Thursday, September 3, 2009

Too Good to be True: Green AV $&^&^%@)(*&^%$

Too Good to be True: Save your Computer—and the Environment—with Green AV

By Jim

Debbie stares at the pop-up window in dismay: “Windows defender warning: review harmful unwanted software Trojan:win32/Fake xpa severe.” This is the fifth attack detected in five minutes. She’s very annoyed.

A bright green button flashes: “Do you want to block the attack?” Well, heck yeah. The computer’s got Norton Anti-Virus, and Debbie’s waiting for it to do its thing, but it hasn’t. It seems to be ignoring the attacks. Another anti-virus program, called Green AV, claims to handle 100% of malicious software, viruses, spyware, and malware. She clicks through. They promise to block the annoying attacks and—bonus—they donate a portion of the purchase price to save Amazonian rainforests. Talk about green performance!

It’s a bit pricey--$99 and change—but the testimonials are good and it offers a 100% money back guarantee. If it works like it claims, the price is well justified. And if it doesn’t then you get your money back, right?

Fortunately, most IT professionals (and Debbie too) are rather too savvy to actually fall for this clever scam—especially given that whoever created the bogus website forgot to use spell-check. But just because you’re not coughing up the hundred bucks doesn’t mean you’re not in trouble. In Debbie’s case, all she did was click an ad for teeth whitening—an ad posted on her Yahoo! Mail site—and she became infected.

Green AV spreads like most viruses do—through innocuous-looking downloads. Once on your computer, it avoids detection by the simple expedient of removing your protective software. Next, it begins to produce fake warnings of attacks, as well as redirecting your web browser to warning screens in place of the websites you want to visit—and each time, it offers to “fix” your problem, if you’ll just visit their website and buy their program.

And the worst part of the problem is that a true solution simply doesn’t exist yet. Some folks have had success with downloading Malwarebytes or manually removing offending files. But not Debbie—we had to wipe her computer clean and reinstall everything.

What’s amazing about the whole thing is that these clowns are still out there. Not only their ads and the malware itself, but a plain-for-the-world-to-see website (www dot green-av-pro dot com—we’re not posting an actual link because we don’t want to promote traffic there) with an apparently fully functional shopping cart with which to part innocent bystanders from their cash. Why hasn’t anyone shut this scam down? Why hasn’t Mcafee, Microsoft, Symantec, etc put a stop to this malicious irritation?

How about you? Have you been infected? What did you do about it? Do you know a fix that really works? Can you help shut this scam down? Tell us!

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