Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Program Making the Rounds

Security firm F-Secure is warning that a malicious program spoofing Microsoft's free Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus program is being distributed via drive-by download as either hotfix.exe or mstsc.exe.

"Not only does this fake took steal Microsoft's brand, it also features a bizarre matrix display of 32 antivirus products, offering to locate you a tool that would be capable of fixing your machine as 'Microsoft Security Essentials' can't clean the malware it found," F-Secure said. "In reality, this is all fake, and the tool has not found an infection in the fail it claims."

Seen this screen lately? If so, you have a fake AV running amok on your system.

The tricky install then tells users that the only programs able to clean out the infection are AntiSpySafeguard, Major Defense Kit, Peak Protection, Pest Detector, and Red Cross. Savvy HotHardware readers already know what these all have in common -- they're all fake AV scanners -- but for an inexperienced user, the alerts look legit. Now would be a good time to call/email your folks and offer up a reminder about safe computing habits.

Via:  F-Secure
realneil 4 years ago

With my free AVAST, I don't see this kind of crap.

BMAN 4 years ago

with the authentic MSE, this page would never (and doesn't) come up.

3vi1 4 years ago

So... you trust Microsoft for a security solution that's supposed to catch all the stuff that was missed by... the manufacturer of the OS?

I wonder why this stuff isn't just built into the OS? Oh right, they rather have people using pirated, virus-infested copies than have anyone actually try the competition. The whole thing about MSE is that you have to "get genuine" before you can install it.

ABokor 4 years ago

just use a Mac

SmogHog 4 years ago

There's a free program called Remove Fake AntiVirus that can remove about 70 of these fakes at last count.

Some of them are quite difficult to remove.

Many AV programs are good at detection but not at complete removal.

PCMaster160 4 years ago
sure thats not a trojan itself? the problem is that many av programs can't clean all viruses
realneil 3 years ago

What I said above,..........

Wilted FlowerWWW.AVAST.COMWilted Flower


SofiaBrown 3 years ago

Live Messenger can certainly be used to spread it if you're not careful with clicking on links and downloading files - just like other trojans and malware. It's just another way into your system. I don't know if it is the primary means of spreading at the moment - others will need to answer that (if it is known).

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