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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A rising threat: "SCAREWARE"

Scareware is another category of malicious software that is threatening computer users. It uses a scare/shock based approach in luring victims in buying the software. The software will most likely be an anti-virus and the interface and functions looks legitimate but actually does nothing. There's also a high risk that it will infect your PC with all sorts of malicious programs. So what is the modus of the scareware? The numbers of scareware is increasing and they use black-hat search optimization to have a high rank in search engines. They also buy ads fom legitimate website and redirect whoever clicks on it to their bogus website. It uses a "scare" approach by fooling users. How do they do this:

1. A sudden pop-up appears telling the user that the PC is "infected with a spyware, their is an immement danger to your PC, offers a free scan, virus found on your PC" All with the intent to lure the users in buying their software.

2. Through poisoned email attachments that initiates the "scare tactic"

3. They are also getting advanced and very tricky in fooling users. There able to mimick a legetimate Windows alert and it will tell you to upgrade your antivirus or have a free scan. After the scan it will then tell you of all sorts of problems that don't even exist in your PC. They will then offer a fix but you need to buy the software first. They also mimick blue screen errors or BSOD Fatal error but actually it is just a screensaver intended to scare the user in buying their product.

What is the risk of buying this scareware's?

1. The credit card you use in buying the software may be compromised and you need to change it as a precaution.

2. Instead of fixing anything, some scareware even deletes important windows files that render your PC useless and unable to boot.

3. Instead of getting rid of spywares that they claim to have detected, they will instead install their own spywares or malwares. Some even redirects users search in the web through another bogus website to "expose them again of another scare tactic."

How to avoid getting infected?

1. Don't trust any pop-up while surfing the net. If you encounter this type of scare tactic, hit the ctrl-alt-del button to bring up the task manager and close your browser. Don't even use the close or "x" button on the pop-up as this may trigger the program.

2. Don't open any unexpected email from an unknown sender.

3. If you are looking for anti-virus software don't just trust anything you find in the net. Some listed scareware's are Scan and repair, antivirus 2009, MalwareCore, Windefender, XP defender and WinSpywareProtect. All of this scareware were named in such a way that it sounds like a legitimate software. If your looking for an antivirus, here's a credible top ten antivirus review and you can also get a price listing here that offers the best price. Rest assured that the anti-virus listed here are no scareware and guaranteed legitimate.