Feeds

Scareware package greets marks by name

Fakeale redux

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Website security in corporate America

Malware authors have created a strain of scareware packages that lifts the name of an infected user from the registry of an infected PC in order to create more convincing scams.

The wife of reader Chris came across the ruse when she used his PC to check on her Hotmail account. Before she could get onto the website she was confronted by a pop-up message saying "Chris [surname], your computer is infected with a Trojan, you should download this spyware removal tool (recommended)" and giving a yes/no option.

"I immediately closed it and am now running a scan to see what is causing this, but what was more concerning, and the reason that I am writing this to you, is that the perp of this malware/spyware/phishing attack has managed to write a program which can check the name that windows is registered to, to make it appear genuine," Chris told El Reg.

"This seems a really scary prospect to me, and I am IT savvy, but imagine Mr or Miss Average JoeShmo presented with that."

The malicious behaviour is identical to the Fakeale Trojan first spotted by net security firm Sophos last week. Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos, explained that the malware takes the user's name from the registry in order to craft a tailored warning message.

Fakeale Trojan false alarm

Users who respond to the come-on are taken the the website of an outfit punting a rogue anti-malware product. They are then told that their PC is infected with malware - even if it is clean - in a bid to frighten them into buying a product identified by Sophos as IE Defender installer.

Goes down badly: results of the scan of a clean machine

Bogus warnings that attempt to trick users into purchasing "anti-malware tools" and have little or no security utility have been around for some time. The Paleale Trojan only differs in the use of trickery to make the unpalatable scam more convincing. ®

Bootnote

Thanks for Fraser Howard in Sophos Labs for the screenshots.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.