Tech support scammers are sending USB sticks with the Microsoft logo on them
A particularly brutal case of tech support fraud on behalf of Microsoft has now come to light. Unknown persons send Office 2021 Professional Plus packages with a USB stick that contains malware. That reports Sky News. The Office suites look legit at first glance, as the scammers have probably invested a lot of time and money in this scam – but it’s just another form of phishing.
Victims believe in mistakes, but not in fraud
Microsoft has confirmed to Sky News that criminals are sending fake packages designed to resemble Office products. In the UK, several people have now fallen for the trick. How widespread the scam is is not yet known. That affected thought that the expensive software was accidentally sent to them and tried the stick – after all, the whole package looked like a legitimate Microsoft product.
Sky News reports that the included USB stick obviously does not contain Microsoft Office. Instead, it is a blackmail trojan that gets installed. After inserting the stick, a warning will appear to contact “Technical Support”. The scammers send their phone numbers. Martin Pitman, Atheniem’s cybersecurity consultant, told Sky News what happens next: After the call, the person on the other end of the line explains that you need to install a program to get rid of the malware.
This is a remote access program (RAT) that gives the scammer full control of the computer. It’s interesting that the scammers go that far. It is probably even more effective than typical phishing emails.
Fraud in the name of Microsoft not uncommon
The fact that the scam is being carried out on behalf of Microsoft is due to the high reputation of the company. There is a lot of confidence in the group. A Microsoft spokesperson told Sky News the following statement about the matter: “Microsoft is committed to protecting its customers.
We are taking appropriate steps to remove from the market all suspected unlicensed or counterfeit products and products found to be based on our goal of holding customers accountable.” Microsoft is therefore aware of such scams and has Set up a support page, where you can learn about such scams and report a scam directly to Microsoft.
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