The fake tech support call, a very old but effective form of scam, has recently become more and more popular due to an increase in effectiveness. Over the weekend Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center researchers Tan Seng, and Alden Pornasdoro released a new variation of the familiar scam.
We recently discovered a threat detected as SupportScam:MSIL/Hicurdismos.A that pretends to be a Microsoft Security Essentials installer. Microsoft Security Essentials is our antimalware product for Windows 7 and earlier. In Windows 10 and Windows 8, Windows Defender provides antimalware protection and is installed and enabled by default when Windows is installed. However, some users may believe they also need to download and install Microsoft Security Essentials.
Hicurdismos uses a fake Windows error message (sometimes called a “blue screen of death”, or BSoD) to launch a technical support scam. A real BSoD is a fatal error in which the screen turns blue and the computer crashes. Recovery from a BSoD error typically requires the user to reboot the computer.
The fake BSoD screen includes a note to contact technical support. Calling the indicated support number will not fix the BSoD, but may lead to users being encouraged to download more malware under the guise of support tools or software that is supposed to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
The software is signed by the company Bluesquarez LLC and not by Microsoft. The dead giveaway that it is on your computer is the fake BSOD screen with a support phone number. A real Windows error message never includes a support number but instead, includes the error code that you can search for online.
Luckily if you are running Windows 10 with the SmartScreen filter enabled you should be protected. If you have fallen for this scam and have a BSOD appear with a phone number do not call the company instead try to remove the malware with a tool such as Kaspersky Rescue Disk.