What is Beta Bot?


Beta Bot emerged in the first part of 2013 but has seen a resurgence among the latest malware threats, according to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). This Trojan infects computers and attempts to prevent users from accessing security websites while also disabling their antivirus and malware scan software. To accomplish this, the bot creates a fake Microsoft Windows message box with the heading "User Account Control." It asks users to allow the "Windows Command Processor" to make administrator-level changes, and claims it is verified by Microsoft. If changes are approved, Beta Bot modifies a user's computer to steal log-in credentials and financial data while also disabling security software access.

Common Locations and Risk Factors

Beta Bot may be transmitted to a computer through several sources. The most common are false links from services such as Skype or in emails that ask users to download a "video player" or similarly benign-sounding software. Instead, they receive the bot Trojan. USB drives are also used to carry the program.

In addition to the User Account Control (UAC) pop-up described above, this Trojan attempts to frighten users into accepting its request by creating a false "Critical Disk Error" warning. As a result, even cautious users may approve the false UAC request. Removing Beta Bot can be difficult, since local malware scans will be disabled and security website access blocked. The FBI recommends downloading a full antivirus suite or antivirus updates onto a clean computer, then transferring the needed files to a USB drive. After running the antivirus program on their infected computer, users should also reformat the USB drive to prevent accidental infection.

To avoid this bot, users should never click on unknown links or open any software downloads without first performing a virus scan. In addition, users should deny any UAC request unless they are making modifications to their own system.

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