Worm planted in fake Microsoft security update

Malware authors use Microsoft’s schedule to con users.

It's Tuesday, time for more security patches from Microsoft right? Not quite. It seems the malware crowd is exploiting Microsoft's routine of releasing fixes on Tuesdays and sending out fake security emails bent on infecting their targets with a worm.

Windows users familiar with Microsoft's modus operandi will sniff out this scam immediately, though, and not only because of the cracked English in the message. The missive contains the security update in an attachment. Microsoft never sends security updates in attachments.

"Please notice that Microsoft company [sic] has recently issued a Security Update for OS Microsoft Windows," the fake notice reads in typical fractured prose.

It then goes on to give instructions for installing the fake security file, KB453396-ENU.exe. "If nothing changes after you have run the file, probably in the settings of your OS you have an indication to run all the updates at a background routine," it explained

In the signature block of the message is the name of Microsoft Director of Security Assurance Steve Lipner. Lipner's name has been used on bogus security updates before, including attacks in 2008 and 2009.

Graham Cluley, who wrote about the fake security notice for Sophos's Naked Security blog, noticed another bonehead error in the message. "With so much effort being taken by the cybercriminals to hoodwink unsuspecting computer users, though, you would have thought they would have not made an elementary mistake in their forged email header," he penned. "The messages we've seen claim to come from no-reply@microsft.com."

Yes, Microsoft's domain name is misspelled.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags online securityMicrosoftsecurity

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John P. Mello Jr.

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?