Behind the reports of phoney antivirus scams
is a multimillion dollar business lining the pockets of cyber-thieves. The threats aren’t new, but they have been growing in frequency, according to malware researchers. Seven of
the top 25 malware or unwanted software families from the
second half of 2008 had a connection to rogue software, according to Microsoft experts. Two in particular Win32/FakeXPA and Win32/FakeSecSen—were detected by Microsoft on more than 1.5 million computers. The prevalence of the scams is driven by the profits. In a report in March, Finjan uncovered a rogueware affiliate network that hauled in an average of $10,800 a day. Such schemes are successful in part because attackers do a good job of mimicking the look of the
Windows Security Center and other legitimate screens in Windows to give their phony scams an air of authenticity. Successfully fighting rogue antivirus schemes must involve teaching users about social engineering. So it expedient to be very wary of any popup that says “You may/are infected with a virus. Click here to scan.” Any verbiage along those lines. The image below is an example of what this threat could look like. pic Make sure all of your antivirus and spyware software is up to date. Get in the habit of running regular scans. ALWAYS back up your data frequently. Better to err on the side of caution than to lose precious data. Operating systems and programs can be reinstalled, but once data is lost many times it cannot be retrived.