Bogus tech support may have merit

Darren Pauli | May 19, 2011 3:47 PM
Opinion: Not all scammers are created equal.

You know those bogus tech support scammers who sell over the phone anti-virus software to cure fake infections? It turns out not all of them are so bad.

Over a conversation with well-placed industry folk up here at the AusCERT conference, I learned that some sell functional software.

They sold friends of friends anti-virus software from the big brands. Probably torrent downloads, but functional nonetheless.

They might even be doing good work since there's a fair chance a random call to Australia will hook a victim running an infected Windows box without anti-virus software installed.

And an anti-virus kit or firewall for $40 isn’t too bad when Joe at the IT shop wants $100.

But a scam is a scam. I simply find it interesting that these guys are more akin to greasy salesmen than their counterparts who steal credit cards and bot computers.

And I’m told they use fake company names rather than say they’re from an anti-virus vendor.

I'm told they do this to avoid angering the big tech companies, which in turn makes their dodgy sales ring more sustainable.