Members of the Trojan-Downloader:W32/WinFixer malware family appear to be utility, anti-spyware or anti-malware products. When executed however, these programs report misleading or fake results, with excessive amounts of false errors. Scare tactics are then employed, as the programs ask the user whether they want to 'keep the errors' or purchase the full version of the software to 'correct the errors'.
Winfixer is made by Winsoftware. The company appears to be affiliated with Vantage Software, which claims to be headquartered in Croydon, England, but registers their website in Chile and hosts their website on servers in Canada. ErrorSafe and WinAntiSpy are two other companies who have re-branded Winfixer and offer it for sale on their sites.
Winfixer can also be found localized in languages other than English.
WinFixer malware may be silently downloaded and installed by other malware (trojans, worms, etc) or it may be manually downloaded by an unsuspecting user from the product website.
A representative variant from this family is known as DriveCleaner. When manually executed, the program displays the following installer wizard:
It then visibly downloads its installation files from remote websites (listed above) and installs them onto the system:
Some commonly used installation paths for the WinFixer family are:
- C:\Program Files\DriveCleaner 2006 Free
- C:\Program Files\DriveCleaner Free
On execution, the program will scan the computer system and display its scanning results. A representative screenshot of the kind of exaggerated results reported by DriveCleaner can be seen below:
DriveCleaner may add one or more of the following program auto-launch registry values:
- DriveCleaner Free
- DriveCleaner 2006 Free