Rogue AV masquerading as SC Awards 2011 finalist

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A new, “significant” malicious spam campaign making the rounds is distributing a rogue anti-virus (AV) program touting itself as a 2011 SC Magazine Awards finalist, according to Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The spam messages, which are being sent from at least 1,443 different IP addresses, contain subject lines such as “Your credit card is locked,” Warner wrote in a blog post this weekend. The messages appear to have been sent from “MasterCard services” informing users that their credit card has been illegally used. An attachment promising more information is actually a rogue AV product called “XP Home Security 2010” detected on Saturday by just three of the top 43 AV programs.

Once launched, the program appears to run a system scan during which it claims to discover a number of infections. Users are then alerted that such threats could lead to stolen information and browser crashes.

After that, the rogue program prompts users to purchase the fake AV product to remove the made-up infections. The checkout screen, where users are offered different pricing options and asked to provide their billing details, claims the product was an SC Magazine Awards 2011 finalist.

Click here to view the list of actual SC Magazine Awards 2011 U.S. finalists.

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