Feeds

Scareware package greets marks by name

Fakeale redux

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.