Beware: Fake AV/Ransomware combination!


ransomware 1Fake Anti-Virus programs and Ransomware have both been around for a while now. Fake Anti-virus (AKA Rogue Security Software) in particular was very prevalent during 2010, with Ransomware coming to prominence more recently. It appears the cybercrooks are now combining both these threats into a single scourge dubbed ‘Secure Bit’… what some pundits are describing as “an unholy alliance”.

You’ll all be familiar with Fake Anti-Virus scams, or “Scareware”.  It will often pop up out of the blue, generally while your are browsing, and inform you that you machine is infected, presenting you with fictitious reports of large numbers of infections. “Would you like us to clean it all up for you?” Yes please. “Okay, we’ll be happy to do that for you but it’s going to cost you $$$$.” It’s all a scam of course, designed purely to get their hands on some of your hard earned.

fake anti-virus

Now take that a step further; if you do not do as instructed and pay up within a designated period of time, the rogue software then locks down your desktop, prevents you from performing any actions, and informs you that in order to regain control of the machine you need to call a provided phone number. Talking to a “support representative” then reveals that a payment of $49.99 is needed in order to remove the “infected” files and restore control of the computer to the owner… the Ransomware.

ransomware

According to a report from Tsahi Carmona on the Total Defense blog… removing the threat is actually relatively simple but many users do not recognize it’s a scam and end up paying the ransom.

So please be aware of this particular threat, do not pay any money under any circumstances. If you don’t know how to deal with it yourself, go through your preferred Forum and seek advice… that would no doubt be DavesComputerTips Forum, would it not. 🙂


About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

6 Comments

  1. Excellent advice Jim.
    I’ve seen numerous versions of these on customer’s machines and they genuinely believe the scam .
    Some are more difficult to remove than others and that’s putting it mildly.

  2. Thank you, Jim.
    Would you care to name names for these AV/RansomWare, so that we can warn are not-so educated users we may be affiliated with?
    Thank you in advance,
    RandiO

    • Hi RandiO – I named the rogue software in the opening paragraph:

      It appears the cybercrooks are now combining both these threats into a single scourge dubbed ‘Secure Bit’

      “dubbed” = named.

  3. Hi Jim, like RandiO I also mistook Secure Bit to be a new ‘term’ not the name of a dubious AV/RansomWare program. So perhaps your article isn’t as clear as you thought. Another thing whilst I’m here, at the beginning of the article you offer to ‘Remove Malware – Free’. I assumed this was a test to see if your readers were dumb enough to download any ‘rubbish’ just because it’s offered for free in a seemingly genuine article. My advice to your readers is to NEVER download such software. Regards Graham.

    • Hi Graham – How about I change the wording slightly: “It appears the cybercrooks are now combining both these threats into a single scourge they have named ‘Secure Bit’. How’s that?

      Another thing whilst I’m here, at the beginning of the article you offer to ‘Remove Malware – Free’.

      LOL. I didn’t think anyone could take what I wrote as being in the first person rather than mimicking the rogue software. You’ve manged to put a nice humorous spin on it. Well done!