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Industry News

15 Mar 2012

Fake disk repair a new online scare tactic

On Neil Rubenking's SecurityWatch blog, he said a new internet security breach is out that tries to trick people into thinking the entire content of their computer is gone. A security company found the Trojan.HiddenFilesFraud.A virus is looking to scare people and feed desperation to get the files back.

"[The virus] hides all files and folders on your machine and disables some standard keyboard shortcuts so you can't un-hide them," Rubenking said on the blog. "To further inflame your mania it displays error messages as-if from Windows reporting such worries as 'damaged hard disk clusters.'"

Then, the fake disk repair tool goes to work and finds many errors and viruses. It then asks users to register for $80, Rubenking said, which is a common task for a scareware program such as this. While traditional antivirus scareware has been declining, programs like this can trick users in new ways.

Herb Weisbaum wrote on ConsumerMan's blog on MSNBC last year that to get rid of this, people should look to their task manager and delete the rogue problem running. Users should already have antivirus software running at all times to try and protect themselves from scareware and other viruses.