Saturday January 28, 2017

Two Hours Trolling A Windows Support Scammer

What do Ars writers do during their downtime? Troll technical support scammers, apparently. This writer spent two hours messing about with an "Albert Morris," which may or may not be his real name based on his accent. I have better things to do, so I would have just told him it was "Debian Linux. The Kali distribution," off the bat.

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Technical support scams are the bottom of the barrel for cyber-crime. Using well-worn social engineering techniques that generally only work on the least sophisticated computer users, these bootleg call-center operations use a collection of commercially available tools to either convince their victims to pay exorbitant fees for "security software" or extort them to gain control of their computer. And yet, these schemes continue to rake in cash for scammers. We've dealt with these scammers before at Ars, but this week I got an opportunity to personally engage with a scam operationآ—so naturally, I attempted to inflict as much damage on it as possible.