Symantec is sounding the alarm over fake tech support scams

Symantec is sounding the alarm over fake tech support scams

In its latest 2015 annual report on the evolution of cyber threats in the world, Symantec recorded a 36% increase in the number of malware in 2015 compared to the previous year. Along with the upsurge in encrypted ransomware, the security vendor has seen an explosion in the number of fake tech support scams.

The year 2015 was certainly a very bad year in terms of security and computer threats. Between the resurgence of old botnets like Dridex, the rise of malware targeting industrial systems (Killdisk) or even hotels like the Hyatt and Hilton group, and ransomware (CyrptoWall), hackers were at the party. And it’s clearly not about to stop: “The number of malware continues to amaze us with, in 2015, a growth of 36% year-on-year,” Laurent Heslault told us. , director of security strategy at Symantec on the occasion of the release of its latest annual Internet Security Threat report. “Ten years ago, we discovered a little less than 22,000 malicious software in the year while today, there are 430 million. »

An explosion which is accompanied by an all-out targeting on a number of terminals and operating systems formerly spared. “We see that the number of malware on Mac has doubled from one year to the next, while that for Linux has increased by 300% and 40% on Android”, continues Laurent Heslault. Mobile application stores are also always breeding grounds for malware, although this is especially the case for those located in China in particular. “Of the 11 million apps that we downloaded from these stores, we discovered that a third of them were malicious,” says Laurent Heslault. “But some stores like Google Play and Apple Store show rates of malicious apps below 1%. A reassuring situation therefore – even if this proportion of 1% of malicious apps is really surprising – knowing that others are much more problematic. As for example the evolution of the number of applications identified by Symantec as being “madware”. At the crossroads of malware and adware, this generation of free apps is classified into three categories: green for those using OS libraries to simply display an advertising banner, yellow for those collecting “a little relatively public order” and red for those that recover everything on the user’s terminal.

Occupation: Cyber ​​hacker

Another notable threat development is ransomware, which not only has powerful capabilities to encrypt a user’s documents, files, and disk partitions, but also benefits from a highly effective racketeering system organized around bitcoins. “Bitcoins favor the emergence of this type of attack which is impossible to trace”, breathes Laurent Heslault. “We can only recommend setting up a systematic backup of systems and files and not a simple copy. Finally, the publisher has identified another particularly vicious threat: the explosion of fake technical support scams that can be encountered while surfing on an exploited website or because of an uninstalled browser or OS. update and objects of a exploit exploit. “A pop-up appears and asks to call technical support to update the PC. At the end of the line, a real person takes control of the PC and gets paid for a totally fictitious service or worse who takes the opportunity to file malware,” warns Laurent Heslault. “Cyberhackers have become more professional and attack during the week, not on weekends and not during school holidays, like real employees. It remains to be seen whether cyberpirates are also entitled to RTTs…

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