Microsoft: Don't Be Fooled by Fake Security Suite

By now you've certainly heard of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), the free antivirus program hailing from Redmond and intended to replace Windows Live OneCare. Looking to capitalize on MSE's brand recognition, there's a rogue program making the rounds called "Security Essentials 2010."

If the screenshot above looks at all familiar to you, then your system has been infected with a trojan called TrojanDownloader:Win32/Fakeinit. Microsoft describes this as a "fake scanner that informs the user that they need to pay money to register the software and remove these non-existent threats," but that's not all it does. It also terminates certain processes, alters the registry to cut off access to the Task Manager (among other things), lowers your security settings, redirects your Web browser, and changes your background image to one of an ominous spyware warning.

We've seen this one ourselves and can tell you it's a particularly nasty strain designed to force you into submission, both by hampering your PC and hitting you with repeated pop-ups. You may also see this one masquerading under a different name, such as Internet Security 2010, though the main interface looks otherwise identical.

See here for an extensive list what this one does, as well as Microsoft's list of preventative measures.