Recently, the company Microsoft had to investigate a package that identically resembles a package that the Microsoft software comes in. Hackers seem to have perfected the print and package of Microsoft’s software in order to try to get access to people’s computers. This can be very deceiving to Microsoft customers because the hacker’s package and Microsoft’s look identical and Microsoft is a company that has always been trusted so people wouldn’t think twice about following the product instructions to download software. This case is very unique because the hackers had to pay in order to perfectly fabricate this package and it’s not common for hackers to pay marketing prices in order to try to gain access to people’s computers. If hackers were to pay for a fabricated product for every person that they tried to hack they would spend thousands of dollars. Other companies can learn from this unfortunate investigation that Microsoft had to go through because hackers could try targeting other companies.
Inside the package, the hackers include a product key and USB drive. When inserted the USB prompts victims to call a fake support line that encourages victims to allow hackers access to the victim’s computer remotely. A more common type of fraud to be aware of is an email that includes a product key that leads to a website downloading malicious software. The spokesperson for Microsoft said, “Microsoft is committed to helping protect our customers. We take appropriate action to remove any suspected, unlicensed, or counterfeit products from the market and to hold those targeting our customers accountable”.
Microsoft got their hands on this fraud product after a cybersecurity consultant received a call from his mother and her friend for help to install this product. The package was intended for a retired man and was unexpectedly sent to his house in the mail. Often times hackers will choose a target similar to this man’s demographics because these types of victims don’t have the resources to catch them. The details of this Microsoft case started with the USB which prompted the victim to call a toll-free number because of a warning that the computer had a virus. After calling the number, the hacker posing as a help desk employee instructed the victim to install a remote access program called TeamViewer that gave the hacker full access to the computer. This Microsoft victim gave the hacker his credit card information rather than his bank information which would’ve led to the hacker being able to withdraw cash. In almost all cases similar to this case the victims should give credit card information instead of the bank because it’s refunded easier.
Some advice for those who receive a mysterious package is to question if the company sells a similar product and call the helpline on Google, not the number listed on the package. Also, question whether or not this package was expected in order to feel safe and trustful. Stay up to date on all the latest security updates so there’s more likely that the computer will detect a virus. There’s a lot of helpful online resources for victims of computer fraud.
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