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Fake Microsoft Security Essentials messages

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Virus and malware writers are always looking for new ways to infect the computer and fake warning messages and alerts are quite common. The problem is that security measures on Windows PCs is actually quite good and malware has quite a hard time getting on the computer. One of the easiest ways is to get the user to accept the download or install and this is achieved by displaying some sort of message or image on the screen encouraging them to do so. One of the ways of getting malware on the computer is to display a fake message that says the computer is infected with a virus or spyware. This may or may not be true - probably the only malware on the computer is the one that's displaying the fake message! It will tell you that the only way to remove the virus, spyware or other malware is to buy some virus/spyware/malware remover. It's just trying to con you out of money or to hand over your bank or credit card details. Here is one scam involving Microsoft Security Essentials.

If you see a window like this pop up on the screen and you don't have Microsoft Security Essentials, then obviously it is a fake. However, if you are running Security Essentials, then it's not so obvious it is a fake.

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials

One way to tell is that Security Essentials usually pops up a message in the bottom right corner of the screen, rather than dead centre. Another tell tale sign is that the item found is a bit vague - Unknown Win32/Trojan. It also has a Scan Online button in the dialog. If you click it, you get the following window:

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials

Now this really is obviously a fake. Every reputable security product found nothing, but security software you've never heard of says there's a Trojan Horse. What's more, there's a free tool and you just have to click the button. Don't click it! Things will only get worse! Searching Google for AntiSpy SafeGuard and the others that claim there is a Trojan will tell you that these are programs to be avoided at all costs.

Microsoft Security Essentials isn't so good at removing this malware once it's on your computer, but it can be done. It needs a helping hand and you should run msconfig and check the startup items for the rogue program. Alternatively, Malwarebytes AntiMalware Free Edition will do the job and clean up your PC.