The SANS Technology Institute has launched a poll with the purpose of determining how common fake tech support calls are. The report tries to learn the details of these schemes by requesting the aid of individuals who have been approached by scam artists that run such operations.
Every once in a while we take a look at tech support schemes because this seems to be a phenomenon that is not going to disappear too soon.
At the beginning of 2012 we learned that cybercriminals moved their operations to Sweden. At the time, Kaspersky Lab Expert David Jacoby explained how he received a call from someone with an Indian accent who tried to convince him that his computer was at risk of being infected by “internal threats.”
This is precisely the information that’s being collected by SANS’s Internet Storm Center (ISC).
Experts want to learn if a real person is behind the calls or a machine. They also want to determine if the caller is mostly female or male, the type of information requested, and the technologies and techniques deployed by the con artists.
Users who want to take part in this study can take a look at the poll and answer the questions. You don’t need to log in, you don’t have to provide any personal details, and it only takes about 5 minutes to complete.
Kaspersky Senior Research Fellow David Harley, who’s an expert on PC support scams, will present a paper on the topic at Virus Bulletin in September, but until then, it may be useful for security researchers to learn more about these plots.
In the meantime, everyone is advised to be cautious when being called by alleged technicians. Remember that legitimate companies never call you out of the blue and they never request sensitive information from you.