Spyware, malware and other infections

To begin with, if you want to take a full-screen shot - Windows 8.1 is only second Microsoft‘s operating system after Windows 8 to have screenshot function in-built. This function may often help you to explain your problems, or just to show someone how to do something.

 
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security-sphere-2012Today, whilst testing new malware and fake antivirus samples, a 'great' idea occurred to me. Remember that trick when you hit CTRL+A and ENTER on your friend's computer? All programs, files, shortcuts, and everything else on the desktop are executed simultaneously. When this occurs, the only way to return the system to normal is to restart the computer.

The Idea - What if we do the same with many fake antivirus programs?

This was blowing my mind all day, so I finally decided to take the challenge and do the test. I prepared my old Intel P4 computer with 512 MB of RAM, restored it with a fresh install, and checked that it was in perfect working order.

Meet the participants - Fake antiviruses

After spending some time searching for various fake antivirus samples, I selected 14 participants. These were fake antivirus programs that attempt to scare users into buying full versions by displaying bogus warnings and errors. Some were old versions, some more recent. Before starting the test, I scanned all samples with AVG Antivirus Free Edition. One fake antivirus was not detected by AVG, despite ensuring AVG was running with the latest updates.

 
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When you surf the Internet, be very careful. I'll keep saying that again and again. There are of course, many popular online 'scanners' that claim to scan your computer for viruses and spyware infections. These scans, however, are fake and attempt to scare PC users for illegal purposes. Do not believe these online scans, especially if you have not specifically requested one.

Wait a minute! This is important - we check your devices - Recognise this message?  This is one of the most popular fake online spyware and virus scanners.

When you open the web page of this scanner, a javascript message pops-up. It reports that your computer contains various infections and the system requires immediate checking.

fake_scan1 When you press OK, the web page imitates the 'My Computer' folder by displaying local hard disks, documents, folders, etc. These hard drive and document folders appear identically to all visitors of the website and do not represent real your computer configuration. To less-experienced users, however, this may appear threatening and scary.