What is Win32/FakeRean?

Our friends on the Microsoft support team tell us that they’ve heard a lot of complaints lately about Win32/FakeRean, a rogue antivirus program that claims to scan your computer for viruses and spyware and displays fake warnings.

Win32/FakeRean isn’t new. According to the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) blog, this nasty little rogue has been around since at least August of last year. The MMPC also reports that Win32/FakeRean goes by different names and different looking interfaces and can customize itself according to which operating system you’re running.

Here are some of the fake names that Win32/FakeRean uses:

  • Antispyware Vista

  • Desktop Defender 2010

  • PC Security 2009
  • Security Central
  • XP Antispyware 2009 or 2010

For more information, including a long list of other names for this rogue software, see Malware Protection Center: Win32/FakeRean.

If you have accidentally downloaded this software, you might see a warning that looks like this:

Or you might see a window that looks like this:

For a list of the most widespread threats to computers right now, see View active malware.

If you suspect that you’ve downloaded rogue security software onto your computer, run a scan with the Windows Live Safety Scanner and make sure that you have updated antivirus and antispyware software (like Microsoft Security Essentials) running on your computer. For more information and to watch videos on how to protect yourself against these threats, see Watch out for fake virus alerts.

For more technical information, download Research paper: The modern rogue – malware with a face.


About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. Anonymous

    this program disabled my microsoft security essentials.

    I wanted to notify them about it but I don't know how.

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