Over 2 lakh tech support attacks identified in India between January-March 2021: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 05, 2021

Over two lakh technical support attacks were identified in India from January through March 2021 as tech support fraud remains a massive issue in the country, according to cybersecurity firm Avast Threat Labs.

Avast, in an official release further explained how such scams work.

“Tech support scams happen when fraudsters use scare tactics to trick innocent individuals into purchasing overpriced and unnecessary “support services” to fix an alleged computer, device, or software problem,” it explained.

Attackers convince their victims that their device has been infected by malware and needs fixing. This is done through a window that pops up, alerting the user of a malware or spyware infection on their computer, and that their only recourse is to call a phone hotline for technical support.

Once they are able to connect to the victim through a call, scammers try to convince the callers to establish a remote connection to their computer and, at times, download a second remote management software without the user knowing, to keep up a constant connection to the user’s PC.

Once granted access, attackers can also install malware, or other malicious programmes that damage the data housed on devices. In the worst case scenario, these programmes can harvest personal information. Criminals with access to this type of sensitive data can leverage it to gain entry into financial accounts, health records, or other essential services. Additionally, fraudsters go to great lengths to convince victims of their legitimacy, including creating web pages that imitate antivirus or firewall software warnings or even set up fake companies to validate their con.

"Tech support fraud is increasingly common and targets some of the most vulnerable individuals. Criminals exploit victims through money or personal information," said Alexej Savcin, Senior Malware Analyst, Avast.

"Above all, remember that whether it's a phone call or a website, legitimate tech support won't ever proactively seek you out to fix an issue. If in doubt, don't engage, give access to your devices, or share any personal information. At Avast, we are passionate about supporting vulnerable populations online, like the elderly, and are available to troubleshoot any issues," added Savcin.

Published on July 05, 2021

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