Rogue anti-malware lures squirming though Skype

Summary:Malicious hackers are using Skype to try to trick Windows users into buying a rogue anti-malware application. The lures arrive via Skype's instant messaging feature with a warning that malware has been detected on the machine and urging users to buy and run a fake "repair utility.

Malicious hackers are using Skype to try to trick Windows users into buying a rogue anti-malware application.

The lures arrive via Skype's instant messaging feature with a warning that malware has been detected on the machine and urging users to run a "repair utility." It provides a link to AlertMonitor.org, a domain registered to a Russian address.

Rogue anti-malware lures squirming though Skype

At AlertMonitor.org, the site runs a script that visually pretends to run a scan of the computer and, after a few seconds, displays a "Harmful and malicious software detected" warning.

Rogue anti-malware lures squirming though Skype

If a user is tricked into clicking anywhere on the warning, the site redirects to a different domain (scanandrepair.net) hawking a rogue anti-virus/anti-spyware application. It even pops up a page with a $19.95 receipt for what is described as a "Windows software patch." (Click image for larger version).

Rogue anti-malware lures squirming though Skype

Rogue security applications use false positives as traps to get users to purchase and install software that turn out to be actual malware. In most cases, the rogue app will download additional Trojans, rootkits and keyloggers to steal sensitive information from the machine. Here's a list of known rogue security programs.

A surefire sign that this is a malicious attack on Skype: It's trying to get me to apply a Windows patch on my Macbook.

Topics: Security, Collaboration, Operating Systems, Social Enterprise, Software, Windows

About

Ryan Naraine is a journalist and social media enthusiast specializing in Internet and computer security issues. He is currently security evangelist at Kaspersky Lab, an anti-malware company with operations around the globe. He is taking a leadership role in developing the company's online community initiative around secure content managem... Full Bio

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