TechSpot

Scareware

By Bobbye
Dec 1, 2009
  1. Scareware:

    Rogue Scanners/Rogue Antivirus:

    What is a Rogue Scanner?
    • Rogue scanners masquerade as antivirus, antispyware, or other security software, claiming the user's system is infected in order to trick them into paying for a full version.
    • Rogue scanners are often advertised as a free antivirus download or free online scan.
    • Rogue scanner typically displays false virus alerts, with instructions to buy the "full version" in order to remove the fictional infections.

    Usual ways of delivery:
    • Email scams disguised as greeting cards or breaking news alerts;
    • Advertisements that offer a free scan or system tune-up;
    • Compromised websites retrofitted to exploit software vulnerabilities.

    Symptom of a rogue scanner:
    • Unexpected virus alerts from a product you don't recall installing

    Examples
    Method of Infection:
    • Exploit security vulnerabilities to forcibly install.
    • May attempt to trick users into installing a free security scan or system tune-up.
    • Email scams: breaking news alert

    Just some highlights here- but any time you're not sure, don't!
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  3. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    I wonder if this could / should be "pinned"
     
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Topic Starter Posts: 16,335   +36

    Thanks for adding kimsland. My thought was to give a broad overview of 'scareware' in the hope that users will recognize what it is.

    B00kWyrm, getting "pinned" is kind of a double-edged sword. I am finding that most of the users 'don't' see or read the pinned threads-but-it gives us a good reference to draw their attention to. Unfortunately though, the attention would likely be after the fact most of the time.
     
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