Massachusetts Senate Race queries on search engines could install malware

Rogue antivirus is the winner in the confrontation between the Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown





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Malware authors continue to exploit the same social
engineering vector of curiosity to lure their victims into endangering their
data. Inquiring users employing unprotected systems could be exposed by simply
clicking the apparently innocent links related to the election topic.

The M.O. is classical: when clicked, the link of an
apparently legitimate Web site displayed in the search results page automatically
redirects the browser towards a Web page that infects the unwary user with a
variant of System Security Rogue
detected by BitDefender as Trojan.FakeAV.ABT.

Massachusetts Senate Race

Its behaviour is similar to its older “relatives” – XP
Antivirus, Antivirus 2009, AV360, Personal Antivirus or Total Security Rogue: when
landing on the malware distribution Web page, the browser window is
automatically minimized and a warning message simultaneously displays,
notifying the user about several computer infections and the availability of System Security.

Search engine malware

By clicking either OK or Cancel buttons of the several
pop-up windows invading the screen, the user triggers a fake movie that plays
in the restored browser window. The movie mimics an on-going scanning process
that supposedly detects loads of malware onto the system, while other fake pop-up
windows should swindle the user into downloading the malware.

massachusetts senate race malware

System Security Rogue
tries to trick the user into registering the fake product by giving notices of
false detections, more and more at each so called scan. Once on the machine, it
alters or irremediably damages the content of several system files and delivers
numerous pop-ups with bogus system problems and fake infections, while also
incessantly requesting the user to buy/renew a license. To be more persuasive,
it also removes the users’ desktop wallpaper and blocks multiple applications.

To protect your systems and data and avoid compromising your
systems 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
    frequent as possible, with the latest virus definitions and suspicious
    applications/files signatures.
  • scan your system frequently.
  • check on a regular basis with your operating system
    provider – download and install the latest security updates and malicious
    removal tools, as well as other patches or fixes.
  • do not download or save files from sources you don’t know;
    avoid opening or copying onto your system any file, even if it comes from a
    trusted source, before running a complete antimalware scan.

About the author


With a humanities passion and background (BA and MA in Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest) - complemented by an avid interest for the IT world and its stunning evolution, I joined in the autumn of 2003 the chief editors' team from Niculescu Publishing House, as IT&C Chief Editor, where (among many other things) I coordinated the Romanian version of the well-known SAMS Teach Yourself in 24 Hours series. In 2005 I accepted two new challenges and became Junior Lecturer at the Faculty of Letters (to quote U2 - "A Sort of Homecoming") and Lead Technical Writer at BluePhoenix Solutions.

After leaving from BluePhoenix in 2008, I rediscovered "all that technical jazz" with the E-Threat Analysis and Communication Team at BitDefender, the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Here I produce a wide range of IT&C security-related content, from malware, spam and phishing alerts to technical whitepapers and press releases. Every now and then, I enjoy scrutinizing the convolutions of e-criminals' "not-so-beautiful mind" and, in counterpart, the new defensive trends throughout posts on

Balancing the keen and until late in night (please read "early morning") reading (fiction and comparative literature studies mostly) with Internet "addiction", the genuine zeal for my bright and fervid students with the craze for the latest discoveries in science and technology, I also enjoy taking not very usual pictures (I'm not a pro, but if you want to see the world through my lenses, here are some samples, messing around with DTP programs to put out some nifty book layouts and wacky t-shirts, roaming the world (I can hardly wait to come back in the Big Apple), and last but not least, driving my small Korean car throughout the intricacies of our metropolis's traffic.