USA Today is reporting on a new variant of scareware that not only inundates users with exhortations to purchase phony antivirus software called “Total Security 2009,” but that also locks users out of nearly all applications until they purchase the disreputable product. Once their PCs are infected with the malware, the only program users can open is Internet Explorer, so they can navigate to the site and make a purchase.
From the article:
It looks similar to the fear-based promos for Virus Remover 2009,
SpywareGuard 2008, XP AntiVirus and other worthless security products,
triggering fake scans showing your PC to be riddled with viruses. But
it goes a step further by locking out access to all other
applications. When you click on any other application a text balloon
appears above the clock in the lower left corner of your desktop. You
then get steered back to pitches to buy Total Security 2009.
machine is now unusable. You won’t be able to open Microsoft Office,
your favorite online game, or even your antivirus clean up tools. The
only thing you can open is Internet Explorer – so you can navigate to
the Total Virus 2009 shopping cart page. There you can use Visa or
MasterCard to pay $79.95 for a standard version. You may also opt to
spend another $19.95 to purchase “premium” tech support services. Once
the payment clears, you receive a serial number to activate
TotalVirus. You can then open your other applications.
Read the full story [usatoday.com]