Feeds

Crooks push fake anti-virus via Skype calls

Robot on line 1 demands $19.95

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Scareware pushers have turned to Skype with automated messages to pressure marks into buying worthless 'security' software.

The scam is promoted via unsolicited calls on Skype during which a machine-generated message warns potential victims that their computer security is "out-of-date". Victims are invited to visit a website selling fake anti-virus software at $19.95 a pop.

One victim recorded the scam in progress for a YouTube video, highlighted by Sophos' Naked Security blog here. The robotic message states: "Attention: this is an automated computer system alert. Your computer protection service is not active. To activate computer protection, and repair your computer, go to..." Users are confronted with the alarming alert when they click on a message from an account called "URGENT NOTICE".

Scareware scams have been around for several years, so most people have wised up to crooks running unsolicited "security scans" that turn up a multitude of bogus problems on their machines.

Con men are therefore getting more imaginative with their tricks, using unsolicited calls from a "Microsoft support staffer" and automated calls on Skype. The Skype tactic represents the reuse of a ruse that first appeared around two years ago. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.