A new spin on an old malware trick, the “Windows Daily Adviser” uses realistic-looking — and totally bogus — security warnings to dupe unwary PC users.
Fortunately, this scam is easily avoided — once you know what to look for and what not to do.
Ridding your system of noxious extortionware
Reader Colin Law ran afoul of the latest rogue antivirus malware.
- “Have you investigated ‘Windows Daily Adviser?’ It’s a messy piece of malware that takes over [your PC] and demands payment.”
Don’t you just love extortionware? “Hi, sucker! We took over your PC, and we’re not returning control until you pay us big bucks.” Sigh.
Windows Daily Adviser (WDA) is a somewhat more sophisticated variant of malware I wrote about in the April 7, 2011, Top Story. (That time it was the “Lisa Noon” infection — deliberately misspelled here to prevent ISPs from blocking the newsletter as spam, and hereafter shortened to LM.)
When you visit a website that hosts this kind of malware, the site opens a popup dialog box designed to look like a Windows security warning. As you might expect, the warning declares that your PC is infected, and it instructs you to click a button to (supposedly) clean up the mess.
But in fact, your PC isn’t infected — or at least it wasn’t until you clicked the button, which installed the malware and infected your machine.