SOURCE: BitDefender


January 21, 2010 14:08 ET

Massachusetts Senate Race Queries Could Install Malware

A Rogue Antivirus Is the Winner in the Race Between Democrat, Martha Coakley and Republican, Scott Brown

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - January 21, 2010) - BitDefender®, an award-winning provider of innovative anti-malware security solutions, today warned of the possible spread of malware by users employing unprotected systems who make a Massachusetts Senate race query via search engine. Users could be exposed by simply clicking the seemingly innocent links related to the election topic.

The M.O. is classic: when clicked, the link of an apparently legitimate website displayed in the search results page automatically redirects the browser towards a webpage that infects the unsuspecting user with a variant of System Security Rogue detected by BitDefender as Trojan.FakeAV.ABT.

Its behavior is similar to its older "relatives" -- XP Antivirus, Antivirus 2009, AV360, Personal Antivirus or Total Security Rogue: when landing on the malware distribution webpage, the browser window is automatically minimized and a warning message simultaneously displays -- notifying the user of several computer infections and the availability of System Security.

By clicking either OK or Cancel buttons of the several pop-up windows invading the screen, the user triggers a fake movie that plays in the restored browser window. The movie mimics an on-going scanning process that supposedly detects loads of malware on the system. Meanwhile other fake pop-up windows attempt to swindle the user into downloading the malware.

System Security Rogue tries to trick the user into registering the fake product by giving notices of false detections, increasing in number during each so-called scan. Once on the machine, it alters or irremediably damages the content of several system files and delivers numerous pop-ups with bogus system problems and fake infections, while also incessantly requesting the user buy/renew a license. To be more persuasive, it also removes the user's desktop wallpaper and blocks multiple applications.

To protect and avoid compromising systems and data, BitDefender recommends follow the five security tips:

1. Install and activate a reliable anti-malware, firewall solution and spam filter, such as those provided by BitDefender.

2. Update the anti-malware, firewall and spam filter as frequently as possible, with the latest virus definitions and suspicious applications/files signatures

3. Scan systems frequently

4. Regularly check with your operating system provider -- download and install the latest security updates and malicious removal tools, as well as other patches or fixes

5. Do not download or save files from sources you don't know; avoid opening or copying any file onto your system, even if it comes from a trusted source, before running a complete anti-malware scan.

About BitDefender®

BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, BitDefender's provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.

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