Fake Google site hides Trojan horse

Scammers have set up an exact copy of the download page for Google's Toolbar plug-in in an attempt to lure users to download a Trojan backdoor.

Reported by security outfit Surfcontrol, some versions of the scam even spoof the correct Google Toolbar web address for Internet Explorer, using Google's own redirection service in an attempt to hide the real, non-Google address.

The Trojan itself - W32.Ranky.FW - is designed to turn the PC into a bot zombie, and is spread using the conventional technique of asking recipients of a spam email to follow an embedded link.

According to Surfcontrol, the version detected by the company fails because of poor programming of defective compilation, but it remains a proof-of-concept in how to attack users using a simple combination of convincing elements.

Outwardly simple, the scam has a clever combination of tricks. Although using parts of established websites is standard in phishing scams, it is relatively unusual to go to the length of reproducing en entire page precisely, in combination with a convincingly-spoofed web address.

The fact that the spammed email appears to come from Google could convince recipients to follow the link.

Assuming that a re-engineered version appears -- highly likely -- once infected, users will notice nothing untoward, although their PCs will have become part of a bot-controlled network.

Google has been attacked in similar way before. Last September, scammers faked the Google search page itself in order to aid the spread of a worm.

More recently, a Trojan attacked the company's adsense advertisements, replacing them, in-browser, with fake ones on any PC infected with the malware.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Scan at 1 Photo per second!

Quickly organise your entire photographic history. Automatically color correct and restore poor condition and even faded photos. And, most importantly easily share your memories with friends and family using your favourite social media applications such as Instagram, Twitter, and more.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?