New Virus Targets Bit Torrent Users

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Usually, people who download torrents from the internet consider themselves to be a little more computer-savvy than the average person. However, a new computer virus is testing that theory by sending Bit Torrent users fake antivirus notifications.

The virus is called SFX Fake AV, and it uses a deadly combination of scareware and ransomware to convince users of infected PCs to input credit card information. The scareware aspect displays warning signals when your PC starts up, convincing users that they have contracted a serious virus (which they have).

It also scares users into thinking that the torrent they recently downloaded is about to land them in a world of legal trouble. A notification pops up warning users that they have violated SOPA, the infamous internet piracy act from 2011, and that they must activate an anonymous data transfer protocol in order to protect themselves from the law.

Meanwhile, the ransomware aspect of the SFX Fake AV virus locks down your computer’s processes, preventing the user from starting up the process explorer or any antivirus programs. It also locks down any internet browsers. Basically, the only thing that the user can do is to input their credit card information in the screen that pops up, effectively holding the user’s computer at ransom.

If you enter your credit card information into the application that pops up, you will automatically purchase a worthless PC security program. If you run a scan with that tool, it will mark things like your registry cleaner as a “porn tool”, and will cause immeasurable amounts of harm to your computer. Your credit card information may also be stolen or sold to the highest bidder on the black market.

The SFX Fake AV virus can be transferred through torrents and, more surprisingly, Dropbox. If you haven’t already heard of Dropbox, it’s a free virtual folder that allows users to share their content across multiple PCs – or to the internet in general. Dropbox viruses are becoming more and more common, and an increasing number of antivirus firms are taking note.

How do I protect myself from the SFX Fake AV virus?

If you run a Bit Torrent client on your PC, your computer has a higher risk of contracting a virus. There are literally thousands of malware files hosted on torrent websites, and if you accidentally choose to download the wrong file, then your computer could instantly be hijacked by the SFX Fake AV virus.

In that sense, the only way to protect yourself from viruses like this is to scan your PC regularly with a good, powerful antivirus program. Check out our top 10 antivirus scanner rankings at the top of this blog post, and check our blog frequently for the latest antivirus news.

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