Ramblings of an old Doc

 

A link in Google search using a 'top of the page' paid for ad by scammers...in this case, a MS Support scam (not really MS).

"On Wednesday, a top Google search result that seemed to be an advertisement for retail giant Amazon.com was actually something much more sinister—a malicious link to a Windows support scam. The problematic ad was first reported by ZDNet, but it seems that this problem has happened before.

Those who clicked on the ad were directed to a fake support website that presented an alert based on the OS they were using. According to ZDNet, Windows users saw a blue-screen-of-death and macOS users were warned that they were infected with crypto-ransomware.

Users who reached the scam site were given an error number and told to call a support number for help. However, as long as the didn't call the phone number, their machine would not have been infected with malware, the ZDNet report said. But, trying to exit out of the site could have frozen a user's browser." - technet

 

 

Apparently not the first time, either..."similar ads pointing to Amazon, and others pointing to YouTube, have popped up in the past." (ibid).

The takeaway? 

  1. Recently, the top Google search result for Amazon.com directed users to a support scam website that tried to convince them their computer was infected with malware.
  2. As long as users didn't call the listed phone number, their computer would not have been infected.
  3. Malicious ads have appeared in Google search results for major companies in the past, but Google has worked to remove 1.7 billion ads that violate its policies.
Number 2 might not always be the case in the future...you may be directed to a site and pick up something nasty. Note, They're using "water holes"...big sites which attract many, so, thinking the "drive by" is the next technique they'll use.
Just to make your Sunday happier...well, maybe not happier, but wiser.
Sources:
 
 


 


Comments
on Feb 12, 2017

Thanks for the heads up Doc. 

on Feb 12, 2017

Hum, seems nothing is safe anymore.

on Feb 12, 2017

  Thank you for heads up!

on Feb 12, 2017

This is why I avoid using the ad links to sites.

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