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McAfee Stinger

Fake-alert software, also called fake AV or rogue anti-virus software, is malware that masquerades as a legitimate security application. These threats employ social engineering tactics to trick users into purchasing and installing malicious products. Once installed, a system scan appears to run and subsequently claims that the machine is infected. During the fake scan several other nefarious activities occur in the background, including the disabling of legitimate security applications. In our efforts to provide the best protection and support to our customers against this family of malware, we have strengthened our Fake Alert Stinger, which detects and remediates fake-alert threats. This version introduces two features that help in the rapid resolution of infections from fake alerts. These features are accessible from the Preferences dialog box. a)    Scan Options:We have introduced two intuitive scan modes in the Fake Alert Stinger tool. These modes are described below. They can be enabled from the Preferences dialog box before running a scan from the main window:
1.     Smart Scan:This step scans the system efficiently and quickly. In this mode, we scan only a list of predetermined locations that are the most common infection points. We determine these from our analysis of fake-alert threats. User-selected directories will not be scanned in this mode. This is the default scan mode used by Fake Alert Stinger. 2.     Full Scan:This step scans the entire C: directory. A user may change (add or modify) the various entries under “Directories to scan.” This mode will scan every directory entry populated under “Directories to scan” on the main window. b)    Fix to Scan: Often fake-alert infections will prevent the machine from working as expected. This makes the threat persistent and prevents users from remediating the infection. In some cases, fake-alert infections will hijack certain Windows Registry Keys that associate applications based on file extensions. The new detection mode Fix to Scan helps users in removing changes made by fake alerts. We recommend this mode of detection only when a user is unable to run any application. Fix to Scan restores the system to a state in which users can run other applications, including an anti-virus scan to detect and remediate the infection. Users should take the following steps: 1.     Verify that file extensions are visible in Windows Explorer, with help from the Microsoft Knowledge Base article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/865219#LetMeFixItMyselfAlways. 2.     Open Windows Explorer and browse to the directory where the Stinger tool has been downloaded. 3.     Rename the executable file to include a “.com” extension. For example, change “stinger.exe” to “stinger.com.” 4.     Launch the file fakealert-stinger.com to run the Stinger tool. If this fails, rename the file to “stinger.bat” and launch it again. 5.     Open the Preferences dialog by clicking the Preferences button. Ensure the preferences appear as depicted in the screenshot below. 6.     Confirm the preferences and run a scan from the main window. 7.     Fix to Scan repair does following: ·    Terminates malicious processes that hinder anti-virus software from running properly ·    Restarts Windows Explorer to remove any hooks created by malware to prevent reinfections ·    Fixes file associations and other Registry-based policies that are typically altered by fake-alert threats to remain active or to prevent the normal use of system tools 8.     Once the scan finishes, uncheck the Fix to Scan option from the detection section in the Preferences dialog.

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| Security Application | Mcafee | Malware Remove | Fake Alert |

History updates (Complete changelogs since the listing on this site) [11-25-11]

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