Dear Microsoft Windows XP Customers,
[Reference ZDNet Blog by Dancho Danev: http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=2201&tag=nl.e589]
If your installation of Windows XP surprises you by claiming it is not activated and displays Product Activation dialog boxes, please read this post to help avoid becoming a victim of an 18-month old scam that has recently been given a facelift by its author.
Legitmate Windows Product Activation will require your action to Activate Windows ONLY under these circumstances:
- Within 30 days of a clean installation
- Within 30 days of a repair reinstallation
- Within 3 days of a major hardware change, such as installation of a new motherboard; or within 3 days of the latest of a series of minor hardware changes (say, replacing a video card, and RAM, and a network card sequentially within a short time period)
Legitimate Windows Product Activation:
- NEVER displays the Product Key of the installation of Windows XP
- NEVER asks you for any personally identifiable information, such as your email address or birthdate
- NEVER asks you to enter your Credit Card number
- NEVER asks you to enter your Social Security number
The FAKE Windows Product Activation trojan known as "Kardphisher" ( http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2007-042705-0108-99 ) is a Social Engineering attack that tries to trick the unsuspecting user into entering critical personal and financial information such as credit card numbers, birth dates, and social security numbers, most likely to facilitate Identity Theft.
Here are two examples of what the FAKE Windows Product Activation dialog boxes look like:
Please note that Windows Product Activation is completely different technology compared to the Windows Genuine Advantage Program and its two main components, Windows Validation and WGA Notifications, which is the stated subject and topic of this forum. However, based on the many Product Activation questions and problems that have been posted in this forum over the last two and a half years, it is likely that someone seeking help with this Product Activation Trojan might find their way to this forum and see this post.
For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 2:53 PM
- Changed type Stephen Holm Tuesday, March 31, 2009 5:02 PM
Please call our PC Safety line at 1-866-PCSAFETY or 1 (866) 727-2338.
This phone number is for security-related support free of charge. It is available 24 hours a day for the U.S. and Canada.
Detailed information including selecting various regions for support can be located at:
PC Safety & Security Websites
Cleaning a Compromised System:
KB129972 - Computer viruses: description, prevention, and recovery
KB316941 - How to install or upgrade to Windows XP
Install Windows XP:
Now you will need HELP for fighting spyware and keeping a newly re-formatted system free from malware and viruses. Please always ensure critical updates are updated by visiting the Windows Update site located here:
Next you may want to download Windows Defender for free. Windows Defender will help thwart malware infestations. It can be found here:
Microsoft Security Central:
Windows Live OneCare Program:
Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner:
Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC):
Microsoft Security at Home:
Security Guidance Center:
PC Safety and Security is important. The best way for eradicating malware infections is to re-image your computer. It may provide you with a better peace of mind overall. Please take the time and review the websites. There is a wealth of information for protecting families while using the computer. Thank you again for contacting the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program forums.
Antron-Thursday, November 20, 2008 6:44 PM