 246 spam accounts … [Read more...]

Tech support scammers make browser lockers more resilient

Tech support scammers have been relying on fraudulent pop-ups for many years in order to scare potential victims into calling for remote assistance. These so-called browser lockers (or browlocks) typically originate from malicious ads (malvertising) that can appear on any website, including trusted online portals. The purpose of browser lockers is not only to scare but also to create the illusion … [Read more...]

Tech support scammer tries to sell free software

AmericaGeeks is your typical tech support scam company, but with an extra warming glow of attitude, greed, and complete all-around rudeness. Most scams will gladly take your money by buttering up the victim while simultaneously scaring them into thinking that they are in a dangerous situation with their computer or device. They then swoop in to heroically “help” them. AmericaGeeks … [Read more...]