Fake codecs that drop widely spread malware

In April, 2006, we wrote about fake codecs for Windows Media Player. Emcodec and Vcodec, purportedly useful applications, were actually malicious trojans designed to trick people into infecting their systems with widely spread parasites like SpywareQuake or SpyFalcon.

The today’s list of prevalent malware does not end with Spy Falcon. There are other nasty infections like VirusBurst, Antispyware Soldier, SpyHeal, etc. But guess what? Each of them is being installed by the same fake codecs without user knowledge and consent.

However, Emcodec and Vcodec are not the only ones. A lot of new fake codecs have appeared recently. According to Sunbelt Software, makers of the CounterSpy spyware remover, 24 new sites distributing harmful codecs have been discovered in past few months. The list is below. DO NOT TRUST any of these codecs and DO NOT GO to any of these sites:

dvd codec – dvdcodec [dot] net
Emcodec – emcodec [dot] com
Emedia Codec – emediacodec [dot] com
Imedia Codec – imediacodec [dot] com
iCodecPack – icodecpack [dot] com
Intcodec – intcodec [dot] com
Media-Codec – media-codec [dot] com, mediacodec [dot] net, media-codec [dot] net
Movscodec – movscodec [dot] com
Mpgcodec – mpgcodec [dot] com
Nvidcodec – nvidcodec [dot] com
Pcodec – pcodec [dot] com
Player Codec – playercodec [dot] net
Svideocodec – svideocodec [dot] com
V-codec – vcodec [dot] com, v-codec [dot] com, vcodecdownload [dot] com, vcodec-download [dot] com, vcodecget [dot] com, vcodec-get [dot] com, vcodecpull [dot] com
Vicodec – vicodec [dot] com
Vidcodec – vidcodec [dot] com
Vidscodec – vidscodec [dot] com
zCodec – zcodec [dot] com

Why those sites have not been shut down yet? That’s a good question. Everybody knows they are bad, but the hosting companies on which servers they are, do nothing at all. It seems that fake codecs will keep deceiving Internet users for quite a long time.

Another problem with fake codecs is that new sites appear continuously, and the old ones often change addresses, so it is quite difficult to block all of them without cutting off access to legitimate web sites hosted at the same web hosting companies.

Still and all, each Internet user should beware of fake codecs for Windows Media Player or any other application. NEVER download any codecs that you didn’t hear about. Even if you did, check twice before running the file. Moreover, it is highly recommended to avoid any codecs at all. If Windows Media Player cannot play your favorite movie, get VLC media player, a popular and free program that supports all common video and audio formats and does not require any additional codecs or plug-ins.

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