Tech support locker scam poses as failed Microsoft Update

Peter Garvey

Invalid product key scam on the up

Cybercrooks have put together a new scam that falls halfway between ransomware and old school browser lockup ruses.

Jérôme Segura, a senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, said tech support lockers" represent a class of malware more advanced than browser locks and fake anti-virus alerts of the pre-ransomware past.

Victims are told that their problems can be resolved, for a fat fee of $250, Malwarebytes discovered.

Miscreants have already begun to flog these types of lockers on Facebook, a sign that scams of this type have reached script kiddie level and are therefore likely to become commonplace in future.

There is an entire ecosystem to distribute these tech support lockers, which includes bundling them into affiliate Pay Per Install applications, Segura concludes.


A keyboard combination to disable the tech support locker malware by holding Ctrl Shift while pressing the S key, was discovered by TheWack0lian.

Peter Garvey
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