Fresh off the heels of last week’s Crypto Locker issue comes a new threat to Cyber Security : the MS Windows Service Center Scam.
More involved than just an e-mail hoax, this scam involves users receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be a customer service representative. “The main pitch is that there have been complaints from the user’s internet service provider stating the existence of a severe problem with the computer with respect to viruses. The how’s and why’s of the contact between the service provider and the service center is usually left to the victim’s imagination, which in most cases gets slowed down upon hearing the two terms “Microsoft” and “virus”.” (Internetcleaner, 2013) During the course of the phone call, the unsuspecting user will be referred to a website where they can download a program which they are told will remove the virus from their computer. What actually happens, however, is that “. . .a malware gets installed on to the victim’s machine, which apart from showing that there are a huge number of viruses on the machine, also makes sure to collect all of the user’s personal data from the computer. The malware is also quite apt at concealing its true purpose as it is supposed to cling on to the machine and record all of the victim’s future online correspondences and data entries.
Apart from that what’s stated above, the other side of the card is not uncommonly, money. If someone provides a service, they are sure to charge for it as well. The repair fee is definitely quite exorbitant considering the irony of the word “repair” and to add to the woes of the victims. . .” (Internetcleaner, 2013)
Another particularly malicious aspect of this scam is that the so-called customer service representative will offer to take control of the user’s computer remotely. If the user allows this, the individual on the other end of the line can access the user’s private information while installing malware designed to capture passwords, banking account numbers, e-mail account details, and other useful information.
Remember, companies like Microsoft do not contact their users to inform them that they may have a virus on their computer. They also do not solicit banking or credit card information for the purposes of charging a fee for the removal of viruses.If you receive a call like this, it’s best to hang up and scan your computer for viruses. If you find that your machine has been compromised, please contact the Technology Service Center immediately at X2920 for assistance.
Internetcleaner. (2013, June 3). Clean Internet Charity The Official Blog of the Clean Internet Charity Foundation. Retrieved from Clean Internet Charity: http://cleaninternetcharity.com/2013/06/03/the-microsoft-windows-service-center-scam/