Fake Antivirus Websites: Lurking Threat Stealing Your Data

Fake Antivirus Websites: Lurking Threat Stealing Your Data

Published on May 27th, 2024

Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, and staying vigilant online is crucial.

A recent report by cybersecurity experts exposes a cunning scheme involving fake antivirus websites designed to steal sensitive data from unsuspecting users.

Masquerading As Legitimate Security Solutions

These fake websites mimic the appearance of well-known antivirus brands like Avast, Bitdefender, and Malwarebytes.

This deceptive tactic leverages user trust in established security software, tricking them into downloading malware disguised as antivirus programs.

Specific Malware Threats Identified

The report details specific malicious websites and the malware they distribute:

Delivers the SpyNote trojan on Android devices. This malware masquerades as an “Avast.apk” file and requests intrusive permissions once installed, including access to SMS messages, call logs, app management, location tracking, and even cryptocurrency mining capabilities.

Distributes a ZIP archive (“”) containing the Lumma information stealer malware targeting Windows systems.

Delivers a RAR archive (“MBSetup.rar”) that deploys the StealC information stealer malware on Windows machines.

These information stealers can harvest a wide range of sensitive data, putting your privacy and security at risk.

How Fake Antivirus Websites Spread

The exact methods used to distribute these fake websites remain under investigation. However, past campaigns have employed techniques like malvertising (using malicious ads) and SEO poisoning (manipulating search engine results to rank fake sites higher).

Rise Of Stealer Malware And Its Variants

The report highlights a concerning trend: the growing prevalence of stealer malware.

Cybercriminals are actively developing and selling various stealer variants with different functionalities and complexities.

Some of the newly identified stealers include Acrid, SamsStealer, ScarletStealer, and Waltuhium Grabber.

Additionally, updates to existing stealers like SYS01stealer (also known as Album Stealer or S1deload Stealer) have been observed.

This surge in stealer development signifies a significant demand in the cybercrime market for data exfiltration capabilities.

Fake AI Voice Generator As Another Phishing Tactic

The report also mentions a separate phishing campaign uncovered by cybersecurity researchers.

This scheme involved a fake AI voice generator distributed through phishing websites that capitalized on the popularity of AI tools.

Once installed, the malware named Gipy downloaded additional malware from GitHub, including information stealers, cryptocurrency miners, remote access trojans, and backdoors.

Android Banking Trojan “Antidot” Disguised As Google Play Update

The report concludes by mentioning a new Android banking trojan named Antidot.

This malware disguises itself as a Google Play update to steal user information by exploiting Android’s accessibility and MediaProjection APIs.

Antidot can reportedly perform keylogging, overlay attacks, SMS exfiltration, screen captures, steal credentials, control the device, and execute commands received from attackers.

How To Protect Yourself Against Fake Antivirus Website

In navigating the perilous waters of online security, adhering to a few key principles is paramount:

  • Source Verification: Procure antivirus software solely from the official channels of reputable providers. Steer clear of links in unsolicited emails or dubious advertisements.
  • Vigilance against Pop-Ups: Legit antivirus vendors refrain from bombarding users with alarming pop-ups. If incessant pop-ups assail your screen, tread cautiously – it may well be a ruse.
  • Scrutinize URLs: Exercise keen scrutiny when perusing website addresses. Counterfeit antivirus hubs often employ subtle alterations in their URLs to mimic authentic counterparts.
  • Comprehensive Security Solutions: Fortify your defenses with a robust security suite encompassing antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing functionalities. Such measures are pivotal in thwarting malicious sites and downloads.
  • Remain Informed: Stay abreast of the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity. Being cognizant of emerging threats equips you with the knowledge needed to navigate the digital realm securely.

By following these cybersecurity best practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these cunning scams.


1. How Can I Identify A Fake Antivirus Website?

Look for red flags like typos, grammatical errors, unprofessional website design, and urgency tactics pressuring you to download software immediately. Additionally, verify the website URL against the official website address of the antivirus vendor you trust.

2. What Should I Do If I Suspect I Downloaded Malware From A Fake Antivirus Website?

Immediately disconnect your device from the internet and run a scan with your existing antivirus software. If you’re unsure about complete removal, consider seeking professional help from a computer technician.

3. Where Can I Find Legitimate Antivirus Software?

Many reputable antivirus vendors offer free and paid versions of their software. Popular options include Avast, Bitdefender, Malwarebytes, Norton, and Kaspersky. Always download directly from the vendor’s official website.