New Malware Disguised as McAfee VirusScan Trial

Wednesday security firm Sophos warned Internet surfers of fake anti-virus software that's posing as a free 30-day trial of McAfee VirusScan Plus.

Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said that the company's spam traps intercepted a wave of malicious emails overnight that claim to offer the supposed McAfee trial. Instead, it delivers malicious cargo known as Mal/FakeAV-El.

"Download a FREE 30-day Trial of MCAfee VirusScan Plus and Be Automaticaly Entered to Win.," reads the email. "Installation file attached."

The accompanying file is setup.zip.

McAfee also acknowledged the bogus anti-virus spyware, saying that it's a new variant of the Bredolab Trojan. The firm also pointed out the email's spelling errors (no, it wasn't me this time) and that McAfee never distributes setup files as an email attachment.

"Fake anti-virus software (also known as scareware or rogue anti-virus) continues to be a big problem," Sophos' Cluley added. "Malicious hackers create programs that pretend to be legitimate anti-virus products, but are actually designed to frighten you into believing you have security problems with your computer (in the hope that you'll pay up for a cure)."

Naturally the best way to avoid problems stemming from fake anti-virus software is to avoid these types of emails--and have a real product installed.