Fake Anti-Virus Poses As Microsoft Update


2 May 2011
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Sophos, the IT security and data protection firm, has released a new warning regarding a fake anti-virus attack. The specialty of this is that it masquerades as Microsoft's security update and tricks the user into installing malicious software. The affected user sees an almost exact replica of the Microsoft update page, but there is a difference. This works only in Firefox, while the real Microsoft update site requires you to use Internet Explorer.

Fake Microsoft update looks exactly like the real thing

It can be seen of late, that fake anti-virus attacks have become more professional, and can actually convince more innocent people than ever before, to fall into this trap. In this case, a huge amount of attention has been paid to copy the graphics and website elements of the original site to fool people into believing that the bogus site is in fact, the original. They have also taken advantage of the timing of the monthly update patch released by Microsoft, known as Patch Tuesday, to get more users into installing this malicious software.

Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, said, "Users need to be more vigilant than ever before as bogus security alerts pop-up in their browsers. Fake anti-virus attacks are big business for cybercriminals and they are investing time and effort into making them as convincing as possible. Malicious hackers are using smart social engineering tricks more and more often, and the risk is that users will be scared by a phoney warning into handing over money to fix problems that never existed in the first place".

The next time you see Microsoft update notification while using Firefox, steer clear of this wolf in sheep's clothing.

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