4 Scariest Malware Scams in 2013

Posted: November 17, 2013 in Articles
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Malware RemovalThey keep getting more devious every year – and yet more subtle and creative. We’re talking about Malware Scams, and this article will round up the worse of the worst that surfaced this year. And you’ll be surprised to learn that most commonly, it’s you who unwittingly lets the devil into your computer.

Yes, getting an updated virus scanner and firewall will help keep you safe. But since new malware threats keep popping up all the time, just being protected won’t instantly mean you’re safe. It’s also wise to be aware of the typical entrance points for malware. So read on and know which tricks have been employed by the scariest malwares in 2013, courtesy of Dom’s Tech Blog.

Simba.B

This piece of malicious code has really struck big this year, probably because its implementation is so clever that even experienced users have been spectacularly deceived.

Did you recently come across a Flash update imposing on your browser? Yeah, those updates are so persistent that you never really pay them much thought anymore. That’s what made the Simba.B such an effective exploit – because it mimicked the familiar sight of your typical Flash browser update. Except what it really did was hijack administrative rights to access your list of passwords and send them back to the criminals operating this scam.

So here’s a thought… if you recently had a Flash update that somehow felt off, maybe you could just change your main passwords right away, just to be safe. That’s something you should get in the habit of doing 3 or 4 times a year, by the way!

FakeAlert.D

Here’s another clever bait-and-switch that proved wildly effective this year, as far as malware goes. FakeAlert.D often takes the form of an unsuspecting pop-up that tries to warn you of a serious issue: malware has been detected! This fake warning can take many forms (see here for examples), but it always looks very formal and very serious. Naturally so, as the point of this malware is to make you whip out your credit card and pay to get rid of a fake “computer virus” whose only real peril is tricking you into voluntarily, accidentally submitting your credit card info.

To be safe from this kind of invasion – know your seller. There are known trusted brands of virus scan and malware removal programs, and it’s generally wiser to stick to those.

Ransom.BE78

Not quite as elegant and subtle as the other malwares so far mentioned, but still a fruitful dark concept. What Ransom.BE78 does is to literally take your personal data hostage, allegedly claiming they’ve found illegally downloaded files in your hard drive. Posing as a credible-sounding institute such as “The USA Firewall”, the scammers behind this malware will then invite you to pay a “ticket” in order to have your files unlocked and your computer back to normal.

This type of attack constitutes a category that if often referred to as “ransomware”. How to avoid it? Know that no respectable company or institution would ever ask you to pay a ransom in order to reclaim your access to your own files.

Ransom.BE78 Computer Blocked

Zbot.ANQ

This malicious exploit focused on trying to fish your bank information. They do it by monitoring your activity when you log into you home banking account, as well as “offering” an assistant app aimed at mobile devices – except what it actually does is to persistently intercept all activity on your bank account, and eventually transfer funds out: usually little by little, as to ensure you will be none the wiser.

How to avoid this trojan? Read carefully on the policy and security procedures of your home banking service, and make sure you stick to it.

Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the latest and most inventive pieces of malware currently in existence. If you ever notice any suspicious activity in your computer, whether it’s similar to what we described above or even something else – remember it’s best to think twice before acting… as sometimes acting in haste will put you right where those scammers want you to be.

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