We all know that Microsoft wants us to pay for their software, and that they can get insistent about it if they believe that you're using an unpaid-for copy of Windows.
If you're truly using a pirated copy of Windows, you should pay for it, and probably will have to one of these days. But if you have a legitimate copy and are still getting threatening "Microsoft" messages, something is rotten — and probably not in the state of Redmond.
According to a Computerworld article, a new breed of malicious software is trying to convince you that you owe Microsoft money. Let me assure you that, should you fall for their tricks and pay the fee, the Gates Foundation will not receive any of your money.
The malware infects PCs a number of ways, including through spam. Once infected, it will display a warning every time you boot your PC. The current warning is targeted to German speakers, but that could change. It displays the Microsoft logo, informs you that you have a pirated copy of Windows, and that if you do not pay the licensing fee within 48 hours, all of your data will be lost and local authorities will be informed of your criminal behavior.
The solution, according to the perpetrator posing as Microsoft, is a payment of €100 (about $138). With that, they will send you a licensing code that will make your PC "legitimate." The code, in case you run into this problem, is QRT5T-5FJQE-53BGX-T9HHJ-W53YT. Your computer is already legitimate, of course, but the code makes the malware shut up.
But it doesn't make the malware go away. You still have an infected computer that may be waiting for new instructions. That's why you need to use a strong antivirus program like Trend Micro Titanium. If you have this infection, Titanium will find and remove it. If you don't, it will stop the infection before that first message ever appears.
This story, "Fake Microsoft Rogue program" was originally published by BrandPost.