Attackers continue to exploit the buzz behind the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest operating system. The latest attack attempts to trick users into using fake key generators that claim they’ll install the software to computers free of charge.
Key generators, or keygens, are programs that produce licensing keys or serial numbers for programs – they usually sidestep piracy laws by fooling software into thinking it’s being authenticated.
According to a post on Trend Micro’s Security intelligence Blog, two apps readily available online, ADW_SOLIMBA and JOKE_ARCHSMS are malicious.ADW_SOLIMBA promises it will install Windows 8 via a browser window, while JOKE_ARCHSMS, albeit in Russian, mimics an actual keygen.
ADW_SOLIMBA encourages users to simply click OK while JOKE_ARCHSMS wants users to send an SMS to a certain phone number, along with their country and operator to activate Windows 8. According to Trend Micro, some of these sites are launching sites to exploit users through click fraud. Given the fact that one of keygens asks for phone numbers and carriers, it’s probably safe to say the attackers are exploiting users via toll fraud, a scam where phones can be configured to send premium SMS messages to numbers, as well.
Malware has already begun targeting Windows 8 since its release just a month ago. Just last week, using Google Docs as an attack vector, malware was found targeting Brazilian Windows 8 users to access attackers’ command and control servers.