If you end up at a site which you think is Microsoft’s Windows Security Center, and it tells you that your computer is infected with W32.Sinnaka.a, and that you’d better hurry up and download some anti-spyware such as Spy Trooper, World AntiSpy, PS Guard or Raze Spyware, well, run, don’t walk, away from that site. Because it’s not the Windows Security Center come a’calling, it’s a phishing site, trying to trick you into downloading and then having to register one of those four rogue spyware/anti-spyware packages (some merely renamed versions of SpyDemolisher, SpySheriff, and SpywareNo), and then paying to register the software.
In fact, the real Windows Security Center isn’t a website at all, it’s a program on your local hard drive! But because the phishing site is so realistic, and even reports accurately what browser you are using, and what IP address you are connected through, many users are likely to be taken in.
And users who aren’t forewarned shouldn’t feel badly about being duped, because it looks so real In fact, says Patrick Hinojosa, CTO of Panda Software, it’s so real looking that, he says, “I thought at first it was actually the Windows Security Center screen on my desktop. I had to look at it twice to tell it wasn’t. This is certainly something that would fool most people.”
And because the link to the bogus phishing site often isn’t even coming through in email, but rather through some other form like a Trojan, your anti-spam and anti-spyware programs are unlikely to catch this one (which is of course why they do it).
So what can you do to protect yourself? Be very aware of the sites on which you end up by clicking on any link. And if you aren’t sure, when in doubt, get out.
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