Ransomware and fake antivirus solutions are well-known threats, but a deadly fraudulent combination of the two has been recently spotted by Total Defense researchers.
The software – dubbed “Secure Bit” – first tries to convince the victims that the “security level” of their computer is low and instructs them to call for support so that the “threats” it has “found” can be removed. The claim is accompanied with a pop-ups that lists a great number of them.
But if the victims don’t do as they are told after a period of time, the fake AV turns nasty (well, nastier), and locks the computer screen.
The victims can’t do anything on their machine, and they are again told to contact the given phone number in order to regain control of it.
The phone call reveals that it will cost the victims $49.99 to do that, and Total Defense’s Tsahi Carmona warns that many users may not recognize it’s a scam and may pay the ransom.
“To avoid this scam or similar scams we recommend to use only reliable software manufactured by companies recognized and reputable and not be tempted to install software of unknown provenance. Take extra care when dealing with companies that use methods of intimidation to try to sell you their product,” he points out, and adds that removing this malware from the computer is possible and relatively simple.