Posts Categorized: Rogue Security Products


How malware authors evade antivirus detection

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Aiming to ensure that their malware doesn’t end up in the hands of vendors and researchers, cybercriminals are actively experimenting with different quality assurance processes whose objective is to increase the probability of their campaigns successfully propagating in the wild without detection. Some of these techniques include multiple offline antivirus scanning interfaces offering the cybercriminal a guarantee that their malicious program would remain undetected, before they launch their malicious campaign in the wild. In the wild since 2006, Kim’s Multiple Antivirus Scanner is still actively used among cybercriminals wanting to ensure that their malicious software is pre-scanned against the signature-based scanning techniques […]

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Criminals Abuse Amazon Hosting with Rogues, Ransomware

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The criminals who push rogues at the world don’t really care about the reputations of the ISPs or Web hosting services they abuse. They leap from free service to free service until they’ve thoroughly worn out their welcome and, in some cases, destroyed the reputation of the service they abused. But they have behaved in one predictable way over the years: They’re stingy, and won’t pay for anything unless it’s absolutely necessary, despite the fact that they’re raking in cash by the boatload. But that seemed to change this week when we saw a number of Web sites pop up […]

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Fake UPS Document Installs Fake Microsoft Patch Payload

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As if we didn’t have enough to deal with this week — after a Microsoft patch Tuesday that brought with it a boatload of security updates for Windows, Office, Silverlight, Visual Studio, and other programs — some enterprising malware distributor is emailing around bogus tracking number malware dressed up in the icon of a PDF document, and that malware is downloading payloads named after the updaters that Windows Update retrieves during an update. The malware arrived into one of our spam collection points with an attachment named UPS_document.zip. Way to be original there, criminals. Inside the Zip file was an […]

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MacProtector: Rogue of the Week

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This week, we turn our attention temporarily away from the never-ending stream of rogue security products on the Windows platform and take a closer look at the Mac OS analogue, MacProtector (aka Mac Security, Mac Defender, MacGuard, and–if history serves–soon to be many, many other names). There’s been a lot of press coverage of these rogues — including a video blog post by us — in the past few weeks, so we thought it was high time we took a deeper dive. Even though Webroot doesn’t offer an automated removal solution for the Mac, there’s good news for most Mac users — […]

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Rogue of the Week: Windows Recovery

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Word from the AMR group last week was that there weren’t many changes from the previous week; Many of the same rogue antivirus previously reported in this blog continue to plague the Internet. This week I decided to focus on a rogue that’s recently become a problem. It goes by the name Windows Recovery, though it’s also been called Ultra Defragger or HDD Rescue by other AV vendors. Bottom line, it’s still a fraudulent program which relies on deception and trickery to convince a victim to fork over some cash for a “fix.” It’s just not a rogue antivirus; Call […]

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Antivirus Center: Rogue of the Week

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By Andrew Brandt and Brenden Vaughan Our Advanced Malware Removal group reported seeing several cases of a rogue called Antivirus Center this past week. The rogue isn’t new – we began seeing samples of it last year – but has re-emerged as a threat. This rogue is characterized by a close mimicry of some aspects of Microsoft’s free Windows Defender product, including the use of a program icon that looks like a castle, as well as some distinctive characteristics of its active file components. For example, the rogue’s application consistently uses a naming convention that looks like a long string […]

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ROTW: “Total Security” and Antivirus IS

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By Brenden Vaughan and Andrew Brandt This week, our support and advanced malware removal (AMR) team did not have a lot of new data to report about rogue security products. The most commonly encountered infection continues to be one of the rogues we reported about last week. While we may refer to it as XP Total Security, it actually chooses one of a series of names at random, based on the operating system on the victim’s computer. Last week’s post contains a more comprehensive list of these names. As previously reported, you can remove the rogue by scanning (with our […]

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Rogues of the Week: XP Total Security & MS Removal Tool

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It’s been said that sunlight sanitizes almost everything it shines on. Beginning this week, and every week from now on, we’ll focus a concentrated beam on the rogue antivirus programs our support staff and Threat Research team have been working to remediate. Rogues have a tendency to switch up their names, user interface, and other outward characteristics, while retaining most of the same internal functionality — and by functionality I mean the fraudulent tricks these forms of malware use to make it difficult for someone to identify them as malicious or remove them from an infected computer. It’s not as […]

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