Cybersecurity Blog

Fake Norton Security scam loading malware onto computers – 02/19/19



Norton is reporting there is a new tech support scam that is impersonating their antivirus software.  This is how it works, after visiting a compromised or malicious website users see a dialog box popup titled Windows Alert. It warns the user that their PC may be infected and asks if they want a 10 second quick scan performed.

Once the user clicks OK in the dialog box, several new windows that look a lot like a Norton security scan start popping up. Of course the scan appears to find a virus and then asks you to download and install an antivirus update. If you proceed with their request,  an annoying piece of malware is downloaded onto your machine. Nasty business indeed!

Unfortunately, Norton is not the only piece of software the scammers are impersonating. These creative criminals have also been impersonating Microsoft 360, prompting users to download driver updates.

The good news is, with a little knowledge you can protect yourself from these types of scams.

What you need to know:

  • Files cannot be scanned for viruses using a website running inside a browser. Only an application running outside of a browser can perform virus scans.
  • You will not get virus scans from applications that are not installed on your computer. Your workstation does not have Norton antivirus installed on it.
  • Drivers are automatically updated on your workstation. You will never be prompted to update them manually.
  • Closing a suspicious dialog box can download malware onto your machine. Close the entire browser window instead.

If you are at home and get a dialog box alerting you of a possible virus infection:

  1. Close the browser window.
  2. Open your antivirus application.
  3. Run a virus scan

If you get virus warning on your workstation:

  1. Don’t click on anything and leave your machine on.
  2. Disconnect from the network.
  3. Call the IT Service Desk at 403-440-6000.

If you get prompted to update an application:

  1. Close the browser window.
  2. Open the application that needs updating.
  3. Select Check for updates from the Help menu.

If in doubt, please call the IT Service Desk. They are always happy to help.


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