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Massachusetts Senate Race queries on search engines could install malware

Răzvan LIVINTZ

January 20, 2010

Massachusetts Senate Race queries on search engines could install malware

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Malware authors continue to exploit the same social
engineering vector of curiosity to lure their victims into endangering their
data. Inquiring users employing unprotected systems could be exposed by simply
clicking the apparently innocent links related to the election topic.

The M.O. is classical: when clicked, the link of an
apparently legitimate Web site displayed in the search results page automatically
redirects the browser towards a Web page that infects the unwary user with a
variant of System Security Rogue
detected by BitDefender as Trojan.FakeAV.ABT.

Massachusetts Senate Race

Its behaviour is similar to its older “relatives” – XP
Antivirus, Antivirus 2009, AV360, Personal Antivirus or Total Security Rogue: when
landing on the malware distribution Web page, the browser window is
automatically minimized and a warning message simultaneously displays,
notifying the user about several computer infections and the availability of System Security.

Search engine malware

By clicking either OK or Cancel buttons of the several
pop-up windows invading the screen, the user triggers a fake movie that plays
in the restored browser window. The movie mimics an on-going scanning process
that supposedly detects loads of malware onto the system, while other fake pop-up
windows should swindle the user into downloading the malware.

massachusetts senate race malware

System Security Rogue
tries to trick the user into registering the fake product by giving notices of
false detections, more and more at each so called scan. Once on the machine, it
alters or irremediably damages the content of several system files and delivers
numerous pop-ups with bogus system problems and fake infections, while also
incessantly requesting the user to buy/renew a license. To be more persuasive,
it also removes the users’ desktop wallpaper and blocks multiple applications.

To protect your systems and data and avoid compromising your
systems and data, follow the five security tips below:

  • install and activate a reliable antimalware, firewall solution and
    spam filter
    , such as those provided by BitDefender.
  • update your antimalware, firewall and spam filter as
    frequent as possible, with the latest virus definitions and suspicious
    applications/files signatures.
  • scan your system frequently.
  • check on a regular basis with your operating system
    provider – download and install the latest security updates and malicious
    removal tools, as well as other patches or fixes.
  • do not download or save files from sources you don’t know;
    avoid opening or copying onto your system any file, even if it comes from a
    trusted source, before running a complete antimalware scan.

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