Today I finally got wind of my first piece of true standard user malware. MS Antispyware 2008 has turned standard user. The version in question installs the binaries in c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\<something>, and makes itself resident by infecting HKCU\…\Run. Curiously, the legitimate anti-malware program (one of the top 3) failed to detect the infector.
Obviously, this version is much easier to remove than the ones that require admin privileges. However, MS Antispyware is not about being hard to remove. It just needs to run until the user pays for the privilege, and more than likely, even as a standard user, many people will fall for it.
On a somewhat unrelated note, just as I was wondering who would fall for these types of scams, I met a real person that did; a not-particularly-well-off disabled retiree who was scammed out of $5000 by an organized crime ring that claims to have won you a lottery, as long as you just pay them for the ticket first. That particular scam was run partially by phone and partially online. And, the scumbags apparently didn’t think they had scammed her out of enough money so they kept calling her even after she sent them the money. I advised her to call Rob McKenna’s office (Attorney General of Washington State). Mr. McKenna’s office stated that they felt horrible for her. Apparently that was about all the comfort they could give. I must say that level of action was not particularly impressive, and does not really live up to Mr. McKenna’s campaign promises of cracking down on scammers.