Security researchers are warning about a new form malware that panics users by displaying a fake Blue Screen of Death and tricking them into buying anti virus software, which is also fake.
The malware has been dubbed ‘Troubleshooter’ by researchers at Malwarebytes who were the first to discover it.
The malware starts by displaying a fake Blue Screen of Death. A ‘troubleshooting wizard’ then appears that lists a range of issues with the device and says it has encountered an “unexpected error” and that .dll registry files are missing.
The message also warns that rebooting the infected PC multiple times will result in a permanent system failure.
When the victim then clicks on “diagnose and troubleshoot” the malware then displays a message explaining there is no fix available and that they should purchase a tool that will enable them to restore Windows.
The bogus tool is called Microsoft – Windows Defender and Security Essentials, which is actually the name of two separate Microsoft products and has been purposely used by fraudsters to make the scam appear legitimate.
If the victim buys the tool, they end up paying $25 to the people behind the scam.
The Troubleshooter malware is merely the latest in what is an age old support scam that has targeted Windows users for more than a decade – getting people to pay for fake tools and software in order to fix a problem that never really existed in the first place.
This is also a good example of how fraudster re-use tried and tested scams.
“Tech Support Scammers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was offered as a cracked software installer,” Malwarebytes said in a blog post.
According to security researchers, there is an easy fix for the troubleshooter malware, which involves restarting the infected PC in Safe Mode.
Full instructions on how to remove Troubleshooter can be found here