Don’t let this Black Friday/Cyber Monday spam deliver Locky ransomware to you

We see it every year: social engineering attacks that take advantage of the online shopping activities around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, targeting customers of online retailers. This year, we’re seeing a spam campaign that Amazon customers need to be wary of. The fake emails pretend to be notifications from the online retailer that a purchase has…

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Fake fax ushers in revival of a ransomware family

“Criminal case against you” is a message that may understandably cause panic. That’s what a recent spam campaign hopes happens, increasing the likelihood of recipients opening the malicious attachment. We recently discovered a new threat that uses email messages pretending to be fax messages, but in truth deliver a ransomware downloader. The attachment used in this…

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No payment necessary: Fighting back against ransomware

Any IT professional who’s ever had an experience with malware knows how fast an intrusive attack can happen, and how difficult it can be to educate employees to be vigilant against such threats. And with ransomware attacks only growing, having information, tools and technologies to help protect your network can mean the difference between serious…

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MSRT November 2016: Unwanted software has nowhere to hide in this month’s release

We came across a browser modifier that sports rootkit capabilities. Not only does the threat, detected as BrowserModifier:Win32/Soctuseer, cross the line that separates legitimate software from unwanted, it also takes staying under the radar to the next level. Rootkit capabilities, which make it difficult to detect and remove applications, are usually associated with malware. Yet…

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Our commitment to our customers’ security

This guest blog post is by Terry Myerson / Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible. And we take this responsibility very seriously. Recently, the activity group that Microsoft Threat Intelligence calls STRONTIUM…

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Office 2013 can now block macros to help prevent infection

In response to the growing trend of macro-based threats, a new feature in Office 2016 allows an enterprise administrator to block users from running macros in Office documents that originated from the Internet. This feature was documented back in March: New feature in Office 2016 can block macros and help prevent infection, and the predominant…

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Beware of Hicurdismos: It’s a fake Microsoft Security Essentials installer that can lead to a support call scam

Wouldn’t it be a shame if, in trying to secure your PC, you inadvertently install malware and run the risk of being scammed? We recently discovered a threat detected as SupportScam:MSIL/Hicurdismos.A that pretends to be a Microsoft Security Essentials installer. Microsoft Security Essentials is our antimalware product for Windows 7 and earlier. In Windows 10…

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The new .LNK between spam and Locky infection

Just when it seems the Ransom:Win32/Locky activity has slowed down, our continuous monitoring of the ransomware family reveals a new workaround that the authors might be using to keep it going. The decline in Locky activity can be attributed to the slowdown of detections of Nemucod, which Locky uses to infect computers. Nemucod is a…

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MSRT October 2016 release: Adding more unwanted software detections

Unwanted software often piggy-backs on program downloads, delivered by software bundlers. These bundles, which you might have downloaded, can include software that you do not want, and some that are harmful. The bundled or “extra” software can perform actions on your device that run the gambit from unwanted to annoying to malicious. The threat that…

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MSRT September 2016 release feature: Prifou

As part of our ongoing effort to provide better malware protection, the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) release this September includes detections for: BrowserModifier:Win32/Prifou TrojanClicker:Win32/NightClick Trojan:Win32/Suweezy Trojan:Win32/Xadupi   This blog discusses BrowserModifier:Win32/Prifou (Prifou). Windows Defender detects this threat because it limits your choice and control over your browser and operating system. The unwanted behaviors are detailed…

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