Clickbait Ads Lead to Fake Microsoft Support
Clickbait is becoming an epidemic
Clickbait is any embedded ad with a titillating headline (we would call it a come-on) that hints at something shocking, surprising — or risque’ to be found by taking the bait. It never materializes. The results are always disappointing at best – and your search history is being harvested by these people to push advertising at you. Some sites do a lot more than inundate you with annoying ads.
Today I had a computer brought in that had encountered one of those popup windows that says your computer is seriously infected and to call an 800 number for Microsoft Support immediately. My client bought this, hook, line and popup, and now I am picking up the pieces.
Luckily she disconnected the sleazy Anything_But_Microsoft_Support rep and I had her disconnect the computer from the Internet immediately. Fortunately the damage was minimal. Once you let these people connect to your computer, they set about removing any legitimate security protection you may have installed and sell you the cheapest thing they can find for premium prices. This is on a good day. On a bad day, they deploy a script which password protects the launch process and you will never get back into your computer without the password (unless you pay them). You can always hire me to get rid of the password protection, but if you don’t let them into your computer in the first place, you won’t have to worry about this.
This was the result of following:
She followed a Facebook ad for Frank151.com – the topic was “Rare images of the Clintons that will shock you.” (clickbait)
which in turn had a popup ad going to Whimly.org – the topic being Sexiest Naked Celebrity selfies –
which in turn redirected to truesyght.com
which redirected to mroin.com – which contained the popup screen in a subdirectory.
See how these things work? The Celeb popup is also what we call clickbait.
I have blocked all of these domains in our AVG CloudCare portal so none of my other clients can fall down the same wormhole.