Tech-Support Scammers Are Ramping Up Attacks, Says Microsoft

Microsoft overnight announced that it received 153,000 reports in 2017 from customers who’d come in contact with tech-support scammers via a cold call, spam, or the web. The reports from customers last year were up 24 percent on 2016, with filings coming from 183 countries. Despite being a well-known fraud, some 15 percent of Microsoft customers who reported incidents lost money. Losses were typically between $200 and $400 each. Tim Helming, Director of Product Management at DomainTools commented below.

Tim Helming, Director of Product Management at DomainTools:

“The fact that tech-support scams have been a well-known attack vector for some time now, and still seem to be an attractive option to cybercriminals, is an indication of the importance of user-education. We must reframe the conversation around cybersecurity to include not just security teams, but the width and breadth of an organization. Cold calling, false alerts and phishing emails are at the core of any social engineering attack. Social engineering seeks to play on human error, and educational initiatives could help these entirely preventable incidents from affecting an organizations operation capacity, or indeed their bottom line.”

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