Reports regarding fake Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) have emerged in recent days.
MSE is a product of Microsoft, which releases it freely to provide anti-malware protection. The recent upsurge in the news regarding fake MSE has shown that it is no more than a fresh malware threat of which users should be aware. Installing the fake MSE would mean exposing your Windows device to huge security risks.
The actual Microsoft Security Essentials is a real product from Microsoft. The fake MSE has nothing to do with Microsoft, thus unsafe for installing and using on Windows. The distribution of this fake program is through the following formats of drive-by-downloads threats:
It is possible to feel a bit confused by the drive-by-downloads above considering that they seem genuine and harmless files. In fact, the file names would not raise any red flag, unless you knew about the fake MSE. The alert seems too real, even considering that it features the actual MSE brand. The tiny fortified blue castle icon that is common with the actual MSE is also visible with the fake version, thus making it look trustworthy.
After opening the software, which you should not do, it will display a list of solutions for fixing malware problems. The solutions include some of the most renowned, easily recognizable and global brands such as:
- Trend Micro
Interestingly, the fake MSE goes ahead to claim that none of these trusted solutions can detect, block or remove the nefarious threats. It claims that the most appropriate tools for dealing with such nefarious threats include:
- Peak Protection
- Pest Detector
- Red Cross
It would be a massive mistake on your part to try downloading and installing any of these programs. When you install the “unknown” and untrustworthy programs, you will have opened up your machine to Trojan to come in and expose it to further exploitation and compromise by different malware. The people who created the fake MSE trust that some naïve users will do just that.
Therefore, what you should do is to ignore the fake MSE alert claiming to be allegedly from Microsoft. Responding to the alert by opening downloads with the aim of installing them to enhance the level of security on your machine would be a huge mistake. Unlike the fake MSE, the actual one from Microsoft would identify the threats and handle them instead of asking you to purchase other programs for dealing with the problem.