Tag Archive | Fake Antivirus

Tech support and fake antivirus scams crackdown by FTC

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a crackdown on tech support and fake antivirus scams that have been problematic for years. The scams such as bogus computer cleanup programs, phone-based tech support scares, etc. is subject to freezing of assets, as well as lawsuits for the six companies involved in the crackdown. Some of these Technogennie, Virtual PC Solutions, and Connexions InfoTech Services, among others.

Scareware scams have gone on for years, whether the classic ones such as SpySheriff (2005) to Personal Antivirus (2009). Many bouts of scareware have been apparent over the years, and they have really fell off the planet more and more the last couple of years. Why is this? Scareware crackdown from the FBI, FTC, etc. Many scams are being sought out a lot faster so the damage to the user communities is very limited.

These companies caught in the current wrap-up/crackdown from the FTC were boiler-room based, making cold calls to people in English speaking communities. Their attempts were to subject the potential customers to fear that their computer is infected, and telling them to purchase solutions to their problems by paying right away with credit card. However, when the users realized their computer was either not infected at all, or that it was a scam, it was too late and the customer was ripped off. Many banks have given the opportunity for chargeback, but that’s only if the person can truly identify that it was a scam. If no evidence can be drawn up, then it’s hard to get the chargeback.

After getting over 2,000 complaints (estimated 2,400), the FTC immediately froze assets of those companies, shut down their phone numbers used for the cold calling, and began a rapid investigation. Victims were usually charged between $49 to $450 to have a “techie” clean their system. Many of the cold callers posed as Dell, Symantec, or even McAfee.

More news about this freezing on the FTC website.

Now, earlier this week, the FTC won a $163 million settlement in a three year-old case against Innovative Marketing Inc. (IMI) and Kristy Ross, former officer of the company. More on that at the FTC website as well.

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Fall Malware Threats 2012

Latest release of Fall Malware for 2012 from seCURE Connexion

The goal in releasing a comprised list of threats that security companies will be dealing with the most this Fall is to help instruct users on the latest vectors, so that they know how important it is to maintain an updated antivirus program.

Most of the malware threats listed below are audience aggregated, which means what most security companies are dealing with currently, and there is no hope of it ending anytime soon. These are in order of the most distributed.

KEY: Vir=Virus, Rtk=Rootkit, Trj=Trojan, WM=Worm, Adw=Adware, Spy=Spyware

  1. Trj.ZeroAccess(Sirefef)
  2. Trj.Agent
    • The Agent trojan is a backdoor proxy trojan, that attempts to change the proxy on the target computer to help redirect search results and browsing activity in attempts to mine money or bitcoins.
    • Outlook: Seems this trojan is the most updated trojan ever seen, and will continue to be a problem with all of its low-to-medium risk threats.
  3. Vir.Sality
    • See Microsoft’s writeup
    • Outlook: Sality has been a problem for a few years now, and it still will be a problem. It infects almost every user/system file on the operating system.
  4. Rtk.TDL4/TDSS
    • See Microsoft’s writeup
    • Outlook: TDL4 has continued to be a problem and will continue to be a problem as long as computers have a working master boot record.
  5. Adw.FakeAV
    • See Microsoft’s writeup
    • Outlook: Fake or rogue antivirus has been a problem for over four years of scamming users in to buying antivirus software. It will continue to be a problem for at least the next six months to a year.

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