How Win32/FakeSysdef Corrupts Your Computer

Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group, which publishes the biannual Security Intelligence Report (of which I am a contributing author and reviewer) has published a new video entitled “How Win32/FakeSysdef Corrupts your Computer.”  In it, it shows screenshots of what happens when it infects your computer and tricks you into thinking you’ve done a system scan and optimization when in reality you have been infected with malware.  The video then shows you how to get rid of the infection.

At the end, there is some brief advice about how to keep your system secure.  I’ll reprint and rephrase those below:

  • Keep all software on your systems updated, this includes Microsoft as well as 3rd party. 

  • Use Microsoft Update, which updates all of your Microsoft software.  To see if your browser is running all of the up-to-date patches, you can scan it with this free add-in from Qualys. This is true whether you are running Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox.
  • Run anti-virus software from a trusted vendor.  I usually recommend Microsoft Security Essentials because it is free and lightweight.
  • Upgrade your version of Windows if you are using Windows XP (this one is my editorial comment).

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