Authors of rogue antivirus software hesitate little when it comes down to copying the design and branding of official security solutions in an attempt to pass their fake antivirus code as genuine offerings. It is, of course, just one of the aspects of the social engineering techniques designed to trick end users into paying for inexistent protection. Fake antivirus generate an incessant volume of misleading alerts and false detection reports, forcing the user to buy illegitimate security software. Privacy Center is one of the rogue antivirus that copied a genuine Microsoft security product, namely the companyâ€™s privacy portal, in the attempt to create the illusion that it is a valid product.
â€œThe developers of the rogue security application known as â€œPrivacy Centerâ€ even went so far as to include a link to Microsoft to trick users into thinking the rogue is a Microsoft product. Trojan:Win32/PrivacyCenter is a family of programs that claims to scan for malware and displays fake warnings of â€œmalicious programs and virusesâ€. They then inform the user that they need to pay money to register the software in order to remove these non-existent threats,â€ revealed Patrick Nolan, Microsoft Malware Protection Center.
At the top of this article is a screenshot of the rogue AV in question. End users that come across a very noisy Privacy Center alleged security solution, that volunteers to scan their computer and presents a multitude of fake threats, should proceed with caution and remove it, but certainly not pay for a license. Security solutions from Microsoft, including Windows Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials, and Malicious Software Removal Tool already detect and can remove Privacy Center.
â€œWe have received reports that this trojan has been distributed via poisoned search results, where users are redirected to sites that display fake scanners. These pages mistakenly report that the user’s system is infected in order to convince users to download Trojan:Win32/PrivacyCenter. We have also received reports that this trojan has been distributed masquerading as a fake video codec. The pages and files utilized in this form of attack are highly variable, and change according to the user’s location, browser and operating system,â€ Nolan added.
Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 can be downloaded for free via this link.