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30th of April 2017

Internet



New In-depth Analysis Finds Thousands of Domains Used in Technical Support Scams

A study conducted by PhD candidates at the Stony Brook University resulted in identifying malvertising as a major culprit for exposing users to technical support scams which allowed them to build an automated system capable of discovering, on a weekly basis, hundreds of phone numbers and domains operated by scammers. They wrote: "By allowing our system to run for more than 8 months we collect a large corpus of technical support scams and use it to provide insights on their prevalence, the abused infrastructure, the illicit profits, and the current evasion attempts of scammers. .. [I]n a period of 250 days, we discover 8,698 unique domain names involved in technical support scams, claiming that users are infected and urging them to call one of the 1,581 collected phone numbers. To the best of our knowledge, our system is the first one that can automatically discover hundreds of domains and numbers belonging to technical support scammers every week, without relying on manual labor or crowdsourcing, which appear to be the main methods of collecting instances of technical support scams used by the industry. ... From a financial perspective, we take advantage of publicly exposed webserver analytics and estimate that, just for a small fraction of the monitored domains, scammers are likely to have made more than 9 million dollars."

Related topics: Cybercrime, Domain Names

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