As more and more users have become accustomed to the usual look of rogue or fake anti-viruses, cybercriminals thought that it would be a good idea to tweak the style of their progenies a bit. One of the latest new entries, which my colleagues in the labs “grabbed” these days, purports to pertain to none other than the Microsoft® defensive suite, as you can see in the image below.
Primary fake alert
Trojan.FakeAV.LHS attempts to dupe the user into installing it as a legitimate application. Once onto the unprotected machine, it creates and launches its clone from the current user’s Application Data folder and deletes the initial file that infected the computer. Moreover, it scrounges the registry settings under HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTWinlogonShell, in order to be launched before the explorer.exe process.
Additionally, FakeAV.LHS mimics a system scan and issues multiple annoying warnings about a gazillion of imaginary infections and other e-threats, while also requiring the gullible user to install a so-called “Windows Optimization Center" for maintenance and disinfection purposes, as depicted in the following screenshot.
Secondary fake alert
FakeAV.LHS unleashing the annoying “optimization center”
After the installation of the malicious center, the rogue continuously bugs the user to purchase a so-called license that will complete the disinfection process. To be even more credible, the Trojan kills any process/application that the user launches/opens, reminding him or her to buy that useless license.
Inciting warning to throw money out the bogus anti-virus’ window
To make sure that you are not the victim of this kind of e-threats and that you are actually protecting your system and data, install a reliable (please do read “real”) and certified anti-malware suite, such as those provided by BitDefender.
Safe surfing everybody!
This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Mihail Andronic and Craciun Vlad, BitDefender Online Threats Researchers.
All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.