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Botnet Windows Software Spam Hardware Technology

Programmer Develops Phone Bot To Target Windows Support Scammers (onthewire.io) 97

Trailrunner7 quotes a report from On the Wire: The man who developed a bot that frustrates and annoys robocallers is planning to take on the infamous Windows support scam callers head-on. Roger Anderson last year debuted his Jolly Roger bot, a system that intercepts robocalls and puts the caller into a never-ending loop of pre-recorded phrases designed to waste their time. Anderson built the system as a way to protect his own landlines from annoying telemarketers and it worked so well that he later expanded it into a service for both consumers and businesses. Users can send telemarketing calls to the Jolly Roger bot and listen in while it chats inanely with the caller. Now, Anderson is targeting the huge business that is the Windows fake support scam. This one takes a variety of forms, often with a pre-recorded message informing the victim that technicians have detected that his computer has a virus and that he will be connected to a Windows support specialist to help fix it. The callers have no affiliation with Microsoft and no way of detecting any malware on a target's machine. It's just a scare tactic to intimidate victims into paying a fee to remove the nonexistent malware, and sometimes the scammers get victims to install other unwanted apps on their PCs, as well. Anderson plans to turn the tables on these scammers and unleash his bots on their call centers. "I'm getting ready for a major initiative to shut down Windows Support. It's like wack-a-mole, but I'm getting close to going nuclear on them. As fast as you can report fake 'you have a virus call this number now' messages to me, I will be able to hit them with thousands of calls from bots," Andrew said in a post Tuesday.
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Programmer Develops Phone Bot To Target Windows Support Scammers

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  • Legality (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How is this even legal? It is a crime to waste the money of corporations. Maybe some of these tech support companies will put him in prison or send someone to physically harm him.

    • Re:Legality (Score:5, Funny)

      by DonaId Trump ( 4811527 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @06:32PM (#53829231)
      It's all part of a bigly 4-D chess game! This American hero is going to flood Indian call centers with thousands of cyber. It's the biggest cyber anyone has ever done. And when those Indian call centers get overwhelmed with cyber, Microsoft Support scamming jobs will come back to America!
      • It's all part of a bigly 4-D chess game! This American hero is going to flood Indian call centers with thousands of cyber. It's the biggest cyber anyone has ever done. And when those Indian call centers get overwhelmed with cyber, Microsoft Support scamming jobs will come back to America!

        It will be the easiest of the EASY D

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They'd have to admit who they are first. They're not a corporation they're a bunch of scamming assholes. Wasting their time is nothing compared to lying to people and probably stealing millions of dollars.

    • Re:Legality (Score:5, Insightful)

      by number6x ( 626555 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @07:10PM (#53829419)

      How is this even legal? It is a crime to waste the money of corporations.

      What planet do you live on? It cannot be planet Earth!

      In no way, shape, or form is it a crime to waste the money of a corporation. Besides, they are free to hang up at any time and to stop wasting their own time.

      This is a completely ridiculous thought. Almost as laughable as when people write things like "Corporate officers are obligated by law to make a profit." This is a completely false statement.

      Companies are under no obligation to profit. They are completely free to fail and go bankrupt. They would like to profit and not fail, but they are under no legal obligation to do so. Stockholders or owners would like a company to be profitable and to make them money. They may choose new corporate leadership if a company is doing poorly, but they seem to be just as likely to hire a Carly Fiorina and run the company into the ground, while patting each other on the back for their great ability to pick such a great leader!

      Corporate officers are required by law to follow legal accounting practices, and to follow the law when reporting their accounting to government agencies for things like paying taxes, or complying with insurance reserve laws, or payroll employment insurance obligations. This is just the same as an individual filing their taxes must be honest. They would be subject to fines if they don't follow these tax and accounting laws. Jail may be possible if criminal intent or negligence could be proven. However, they can be losing money, wasting money and frittering it away and still be completely in compliance with the law.

      If it were truly a crime to waste the money of a corporation, pretty much all corporate managers and officers would be criminals.

      • Companies are under no obligation to profit. They are completely free to fail and go bankrupt. They would like to profit and not fail, but they are under no legal obligation to do so.

