Fake Anti-Virus Launches Legit AV Uninstalls - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
8/23/2010
11:28 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Faster, More Effective Response With Threat Intelligence & Orchestration Playboo
Aug 31, 2017
Finding ways to increase speed, accuracy, and efficiency when responding to threats should be the ...Read More>>

Fake Anti-Virus Launches Legit AV Uninstalls

A new variation on the Fake Anti-Virus scam actually launches legitimate uninstallers of anti-virus programs from Symantec, Microsoft, AVG and others.

A new variation on the Fake Anti-Virus scam actually launches legitimate uninstallers of anti-virus programs from Symantec, Microsoft, AVG and others.The phony anti-virus scam keeps getting new wrinkles, the latest being a pop-up Anti-Virus alert that warns users that their security program is uncertified and must be replaced. When the alert is clicked, it launches the user's legitimate anti-virus uninstall program.

As Symantec reported, the fake a-v alert box starts the uninstall no matter where the user clicks. The pop-up's close button is as malicious as its OK button.

Symantec notes that the Trojan carries uninstall launchers for "Symantec, Microsoft, AVG, Spyware Doctor, and Zone Labs." I would imagine that it won't be long before other security vendors find their products' uninstallers added to the payload.

Once the user's legit security software is uninstalled, the Trojan replaces it with "AnVi Antivirus" which is itself a variant of the well-known CoreGuard anti-virus scamware.

With fake anti-virus alerts counting for as much as 15% of malware, you can place a pretty safe bet that new approaches and variations will continue to appear, keeping the attack effective.

If you haven't reminded your staff of the prevalence -- and persistence -- of fake a-v threats in awhile, this is a good time to do so. Let them know that:

No anti-virus pop=up warning or alert should ever be taken seriously (other than as a threat). And remind them that no pop-up should be clicked at all, including its close button. The window should be closed, and users should immediately double-check their legitimate anti-virus programs, including an update of virus definitions.

Obviously, fake anti-virus warnings aren't going away, but employee gullibility -- and in consequence your company's vulnerability -- can be dramatically reduced just by spreading the word, and continuing to on a regular basis, and certainly with every new variation on the attack.

The uninstaller ploy is a good place to start.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll