Feeds

Scareware scams spill onto Skype

And are you interested in double glazing, while you're here?

High performance access to file storage

Scareware spreaders have started to use Skype to spread their cash-sapping crud.

The VoIP channel has joined malicious manipulated search results, malicious online advertisements, Facebook messages and iFrame contaminated sites as a means to spread rogue "anti-virus" software scans.

Sean-Paul Correll, a security researcher a Panda Security, explains that under its latest guise, scareware scams appear as spam messages sent to personal Skype accounts.

The message poses as originating from an account called "Online Notification" and claims to have discovered infection on a supposedly compromised PC. Once the prospective mark visits the linked site for "more information", a fake antivirus scan takes place that warns a system is crawling with malware in a bid to coerce potentially alarmed users into buying a clean-up utility of no value.

"Rogueware distributors are like the cockroaches of the Internet; they’re everywhere," Correll notes.

One strain of scareware detected by Panda disables all applications on a compromised PC except the rogueware utility and IE. A browser is left available because it's needed for a victim to hand over payment to rogues. After receiving funds, the full version of the scareware package reactivates disabled applications.

Black hat SEO tactics remain the main tactic for seeding scareware traps. Typically, a topical subject is exploited as a theme before a mainstream website is attacked and multiple links on related subjects are posted. The ruse is designed to propel the targeted site up the rankings in Google's index for the term.

Surfers who follow tainted search results onto a compromised site are redirected to scareware download sites, but only if they are referred from Google. Computer users who visit a compromised site directly will not be redirected.

Google has established a custom search page - www.anti-malvertising.com - designed to assist customers of ad networks to uncover possible attempts to distribute malware through advertising, a concern highlighted by the recent New York Times rogueware attack. Security researchers from the search engine have also become active participants in closed mailing lists discussing scareware and the wider cybercrime problem. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.