Computer security experts note that tech support scams are being updated to use call optimization services. Such platforms and tools are commonly used in legitimate call centers and service desks. This shows that the tech support scams continue to be one of the most dangerous of criminal activity aimed against computer users.
Call Optimization Services Used By Tech Support Scams
Criminals behind large-scale tech support scams have been found to use call optimizations services — platforms that are used to handle the outgoing and incoming calls. The security specialists that alerted of this new implementation uncovered that several groups are using such services in order to dynamically insert pre-generated phone numbers into fake web pages.
The fake pages are typical examples of phishing — the criminals behind the tech support scams construct pages that contains elements from well-known services and companies attempting to confuse the readers into thinking that they have landed on a legitimate site.
The most common trick is to generate pop-ups or use other forms of web redirects into manipulating the browser into displaying messages like “YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED“, one of the classic tech support scams.
Newly constructed instances will monitor the victim’s behavior — new code will make it harder to close the notification messages (whatever template is used) or make the site unresponsive. The warning signs will show a list of numbers in order to fix the problem that is being displayed (usually a fake virus infection) on the screen.
The collective tech support scams output utilizes several layers of technology and methods used by the hackers:
- Browser Fingerprinting — The pages themselves utilizes various browser fingerprint scripts which retrieves meta data about the used browser and certain user-set variables. This selects the most appropriate tech support scam page.
- Call Optimization Services & Platforms — A script is called which looks for specific tags in the scam URL. This procedure is done in order to choose the most appropriate scammers phone from the available services.
- Localized Delivery — The hackers can monitor for the users location and send localized phone numbers to the appropriate users.
In addition the call optimization services as implemented in legitimate call center operatiosn allow the operators to use the following functions:
Inbound call tracking, phone numbers administration. call load balancing, call forwarding, call analalytics, call routing and recording.