Toolbars, Spyware and Removal Programs
Posted by angelis on February 20 2006 23:31:52
Hold on to your wallet, there are a whole new rash of scumbags out there trying to part you with your hard earned money - and more importantly to them, your credit card and other personal details.

Several calls this week have been from people asking if they should buy the program being recommended to them to remove the spyware infection they have. Further investigation shows that these folk have a screen popping up on them, telling them they have a trojan on their machine, then recommending they purchase SpyAxe, SpyTrooper or SpyGuard to magically remove the infection.

Please note the programs you may be asked to purchase will change as copycats appear and release their own versions of this infection.

Of course, the infection is what is causing this page to appear and recommend they hand over credit card details and so on. This is not a new methodology being used by these scumbags, but the frequency with which I am seeing it reported on security websites, and indeed the number of calls I am getting about it indicate it is becoming more common and widespread.

The method of infection at this stage is quite simple. When surfing websites with video content, a message appears that your Windows Media Player requires updating to view the video, or your player lacks a codec and that you should download and install it now. Both of these messages will install what is known as VCODEC which goes on to install trojans and the hijack scumware that launches the spyware screens described above.

To keep yourself safe, and this goes for all occasions when you are prompted to upgrade a Windows component or download a security patch, go to Microsoft and download it from there, then you know you are getting the legitimate update.

This is a nasty piece of malware as it also writes itself into Windows system files, and in most cases the cost to remove it needs to be weighed up against the value of the pictures, files etc on your computer. Formatting and reinstalling your operating system after attempting to recover those files is the easiest way to clean up the mess.