Exposing Fake Antivirus Programs


Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

The most pervasive Malware trend I’ve noticed lately is the proclivity for bad software to masquerade as though its antivirus software. These prompt you to confirm the popup messages in order to protect your PC, while in fact doing so will give you the very infection you were hoping to avoid. For most Overclockers and enthusiasts around here these prompts seem all too obvious, however our families and friends often still fall victim and their computer problems often become our problems to fix.

Typical Malware Popup (Image Courtesy WindowsSecrets.com)
Typical Malware Popup (Image courtesy of WindowsSecrets.com)

In my experience a bit of intuition, a healthy dose of google-fu, and when I really find myself in a pickle some help from our forum members always got me what I needed to fix the PC back up to good working order. Fixing the PC is only a fraction of the equation though, not even half the battle. To get to the root of the issue one must make peace with the greatest evil ever known to the PC – the user.

That’s right. The hard part is communicating with a user in a way where they understand what they did wrong and how to avoid it in the future.  You may be charging a reasonable rate to fix the problem and like the repeat business, but if the problem keeps recurring then before long they are going to be very unsatisfied with your help. It is important to blame them appropriately, and in a way they are educated about avoiding the issue.  In this article about the Lizamoon infection, Fred Langa of WindowsSecrets gives a great blow by blow account detailing exactly how a malware infection is acquired. Walking through the steps and providing immense detail of the infection process from start to finish, we get his first hand insight into what actually happens when you don’t run away from those pesky malware popups.  From the article:

Taking yet another deep breath (and my fourth voluntary action), I clicked OK, which let the malware installer run to completion.

The malware goes active and disables my security

Immediately after I clicked OK, my system went haywire.

With the infection requiring 4 independent confirmations from the user prior to the infection becoming active, there are plenty of opportunities to wake up and smell the whiskey.  To read on, and maybe even send a link to your loved ones who could benefit from the great plain english walk-through, check out the full article on WindowsSecrets.com:

Lizamoon Infection: a blow-by-blow account” by Fred Langa

Do you think these sorts of articles could be helpful explanations for the “normal users” in your life? Let us know in the comments below.

– Matt Bidinger

About Matt Bidinger 60 Articles
My name is Matt Bidinger. I manage the editorial and forum staff for Overclockers.com, and I enjoy Community Management with a number of large internet sites. I've worked in IT in my professional career; my site involvement keeps me off the streets at night. When relaxing, I can usually be found walking the parks and roads of Rootstown, OH with my wife Kim and my dog Bubba.

Discussion

Leave a Reply