Tech-support scammers have developed a new trick to freeze browsers on a bogus security alert with a number to a fake support line.
The ultimate goal of the browser freeze is to cause stress to lots of potential victims in the hope some will call the bogus hotline offered in the alert.
Previously, tech-support scams have used pop-under windows, pop-up loops, and other shady techniques that aim to prevent users from closing the bogus security alert page. Scammers frequently use malicious ads to nudge browser users to booby-trapped webpages that freeze the browser.
This scam works by instructing the browser to rapidly download thousands of files from the web, which quickly results in Chrome becoming unresponsive and makes it impossible to close tabs or the window by clicking the X button.