Courtesy of Panda Security: This week’s PandaLabs report looks at three fake antiviruses: Live PC Care, Desktop Defender 2010 and APcDefender.
Live PC Care:
As usual with these malicious codes, first it carries out a fake scan of the infected user’s computer, and then claims the system is infected. It asks the user to purchase a license (of a fake antivirus), at a very attractive price to resolve this issue.
If users purchase it, they will have paid for fraudulent software. This fake antivirus stands out because of the way it spreads, as it uses Black Hat SEO techniques, exploiting the launch of Google’s Nexus One phone, and the Haiti earthquake. Thanks to these techniques, it manages to include malicious malware-downloading links in search engines’ top results.
Desktop Defender 2010:
Desktop Defender 2010 also makes users believe their computers are
infected, and prompts users to purchase the product.
Finally, APcDefender uses the same techniques. It is a fake antivirus program that falsely informs users they have dangerous software on their computer.
It tries to fool users by offering them its own anti-malware solution to solve the
problems it claims to have detected, and invites them to purchase the software using their credit cards. This way, in addition to stealing users’ money, it also obtains their credit card details.
The computer security software industry has formed an organization called the Common Computing Security Standards Forum, to combat the rise of Rogue Anti-Virus. Among other things, it publishes a list of legitimate Computer Security Software Companies.
The following free resources can provide tools and the advice you will need to attempt removal of these parasites.
411 Spyware – a site that specializes in malware removal. I highly recommend this site.
Bleeping Computer – a web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of rogue software. This is another site I highly recommend.
Malwarebytes, a very reliable anti-malware company, offers a free version of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, a highly rated anti-malware application which is capable of removing many newer rogue applications.
SmitFraudFix, available for download at Geekstogo is a free tool that is continuously updated to assist victims of rogue security applications.
What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue, or malicious, software.
Be careful in downloading freeware or shareware programs. Spyware is occasionally concealed in these programs. Download this type of program only through reputable web sites such as Download.com, or sites that you know to be safe.
Consider carefully the inherent risks attached to peer-to-peer (P2P), or file sharing applications.
Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is Web of Trust, an Internet Explorer/FireFox add-on, that offers substantial protection against questionable, or unsafe websites.
Do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.