The fake-alert families (bogus or rogue anti-virus software) are one of the most prevalent threats we face, and we see lots of new variants everyday. The threat is expanding constantly. For example, a couple of weeks ago, we observed MacDefender/MacProtector, which targeted Mac users, in addition to the usual attacks against Windows users.
Today, I’m really excited to see the news that the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI announced they have taken action against two international cybercrime rings that have been spreading fake-alert malware. This operation hopefully will have a big impact on cybercrime rings and will discourage them from selling fake-alert products. I hope this will neutralize the fake-alert threat someday.
For the time being, however, we need to protect ourselves from getting infected by fake-alert malware. McAfee Labs has prepared advisories for combating fake-alert families. One recent prevalent family is SystemDefender.
- Threat Advisory: Combating FakeAlerts
- Threat Advisory: FakeAlert System Defender
These advisories show how fake-alert malware deceives users and provides mitigation steps to avoid an infection. Please have a read and protect yourselves from such fraud!