Latest Tech Support Scam Resembles Ransomware

The latest tech support scam has a striking resemblance to the ransomware concept…

The latest tech support scam resembles ransomware by completely locking your PC.  It starts with what you believe is an update to Flash Player or PC Optimize.  These updates include useless toolbars, and at times this ransomware-like malware.  The malware sits dormant until the user restarts their PC.  During the restarting process, the user sees the screen below.


Once the “update” is complete, the user gets an alert stating their Windows license key has expired with a phone number to call.  Once the user calls, the hackers easily obtain the user’s personal information and credit card information and refuse to unlock the computer until a payment of $250 USD is paid.

According to Neowin, researchers were able to successfully unlock their own screens by pressing Ctrl+Shift and then the S key.  There are also multiple “product key codes” that the user can enter to unlock the screen.  For the list of these bypass codes, click here.

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