Feeds

Scareware slingers flaunt fake MS endorsement

Black-hat scripting malfeasance

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Scareware wronguns have developed a neat but evil piece of coding trickery designed to dupe prospective marks into believing that Microsoft is endorsing their worthless scamware.

A rogue anti-malware product called DefenceLab redirects infected PCs to Microsoft's Support portal, but modifies the HTML content as it returns so as to appear as if Microsoft is endorsing the worthless software. The ploy, which follows a fake scan and bogus Windows Security Center alert, is designed to persuade Windows users already exposed to infection by agents of the scareware package to pay for a full version of the supposed clean-up utility.

Surfers visiting the URL on the Windows Support site referenced in the scareware from a clean PC will get a 404 'page not found' message. Hacked PC victims will see an apparent endorsement.

Screenshots of the attack in action can be found in a blog post by anti-spyware firm Sunbelt Software, which was the first to warn of the threat, here.

The ruse is a development of earlier trickery that involved hacking the hosts' file on compromised computers in order to hijack web surfing sessions. An earlier attack using this technique redirected Microsoft queries to a hacked UK-based computer, as explained in a blog posting by AVG's Roger Thompson here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
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?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'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
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.