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Fake Firefox update used to sling scareware

Watch where you click

Online con artists have developed a strain of scareware that poses as a Firefox update.

The tactic is a change from the standard approach adopted by purveyors of rogue anti-virus scanners - tricking users into visiting scareware portals running fake security scans that report non-existent security problems to panic surfers into buying software that's worse than useless. Prospective marks are normally lured to these sites through search engine manipulation, which ensures rogue sites appear prominently in lists of search results for newsworthy terms.

The new ruse features a fake Firefox "Just Updated" page of the type that is displayed just after users update their browser software, a regular occurrence of late. The page claims that users need to get a Flash update, and produces a download dialogue box with a scareware payload. The attack kicks in once surfers visit a maliciously constructed website and is not associated with genuine Firefox updates from Mozilla, which simply serve as a theme for the attack.

F-Secure, which was among the first anti-virus firms to detect the site, has a write-up of the scareware slinging ruse in a blog post here.

In related news, McAfee warned earlier this week that VXers were offering a Trojan disguised as trial versions of its VirusScan anti-virus software. New variants of the Bredolab Trojan were attached to spam emails, it warns. ®

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