Feeds

Scareware tries to trick marks into dropping defences

Strip for me, baby

The essential guide to IT transformation

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But on machines with outdated security definition files the attack may work.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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.