Microsoft takes on world’s worst cybercriminals

Microsoft recently took legal action against a group of cybercriminals suspected of spreading malicious software to millions of unsuspecting computer users.

These social media–savvy cybercriminals have not only spread the malware themselves, but they’ve also promoted their malicious tools across the Internet, offering step-by-step instructions to completely control millions of unsuspecting victims’ computers to conduct illicit crimes.

For more information on the legal action, see Microsoft takes on global cybercrime epidemic in tenth malware disruption.

To help protect yourself against cybercrime

  • Keep your operating system and other software updated.
  • Use antivirus software (and keep it updated).
  • Don’t open suspicious email messages, links, or attachments.

Get more guidance at How to boost your malware defense and protect your PC.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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12 comments
  1. Anonymous

    I was on my computer and someone said (talking ) they were from Microsoft and my computer was running very slow and someone was using my computer and their files had filled my space and my computer was going to crash in several days …they went ahead and started cleaning it and said they were installing ……………………………………………….

    1.Internal Security for Life

    2.Antivirus Softwear for life

    3.Internet  Schield for Life

    4.Anti-Hacker Software for life

    5. Email Protection for Life

    All this without asking if I wanted this then later stated a price of $250 ..  they had my computer tied up over 2 days they also tried to put on my Visa card  and Ia did block it after I got suspishous and called my daughter and she said it was a scam..they have my telephone # and they call everyday but I recognize the phone numbers and don't answer also my Laptop isn't working any faster … Can you help me with this ?  Do your Technicans call people and monitor their computers.    Mary Beth Paulson   

  2. Anonymous

    @ Mary Beth Paulson, its a scam, i can help you repair it, they are criminals. sorry to hear that.

  3. Anonymous

    Yesterday, I received an unsolicited   phone call from a "yawkummi" from Microsoft .  He would not ID himself

    further and refused to give any contact info. He hung-up after I told him,  the call would be recorded for law enforcement.

    Please note: last weekend– I began receiving— "WINDOW VISTA TM BUILD 6002 THIS COPY of WINDOWS IS NOT GENUINE" on my computer.

    What is going on?

  4. Anonymous

    I had the same problem as Mary Beth Paulson except they told me I was being hacked in China. Told me I need to install 50+ drivers from Microsoft to protect my computer from the hackers.  The cost for these drivers to protect both my laptop and computer was $399.99.  When I refused to buy these products they became very angry and hung up.

    Shortly after my computer and laptop crashed and we cannot connect to the internet.  I have since found out this company is called Systweak Inc. also Cleverbridge/Systweak Inc. When I try to connect to internet Trovi appears. At the moment I'm using my old computer. I don't know how we are going to fix this problem.

    Lucille Matthews

  5. Anonymous

    I have some sort of malware on my pc that shut down the internet connection. I cleaned it out, so I thought, and reinstalled windows. Needless to say it came back. Now it has taken over all the files. Everything. I tried sysinternals and it took that over too! So i booted from the installation disk and started to format the drive and it stuck at 33 percent. Whatever this is is not going to let go. No antimalware detected it nor did any antivirus.

  6. Anonymous

    I was trying to update drivers on my computer.  They updated but the lady said I had a problem.  1. show up a "search.conduit." when  I pull up google chrome and 2. shows up as trovi on search bar next to address bar.  What do I do?  Thanks

  7. Anonymous

    Jon Van Beber you might have a rootkit. Some of these can survive a disc format and operating system reinstallation. I had one that did just that and my antivirus would not work properly right after a fresh install. The antivirus was the first thing I installed after Windows.

    After trying just about everything, malware removers etc, with the help of an expert on a forum, I ran Combofix. Problem solved in a flash. I donated US $20 to the guy via PayPal (optional) for his trouble because it's important for me to have the pc running right. I use it for financial transactions from time to time. Best advice is not to run Combofix on your own if you're unfamiliar with it.

    I am not affiliated with Combofix in any way.

  8. Anonymous

    I'm feeling sorry to read all those testimonials, but you have to understand that nowadays with all the scam that comes up on internet, the last thing to do is to answer a cold call coming from nowhere with somebody you don't know and never had heard of…

    Almost every American consumer has somewhere access to support staff from Geek Squad or similar business.. They will charge you from 50$-100$ to fix your computer, but then you know it's serious business and local on top of this.. so you help local businesses to prosper and if there is a problem, you can always call them back and they will usually fix it for free if something goes wrong. Also, the best businesses prosper by word of mouth, meaning if someone is satisfied with the service, they will spread it around to their friends..

    I've been in the computer business for over 30 years and I feel the pain of normal lambda users that have no clue about what the caller does remotely with his / her computer… for hours and then ask 200-300$ for a service that's not worth it (or is just the beginning of a nightmare).

    Download and install the Microsoft Defender, an anti-malware & anti-virus solution that is free and does a really descent job. If you keep your browsing away from obscure websites and your Defender up-to-date, you will rarely have troubles.

  9. Anonymous

    I installed Firefox to use during the Heartbleed infections.  Malwarebytes found Trovi in Firefox.  And it's suppose to be sooooo safe.  

  10. Anonymous

    Get a Mac

  11. Anonymous

    Looks like we all had the same problems.  Computer is a mess, so some reason it don't have a spell check. The virus scanner I paied for does not upday. I am ready to throw all of it away, and buy a cheap, wall marts computer.

  12. Anonymous

    This story is a smoke and you should be intelligent enough to see the fire.

    People who create fears in human mind, earns millions out of it, by showing them as 'Samaritans' or 'Human Rescuers'… e.g. Terrorism, Human Viruses, Computer Viruses, Fertilizer, Medicine, Sea & Land based Human tragedy, etc…

    So use Ubuntu & format your drive and then install Windows and never to buy & install Anti-virus, and get infected in future viruses are embeded inside a licensed anti-virus. Windows Blue Screen is also a purposely created virus, if User breached the Licensed Agreement or use a free Trial Version. Be cautious of Blue coloured popular Brand Names…

    I do not have evidence, but observed & experienced frequent cycles of occurring these things…

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