Trojan Masquerades as Microsoft Security Essentials

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2010-10-22 Print this article Print

Researchers from F-Secure have uncovered a Trojan posing as Microsoft Security Essentials.

The Trojan is spreading through drive-by downloads as hotfix.exe or mstsc.exe, according to F-Secure. Users are greeted with a pop-up alert from what claims to be "Microsoft Security Essentials" that says a Trojan has been found.

"Not only does this fake tool steal Microsoft's brand, it also features a bizarre matrix display of 32 antivirus products, offering you to locate a tool that would be capable of fixing your machine as 'Microsoft Security Essentials' can't clean the malware it found," blogged Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure. "In reality, this is all fake, and the tool has not found an infection in the fail it claims.

"Surprisingly, the only products that seem to be capable of handling the infection are AntiSpySafeguard, Major Defense Kit, Peak Protection, Pest Detector and Red Cross," Hypponen wrote. "Never heard of these? No wonder. They are all fake products."

You can read more here about how rogue anti-virus programs target users. |

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