Cute Valentine

Will you be my Valentine Trojan?

With Valentine’s Day coming soon, answers to queries on “cute Valentines day ideas” are used as baits for malware infections.

Statistics show that these key words are very “hot” these days in net searches so  it’s no wonder cybercriminals jump to the occasion of getting their own share of the love that roams around. What does this mean?  A simple query for “the idea” that will make his/her Valentine the best may lead to malware being downloaded into the users’ systems.

Valentine's Malware

Malware loves traditions, especially when it comes to spreading methods:  when users select the link to an apparently legitimate Web site displayed in the search results page, they are automatically redirected to a Web page that contaminates their systems with a fake antivirus, identified by BitDefender as Trojan.Fakeav.YZ.

From then on, Trojan.Fakeav.YZ behaves quite like the other rogue antivirus: the browser window is automatically minimized and a caution message is simultaneously displayed, notifying users about numerous computer infections and recommending that they set up a security solution.

No matter if users click the OK or Cancel buttons of the several pop-up windows appearing on the screen, they will activate a false movie that plays in the restored browser window. This movie reproduces an on-going scanning process that detects plenty of malware on the system, while other fake pop-up windows try to trick the users into downloading the malware.

With each so-called “scan”, more and more notices of false detections place users under the pressure of registering the rogue. Once installed, it modifies the content of several system files and it conveys numerous pop-ups on sham system problems and fake infections, while also persistently asking users to buy or renew a license.

Here is a demonstration of how this “cute gift” behaves:

To protect and avoid compromising your system 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 frequently as possible, with the latest virus definitions and suspicious application/file signatures.

  • scan your system frequently.

  • regularly – download and install the latest security updates and malicious removal tools as well as other patches or fixes released by your operating system provider.

  • do not download or save files from sources you don’t know; run a complete antimalware scan before opening or copying any file to your system, even if the file comes from a trusted source.

About the author

Sabina DATCU

Sabina Datcu, PhD has background training in Applied Informatics and Statistics, Biology and Foreign Languages and Literatures. In 2003 she obtained a master degree in Systems Ecology and in 2009 a PhD degree in Applied Informatics and Statistics.
Since 2001, she was involved in University of Bucharest's FP 5 and FP6 European projects, as researcher in Information and Knowledge Management field.

In 2009, she joined the E-Threat Analysis and Communication Team at BitDefender as technology writer and researcher, and started to write a wide range of IT&C security-related content, from malware, spam and phishing alerts to technical whitepapers and press releases.