A Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert: The Beginning Of A Virus



Social engineering tactics are commonly being used by virus creators to deceive computer users into inadvertently downloading a virus. One of the most common methods is the fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert. Microsoft Security Essentials is a legitimate security feature provided by Microsoft, but virus creators are using this to their advantage.

Computer users are familiar with the legitimate Microsoft Security Essentials and the ease at which virus creators can replicate the look of an alert is a deadly combination in the fight against computer viruses.

Let me explain in more detail. A fake Microsoft Security Essentials alert is a gateway to a bigger infection. A computer user who is convinced that this fake alert is real will unknowingly allow a more malicious infection to enter their computer. In fact, the computer user actually agrees to having the virus installed without knowing that it is a virus. They believe that the program being installed is going to help them, which is definitely not the case.

If a computer user believes that the fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert is real, the virus creators have passed a big hurdle. The deceptive tactic of replicating a familiar and legitimate Microsoft security feature has worked and has caused the computer user to trust something they shouldn’t.

The first sign of a fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert can be seen below. It is a simple window which will appear on the computer users’ screen. The windows warns of a Potential Threat regarding a trojan infection: Unknown Win32/Trojan. The remainder of the window shows: Alert Level Severe, Recommendation Remove, Status Suspended. The trojan infection that it claims to have discovered does not exist. The infection alert is a ploy to have computer users believe that their computer is infected.

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert: Potential Threat Details
Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Potential Threat Details



The problem begins when the computer user believes the fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert. The fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert has a details drop down, showing the details of the trojan it claimed to have found. Here is the turning point: The fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert recommends that the user click Clean Computer and Apply Action. If the user does what the fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert recommends, the installation of the malicious virus begins.

Below you can see the fake details window. Notice the sentence which states “select the Clean Computer action and Apply action”.

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Potential Threat Details Dropdown
Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Potential Threat Details Dropdown



One the computer user has clicked “Clean Computer” and “Apply action”, the malicious virus is downloaded. Clicking the buttons basically tells your computer that you are ok with whatever has begun downloading. The fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert has disabled security features on the computer by first disabling your intellectual security features. This is the social engineering deception method used by these virus creators. It is a very clever and dangerous tactic.

Below you can see the actions being applied. If you see this window with the progress bar the real malicious virus has begun downloading.

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Applying Actions
Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Applying Actions



One the actions have been applied, the virus is embedded. Now the last step is to officially install the malicious virus. Below you will see the green window which states “Threat Prevention Solution Found”. This is a ploy. There is no solution, the virus is already on your computer. If you click ok you have let the antivirus virus directly into your computer. You will then be asked to reboot your computer, which finalizes the entire virus installation process.

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Threat Prevention Solution Found
Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Threat Prevention Solution Found



As you can see, the social engineering tactic of manipulating computer users with deceptive and realistic looking security alerts is widely being used by virus creators. Roughly 70% of the viruses listed on our site are introduced onto a users’ computer via this method. The computer user has opened the door to the virus and let them directly in.

These fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alerts are the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. They act as if they have your best interests in mind, meanwhile they are meant to cause you harm. Instead of forcing their way onto your computer they convince you to let them in. If you have been deceived by the fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert, please remove the infection immediately.

Use the recommended procedure below to successfully find and remove any fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert viruses that you have on your computer. We highly recommend that you get rid of it immediately.


Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Virus Removal

Virus Lab Recommended Procedure:
Removal download success rate: 98.2%

1. Click the button until the download starts
2. Download and save the .exe to your desktop
3. Rename the .exe file to iexplore.exe
4. Open the iexplore.exe file and install



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Find more help at the Advanced Virus Removal Page.

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