Beware Of Fake Windows 10 Antivirus Update

A ransomware campaign is targeting home users by masquerading as software updates via fake Windows 10 and antivirus installs, cyber-security researchers have revealed.

The ransomware campaign called Magniber is then demanding $2,500 from victims for unlocking their data, reveals the HP threat research team.

“Notably, the attackers used clever techniques to evade detection, such as running the ransomware in memory, bypassing User Account Control (UAC) in Windows, and bypassing detection techniques that monitor user-mode hooks by using syscalls instead of standard Windows API libraries,” the team explained.

Even though Magniber does not fall into the category of ‘Big Game Hunting’, it can still cause significant damage.

“Home users were the likely target of this malware based on the supported operating system versions and UAC bypass. The attackers used clever techniques to evade protection and detection mechanisms,” the security researchers noted.

With the UAC bypass, the malware deletes the infected system’s shadow copy files and disables backup and recovery features, preventing the victim from recovering their data using Windows tools.

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The infection chain starts with a web download from an attacker-controlled website.

The user is asked to download a ZIP file containing a JavaScript file that purports to be an important antivirus or Windows 10 software update.

Home users can protect themselves from ransomware campaigns like this one by following this simple advice:

The HP security team said that home users should only download software updates from trusted sources as the campaign depends on tricking people into opening fake software updates. “Back up your data regularly. Backing up your data will give you peace of mind should the worst happen,” they suggested.

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