By Andrew Brandt
This week I decided to focus on a rogue that’s recently become a problem. It goes by the name Windows Recovery, though it’s also been called Ultra Defragger or HDD Rescue by other AV vendors. Bottom line, it’s still a fraudulent program which relies on deception and trickery to convince a victim to fork over some cash for a “fix.” It’s just not a rogue antivirus; Call it a rogue system utility. Fortunately, the damage caused by this rogue is actually relatively straighforward to manually clean up.
The gist of this rogue’s deception comes down to trying to convince the victim that their computer hard drive has experienced some sort of major malfunction. To accomplish this, the rogue does a lot of sneaky stuff: For instance, it flags all files on the boot drive with the “hidden” attribute, then uses registry tricks to prevent Windows from displaying any hidden icons.
It also moves any shortcuts that point to programs (both from the start menu and on the desktop) into the Temp folder, effectively neutering the utility of the Start menu. (We have a free tool that can fix this.) And it uses the Registry to disable the user’s ability to open the Task Manager, changes the system wallpaper (and prevents you from changing that wallpaper), and hides the entire desktop from view. (And we have another free tool that can fix this, too.)