Feeds

Scareware tries to trick marks into dropping defences

Strip for me, baby

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Virus authors have developed a strain of malware that attempts to con users into uninstalling legitimate security packages.

A rogue package called AnVi Antivirus generates a cheeky pop-up message suggesting that legitimate apps are “uncertified" and ought to be removed. Failure to take action would result in drastically degraded computer performance, marks are disingenuously warned.

Many malware packages, including the Conficker worm, are designed to silently disable anti-virus software and security updates on infected machines. The AnVi Antivirus rogue differs because it uses social engineering techniques in an attempt to trick users into uninstalling security packages.

The rogue will also attempt to remove legitimate packages from the likes of Microsoft, AVG, Zone Labs and Norton even if users fail to comply with the bogus request to uninstall pukka security software. Such an approach, of course, ought to be blocked if the security packages are doing their job.

But on machines with outdated security definition files the attack may work.

If successful, AnVi Antivirus will download fake anti-virus software that warns of multiple imaginary security threats in a bid to trick victims into purchasing worse-than-useless crapware.

A write-up of the threat - complete with screenshots - can be found in a blog post by Symantec here. ®

Bootnote

As with many plausible cons the approach followed by AnVi Antivirus harbors a grain of truth. Legitimate anti-virus packages, by their nature, rely on low-level access to machines on which they run and do not play well together with other anti-virus packages on the same PC, as explained here.

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.