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News

Fake adverts for free Norton software contain malicious code

Sophos : 24 September, 2008  (Technical Article)
Hackers have produced fake Symantec advert claiming link to free software in attempt to lure browsers into downloading Trojan horse
IT security and control firm Sophos has warned internet users of downloading fake anti-virus products, following the discovery of a malicious Trojan horse that is posing as a free copy of Norton AntiVirus 2008. Google adverts are being presented to internet users who search for 'free antivirus', leading them to a professional-looking website that claims to offer an anti-virus product for download.

The website attempts to lure visiting computer users into installing a Trojan horse, Troj/FakeAV-AD, which will then present fake security alerts and urge users to purchase a 'full version' of the software.

Sophos has produced a video demonstrating the risk to internet users.


'After pornography, 'free antivirus' must be one of the most popular things that people search for on the internet. But dangerous adverts like this can make a poor security choice all too easy. There is a real problem with hackers using paid-for search engine adverts to bring traffic to their websites, with the ultimate aim of conning people out of money. Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus, are unlikely to be amused by this abuse of their brandname - but that will be little comfort for the innocent people who fall for the trick and end up with an infected computer.' - Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos.

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