        In the USA you can sue publicly traded companies if you feel that management has been derelict and hope for the best in the court system, but in general you are quite right. My previous job was working for a US subsidiary of a European telco. I don't like to name who I worked for because I don't want to give them free publicity as I still, years later, have some grudges against them and how they treated their US based employees. Anyway, we competed in a market segment as a minnow against much bigger fish

    • How is this even legal? It is a crime to waste the money of corporations..

      It is a crime to waste the time of Slashdot readers with idiotic drivel like this.

      Maybe some of these tech support companies will put him in prison or send someone to physically harm him.

      The first of your suggestions is ludicrous. The second is (surprisingly, coming from you) indeed possible -- provided they can find him. They are criminal enterprises, after all. And there's hope for you! You actually had a coherent thought!

  • Some of the youtube calls are funny. I have salty sally on quick transfer. Its only six bucks a year.

  • Hi (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @06:25PM (#53829199)

    Hi, this is Lenny!! Come again? [youtube.com]

  • by RumGunner ( 457733 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @06:31PM (#53829229) Homepage

    Vigilante justice has never been funnier.

  • Scam (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @06:35PM (#53829243) Journal

    When your scam relies upon a script, it is easy to script a response that falls within the norms of what you're expecting out of your victims.

    Queue the robot that checks the "I am not a robot" check box ... because it can.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      If you just want to get rid of them, a very short disconnected tone or the sound of a fax machine modem for a second or two is usually enough to turn robocallers away. They won't even bother to hand the call to a human, and may even mark the number as dead.

      • Why would I want them to stop? There is nothing more fulfilling than playing dumb while walking them through the long line of stupid questions, wasting their time. We should all waste as much of their time as we can, that is the only way to make them stop. Cost of finding a victim goes way up, the profits go way down.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most call center scammers are blissfully unaware they're commiting a scam. They really think they're trying to help people solve their computer "problems" by having them sign-up for support plans. They're just script monkies. Some of the reps may know that their "services" are bogus and commit the scam anyways as long as they get a paycheck, they don't care. The ones that really know what's going on are the C-level types within the call center company. Check out Lewis's Tech [youtube.com] channel some time. Really funny

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @08:41PM (#53829909)

      Bullshit. They know. Once they know you have found them out they invariably start cursing at you and being rude. Don't be so fucking naiive.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Only the sole scammers. The larger ones hire a generic call center which follow given scripts. You can buy these services for next to nothing through the massive data capture services running in Manilla (cheaper than India). If you want 100,000 people contacted within a few days, they'll do it and follow your precise script (that's question flow, not some bash/perl/python file), and provide you with a uniformed export. You can even handle the calls and hook them through to their people who'll do the rest wi

    • No, many are real. They fool the listener into installing a variant of TeamViewer so that they can remotely control the computer. And my mother nearly fell for this three times. Once was "Microsoft" saying they detected a virus on the computer, but she figured out something was funny and hung up and turned off before too much happened. Second time it was "Best Buy" (actually bestbuy??.us) who called her, shortly after a fake "you've got a virus!" messaged showed up. They offered to help fix her computer

  • nothing new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @07:29PM (#53829493) Homepage

    I was doing this 10 years ago with Asterisk phone server. get a phone call at the house, press *1 and it transfers them to telemarketer hell where it plays random human responses that are a lot better than his as I was looking for pauses in audio to respond, his is just random audio that is not responding to the audio coming in.

    There was a asterisk guru that published all the goodies on how to do this over a decade ago and I used his code and modified it a bit. worked great and the longest I tired up a telemarketer was 2 hours.

    about 4 years ago someone had a better one called "this is lenny" that emulated an old senile man and was recording the calls for everyones entertainment.

  • Turing Test (Score:4, Funny)

    by khelms ( 772692 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @10:07PM (#53830309)
    This will discover if the telemarketers are really intelligent and self-aware.
  • ... 1-800-whitehouse.

    Thanks, Roger.

    You're a peach.

  • Never heard of it before. Youtubed it. Absolutely hilarious!

    • Are calling about something?
    • I'm kind of like in the middle of something right now. Like what are you exactly calling about?

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