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There's A New Tech Support Scam Around That Freezes Google Chrome

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Currently, there are various ways for hackers or scammers to take advantage of vulnerabilities of a user's computer and sometimes exploit their preinstalled tools.

New reports indicated that some purported tech-support websites have started an aggressive strategy to encourage users to avail of their services. According to users, these scammers have targeted different browsers to prompt their victims to seek assistance. One researcher revealed that Chrome is now the target of a new process that disables its usage.

Popularity Makes It A Target

Surveys have revealed that Google's Chrome browser is the most widely used program to access the internet. Therefore, scammers have created new ways to trick unsuspecting users to spend money for their services. Just like the notorious ransomware attacks last year, it is similar in nature that programmers hold the victim's browser as hostage up until they pay up.

Chrome Under Attack

Experts discovered that hackers can take advantage of a JavaScript code that freezes Google's Chrome browser once a specific website has been opened. This triggers a program that forces it to save a file locally in very quick intervals that it is barely noticeable to anyone.

The number of actions performed forces the system to lock up and flashes an error message that is patterned to deceive the user. In regular situations, it will naturally cause the owner to panic and look for a way to secure their device once again.

Some tech-savvy individuals might launch the Windows task manager to force the application to close manually. However, they will be greeted a CPU usage report that likewise makes it look like the system has been attacked by a virus.

A Popular Way To Scam

This method was reported by Malwarebytes, a security provider, as they recorded the frequency of these kinds of attacks. Furthermore, the script is supposedly specific for Google's Chrome browser. According to Jerome Segura, the lead malware intelligence analyst at the security company, the same program has been tested on other popular browsers with no effect.

"I tried to 'artificially' replay it with Edge and Internet Explorer by simulating the Chrome user-agent but I was able to normally close the browser," noted Segura. "Whoever wrote that code also had Google Chrome in mind," he added.

Workaround

Others might think that the issue is specific to Windows-based PCs, but Segura claims that the issue also persists on Chrome for MacOS. As of now, Google has not issued an official resolution for the malware attacks.

Users are encouraged not to panic if they encounter such a situation and to never contact the phone numbers listed by the pop-up windows. Windows users can use the Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Delete), while those on MacOS can use the Force Quit feature via the Apple menu.

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