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XP Home Security 2012

What is XP Home Security 2012?

Every year, there is a new crop of rogue antivirus programs.  "New" is perhaps the wrong word; often, they are the same rogues dressed up in new clothes.  The 2012 Name Changing Rogue is simply more of the same.  There are 15 variations of this rogue, and the name changes based on the Windows version a computer has installed on it.  XP Home Security 2012 affects systems that run XP, but it looks and acts in the exact same manner as the other 14 variations, which look and act like virtually every other rogue in existence.  Learning how to spot one will help you spot them all.

How does XP Home Security 2012 access your system? There are two ways in which the "free version" of the rogue can be downloaded:

  • Via trojan.  By disguising itself as a codec, an ad, banner, image, or other application, the trojan can enter a computer without the owner's knowledge.  Once there, it deposits malware.  Sites that are especially vulnerable include those with trending, adult, gaming, pirated, P2P, and freeware content.
  • By posing as an online security scanner.  Users will see a popup disguised as a security scan window that indicates their computers are at risk and several infections have been found. Clicking on the ad can allow it to download itself.

Once downloaded, the rogue begins to display popups and false security scans.  The goal is to convince users that their computers are infected by indicating there are severe threats and that protection is turned off.  A typical "warning" reads:

Stealth intrusion!
Infection detected in the background.  Your computer is now attacked by spyware and rogue software.  Eliminate the infection safely, perform a security scan and deletion now.

The 2012 Name Changing Rogue can also block your browser from launching. It will create a false firewall alert telling you that the program is infected. This is done to convince you to purchase the software, but also to block you from accessing legitimate security and/or removal help.

Popups are irritating, but rogues can interfere with your ability to navigate freely.  They can also create vulnerabilities that allow other forms of malware to enter.  To keep your system stable and to ensure maximum performance and privacy, remove XP Home Security 2012 immediately.

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