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Watch out for fake virus alerts

Dialog from SpySheriff, designed to scare user...

Rogue security software, also known as “scareware,” is software that appears to be beneficial from a security perspective but provides limited or no security, generates erroneous or misleading alerts, or attempts to lure users into participating in fraudulent transactions.

How does rogue security software get on your computer?

Rogue security software designers create legitimate looking pop-up windows that advertise security update software. These windows might appear on your screen while you surf the web.

The “updates” or “alerts” in the pop-up windows call for you to take some sort of action, such as clicking to install the software, accept recommended updates, or remove unwanted viruses or spyware. When you click, the rogue security software downloads to your computer.

Rogue security software might also appear in the list of search results when you are searching for trustworthy antispyware software, so it is important to protect your computer.

What does rogue security software do?

Rogue security software might report a virus, even though your computer is actually clean. The software might also fail to report viruses when your computer is infected. Inversely, sometimes, when you download rogue security software, it will install a virus or other malicious software on your computer so that the software has something to detect.

Some rogue security software might also:

  • Lure you into a fraudulent transaction (for example, upgrading to a non-existent paid version of a program).
  • Use social engineering to steal your personal information.
  • Install malware that can go undetected as it steals your data.
  • Launch pop-up windows with false or misleading alerts.
  • Slow your computer or corrupt files.
  • Disable Windows updates or disable updates to legitimate antivirus software.
  • Prevent you from visiting antivirus vendor websites.

Rogue security software might also attempt to spoof the Microsoft security update process. Here’s an example of rogue security software that’s disguised as a Microsoft alert but that doesn’t come from Microsoft.

Clean Fake virus Alerts

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How to Remove The Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Unknown Win/32 Trojan Fake Alert Virus

 

The fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert is a Trojan that attempts to trick you into thinking you are infected so that you will then install and purchase one of 5 rogue anti-virus programs that it is distributing. When the Trojan is run it will masquerade as an alert from the legitimate Windows Microsoft Security Essentials Program anti-virus program. This alert will be titled Microsoft Security Essentials Alert and states that a Trojan was detected on your computer. It will list this Trojan as Unknown Win32/Trojan and state that it is a severe infection. It will then prompt you to clean your computer using the program in order to remove it. When you click on the Clean Computer or Apply actions button, it will state that it was unable to remove it and then prompt you to scan online.

 

If you click on the Scan Online button it will distributing rogue programs The Trojan Will then Install one of the below fake antivirus programs Windows Risk Eliminator Windows Utility Tool Windows Shield Center Windows Universal Tool Windows Health Center Windows Problems Remover Windows Problems Protector Windows Antispyware Solution Windows Security & Control Windows Optimization & Security Windows System Optimizator Red Cross Antivirus Peak Protection 2010 Pest Detector 4.1 Major Defense Kit AntiSpySafeguard or AntiSpy Safeguard Red Cross Antivirus Peak Protection 2010 Pest Detector 4.1 Major Defense Kit ThinkPoint AntiSpySafeguard or AntiSpy Safeguard.