I recently received two phone calls where the caller indicated that according to their log activity, MS Office has not been updated lately. They offered to help me get those updates. What kinds of things might they really be looking for?

Setting up my machine to participate in DDOS came to mind. Harvesting my machine for 'identity theft info' would seem to require a lot of effort.

It didn't take long for the caller to hang up. Apparently I asked too many questions. An amusing part is his statement that my "computer machine" is not up to date.

  • 1
    They want to install malware on your machine and gather personal info over the phone. It is a known attack.
    – schroeder
    Sep 16, 2014 at 20:26
  • You may want to read this article from ars technica: arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/…
    – Marcel
    Sep 16, 2014 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


Those attacks are becaming common. They usually call people telling the computer is infected, Windows' license expired, or any other "problem". They end up installing software on your computer, sending a huge bill for remote support or steal credit card information.

Using your machine as a DDoS bot is too much trouble for this kind of attack. They usually get money easier just stealing your credit card info or encrypting your data and asking a ransom.

  • In the variant I know, they do not initially install something themselves, they instruct the called person to download some "cleanup" (or whatever) utility, which allows them access in return.
    – Marcel
    Sep 16, 2014 at 21:02

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