A new type of scareware advertisement tricks users into believing their systems are infected and need expert help to remove the malware, Bitdefender warns.
The malware-spreading mechanism is quite simple: the fake AV ads pop up unexpectedly when browsing the web, after the user’s computer has been previously infected with adware. Malicious ads usually enter the system under the form of an innocent-looking browser extension or application which installs itself when downloading free programs such as games, system optimizers, file converters, and others.
Bitdefender Online Threats Researcher Marius Doroftei said:
“Calling the “free 24/7” toll number claims to put users in contact with a security expert, but cyber-crooks are hiding instead at the other end of the line. They can easily pose as a seller asking for money to deliver a security fix, gain remote access to the user’s system or even install spyware and other malicious programs to capture private data – this time for real. Phishers might even offer to help you get rid of well-known adware, like the one that got your system infected in the first place. Either way, users are at risk.”
Bitdefender blocks the malicious URLs and advises users to keep their antivirus solution updated. This will stop infections by prompting users before accessing infected websites or downloading malicious programs. An adware removal tool helps users get rid of adware already installed on their systems.
This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Bitdefender Online Threats Researcher Marius DOROFTEI.
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