Take a close look at the rose image, nestled among the greenery, accompanying this blog post. Is the rose real or fake? Difficult to tell, isn't it. In this case, just as in the fake codecs, it is fake.
Yes, I hear you. Of course you could tell the difference in your own garden but how many times have you seen artificial plants that look so real you had to examine them closer? It is the same with the fake codecs -- the most recent added to the list just today being VideosCodec. Others we have seen include VirusBurst, VirusBurster, MediaCodec, WinMediaCodec, X Password Generator, strCodec, pCodec, etc.
You may wonder why so much attention is given to the fake codecs by the security community. The reason is just this simple. They are not going away, as evidenced by the over 20 updates S!Ri has made to his SmitfraudFix© tool so far just in September. Besides, knowledge is power. The more information we can share, the better able you will be able to protect your computer. Just like the artificial rose, the fake codecs look real from the distance. Take this for example:
It certainly looks legitimate. Want to see what would happen if you clicked on the download link? Take a look at the page entitled, "General installation of Fake Codecs, or . . . how to get screwed the easy way" that Jahewi put together and made available at his Jahewi's Anti-Malware Information website. It is not a pretty picture, at least not if it is on your computer.
If you find a movie-clip that you want to see, be wary, very wary, if you get a message that Windows Media Player cannot locate the right codec and you are asked to download and install the codec in order to watch the movie. If you get taken in, instructions for removal are provided in "Removing Fake Security Programs Like VirusBurst, WinMedia & Other Codecs".