Hoosier Army Mom’s Weblog

Conservative Views

New spyware system mimics Windows Security Center

A word of warning from Yahoo News – Be on the lookout and don’t get duped!!!

What’s wrong with the screenshot to the right? Ignoring those red boxes added for emphasis, it looks identical to the Windows Security Center… only it’s not. In fact it’s a spyware hoax designed to mimic the Security Center almost identically, not to mention trick you into purchasing WinDefender 2008 software, a phony security app which will clear up only the phony security alerts its malware component creates.

WinDefender is just the latest in a series of malware attacks designed to look like legitimate Windows components. But people have finally started to wise up to those smallish “alert” pop-ups, so malware creators are upping the ante with full-blown knockoffs of real security apps. Computer Associates has the details.

In addition to the fake Security Center, WinDefender nags you further by blocking web pages from opening (blaming the blockage on “adware/spyware on your PC”). It adds a yellow drop-down box to Internet Explorer like you get when you try to download something from the web, again with text urging you to install WinDefender 2008 in order to unblock the sites. Just $40 of extortion money makes it all go away…

Most anti-malware software ought to be able to scrub WinDefender 2008 off your machine, but the more important lesson is that you pay close attention to the interface of anything security-related on your PC to ensure that you aren’t being scammed while you’re actually trying to address any security problems. Anything you see in Windows that recommends a specific program to solve any sort of problem should immediately be considered suspect.

October 23, 2008 - Posted by | In the News


  1. Education about the online nasties out there is a hard thing to keep up with nowadays.
    Its so important to have a reliable product that will protect you.
    Great post!

    Comment by Doug Woodall | October 24, 2008

  2. Something that looks this authentic is very sneaky and the numbers getting innocently duped is bound to be high. Thanks Doug, it’s always a pleasure for me to get the word out when I see something like this.

    Comment by hoosierarmymom | October 25, 2008

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