Microsoft terms Windows 8 as a huge opportunity for the company.
Sadly, this also seems to be the motto of cybercriminals, who riding on the popularity of the new operating system have started targeting unsuspecting users in any way they possibly can.
One way is by tricking them into believing that they can activate the new OS without paying for a license. Security firm Trend Micro reports that a lot of fake Windows 8 key generators and activation tools are available online, with more finding their way on the web.
The company tested two different samples of these apps and found them infected with malicious code recognized as ADW_SOLIMBA and JOKE_ARCHSMS. Even their names sound scary! The company explained:
“When executed, ADW_SOLIMBA displays a fake message informing users to click ‘OK’ to download Windows 8 via the web browser. On the other hand, JOKE_ARCHSMS purports as a Windows 8 activator. Similar to ADW_SOLIMBA, JOKE_ARCHSMS also displays images to trick users into thinking that they can activate Windows once they have sent an SMS to a certain number.
The people behind these malware are hoping to ride on Windows 8′s popularity and some users’ eagerness to try out the software. And so far, using new programs, software, or apps as a social engineering lure has been an effective vehicle for attacks.”
Not just this, but some fake key generators also serve as a front for launching various websites for click fraud, while others force users to send a text message to a given number to received their free Windows 8 key.
Basically, all sorts of devilry you can think of.
Needless to say consumers should really stay away from such downloadable tools.
In this day and age, it makes sense not just to have a full featured security solution installed on all computers, but much more important is to avoid downloading applications and software that promise such riches or offer free copies of Windows 8.
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye — or their valuable data.