Students, staff and faculty using computers on the Stony Brook University networks should be on the lookout for a virus that disguises itself as security software called ThinkPoint, according to a post on the university’s Division of Information Technology site on Monday.
The malware, which presents itself as legitimate by using the Windows logo and a Microsoft Security Essentials alert, pretends to scan the users computer for security threats.
According to the post, the virus “provides a long list of infections to trick users into thinking their PC is in danger,”then indicates that it cannot remove all the infections and prompts the user to purchase the “full” version ThinkPoint.
The Division of Information Technology recommends that users do not click anything if ThinkPoint appears on their screen and seek assistance from a computer support technician, and urges users to ignore the virus’ ploys.
The post said that the origin of the virus is unclear. Because of this, the post says, “it is important to be vigilant when dealing with e-mail messages, attachments, websites, videos, and advertisements on the Internet.”
“Make sure you trust the source and even if you do trust the source, be cautious when clicking on certain images or links you are not familiar with.”
The post offers a link to Client Support for assistance in removing the virus, and provides screenshots of what the virus will look like if it appears on the computer.