|The fake anti-virus threat|
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 15:29
How many times have you searched Google for “free anti-virus software”, downloaded it and still had problems on your PC, or clicked on an advertisment that will scan your PC for problems?
According to research done by Google, fake anti-virus software is becoming a bigger security threat than actual viruses. Analysing over 240 million web pages over a period of 13 months, Google found that fake anti-virus programs account for 15% of malicious software.
Users are scammed into believing that their PC’s are infected when visiting web pages created by scammers. The website then offers users the option to download a free anti-virus program that will remove the “virus”. From here one of two things usually happen. Personal data located on the infected PC is stolen or users are required to register and pay for the “full” use of the fake anti-virus software.
In order to promote the websites containing the software, hackers make use of important news events to drive traffic to these sites. The death of Michael Jackson was one of them as well as the recent events at Haiti. Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos adds that this method of “black seo” is used to drive traffic to the infected sites which normally appears on the first page of Google search results.
His message is quite clear. If you already have an anti-virus software package installed, you shouldn’t need to run a scan prompted by a website.
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