Incident Response, Malware, TDR

Near-death experience: Hicurdismos tech support scam mimics Microsoft Blue Screen of Death

Microsoft on Friday warned of a malware threat called Hicurdismos that simulates the infamous Windows Blue Screen of Death as part of a tech support scam.

Delivered via drive-by download, Hicurdismos appears to be an installer for Microsoft Security Essentials, an anti-malware product for machines operating on Windows 7 and earlier operating systems. In reality, it's a SmartInstaller package that, upon activation, triggers the BSoD and a fake error message with a customer support phone number. Victims who call this number are socially engineered into downloading additional malware purporting to be support tools that supposedly fix the problem.

To sell the BSoD effect, the malware also hides the mouse cursor and disables the Task Manager.

Real error message screens from Microsoft do not provide support phone numbers, the company stated in a blog post; rather, they include an error code and instructions.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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