AntiVirus 2010 – Don't Get Caught By This One!

One of the more irritating internet problems to surface lately is a program calling itself Antivirus 2010 or Antispyware 2010.

Antivirus 2010 is a rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Antivirus 2008 and Antivirus 2009. Like its previous incarnations, Antivirus 2010 is promoted through the use of advertisements on the Web pretending to be online anti-malware scanners.

These advertisements pretend to scan your computer and then state that your computer is infected and that you should download and install Antivirus 2010 to remove these infections. These rogues are also known to be advertised and installed through Trojans that display fake security alerts in your Windows taskbar stating you are infected. Once you click on one of these alerts, it will bring you to the download page for Antivirus 2010, or even download and install it without your permission.

Once Antivirus 2010 is installed on your computer, it will be automatically configured to run when you logon to Windows. This is done by adding a startup that launches the C:\Windows\System32\wingamma.exe executable. This executable will then launch the AV2010.exe and the fake Windows Security Center. Once running, it will scan your computer and list a variety of infections that cannot be removed unless you first purchase the software. This infection will also randomly display fake security alerts on your computer stating that you are infected or have some sort of security risk. If you click on these alerts, it will prompt you to purchase the software.

These fake alerts, along with a fake Windows Security Center that advertises Antivirus 2010, are used to further scare you into thinking you are infected so you purchase the software.

Another new addition to these types of rogues is the creation of a fake Blue Screen of Death. At random intervals, Antivirus 2010 will create what appears to be a Windows crash, but in reality is just a fake screen. These fake crashes are used to further persuade you to purchase the software. If you receive this crash, you can simply reboot your computer, or try pressing Alt-Tab or Control-Alt-Delete to get out of it. The text of the crash is:

“***STOP: 0×000000D1 (0×0000000, 0xF73120AE, 0xC0000008, 0xC000000)
A spyware application has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer SPYWARE.MONSTER.FX_WILD_0×0000000
If this is the first time you’ve seen this Stop error screen, restart you computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
Click to make sure your antivirus software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask you software manufacturer for any antivirus updates you might need.
Windows detected unregistered version of Antivirus 2010 protection on your computer. If problem continue, please activate your antivirus software to prevent computer damage and data loss.”

This is what the fake screen looks like

This is what the fake screen looks like

Antivirus 2010 spreads like many similar applications. It is distributed through online advertisements that are disguised as anti-virus scanners. If user clicks on such a banner, he or she is receives false reports about infections detected. Antivirus2010 tries to intimidate people by reporting nonexistent threats in order to get them interested in downloading this application. In other instances, Antivirus2010 can be installed by trojans and infected web pages without a user’s consent.

Antivirus 2010 is not a security tool; it is dangerous computer parasite. If you can catch this infection quickly enough, we’ve found that Malwarebytes can clean it up. We’ve also found some instances where the ONLY fix was to format the hard drive and re-install everything from the ground up.

Be careful out there – when searching for ways to remove this malware, some of the websites offering a free program to help you, are actually infected sites that download additional Trojans to your computer. When in doubt – take your system to a professional!

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