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Top Story: Watch out! Malware disguised as Microsoft security update

Top Story: Watch out! Malware disguised as Microsoft security update
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Windows users are all too familiar with the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). It's when your PC crashes, locking you out with cryptic white-on-blue text stuffed chock full of technical gibberish. Simply put, a BSOD means your Windows machine has a "problem."

We have previously warned you that the BSOD could be a gateway for hackers. It looks like those fears are coming true.

A new fake support scam is making the rounds to Windows users. It is actually malware being masked as a file called Microsoft Security Essentials.

Microsoft is calling the malware Hicurdismos. Support scam malware is a program or script that displays messages urging you to contact a fake tech support phone number. The Hicurdismos malware displays this fake BSOD error message:

fake bsod big

Warning! If you call the fake tech support, scammers will answer the phone and try to steal your money. What they do is try to convince you that there are more problems with your PC and you need to pay them for their services or software to fix the problems. The scammer might also try to get you to download more malware disguised as support tools to fix the problem, that doesn't actually exist.

How the scam works

This malware threat is actually an installer that arrives by drive-by-download. If you try installing the fake Microsoft Security Essentials, your PC will be infected.

People still using Windows 7, or earlier operating systems, actually have Microsoft Security Essentials as an anti-malware component. If you're running Windows 8 or 10 you have Windows Defender instead. Some people might be tricked into thinking that adding Security Essentials will improve their PC's security. Don't make that mistake.

Once your PC is infected and runs the Hicurdismos malware, you will see the fake Blue Screen of Death as shown above. Here is how the malware works:

  • Hides the mouse - Without access to the mouse, the user thinks the system is not responding.
  • Disables Task Manager - This prevents the user from ending the Hicurdismos process.
  • Displays fake BSOD - The BSOD takes over the entire screen, preventing the user from using the PC.
Next page: Detect and prevent this scam
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