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Print 56 comment(s) - last by SpaceJumper.. on Oct 22 at 4:58 PM

Scareware threat continues to rise, with security experts attempting to do everything they can to limit the damage

Security company Symantec disclosed that online criminals are cashing in by scaring PC users into downloading exploited anti-virus software.

In the past 12 months, more than 40 million people across the world have been tricked into installing 'scareware' software.  Specifically, criminals trick PC users into downloading a piece of software -- anti-virus and anti-spyware are two popular program types -- that are malicious pieces of software so they are able to acquire credit card information and other sensitive information.

In addition, some criminals create pop-up alerts telling PC users they face a serious risk, then offer fake anti-virus software that can be used to clean up the computer.  The catch?  The software costs money, and users still end up being compromised by the fake software.

"Obviously, you're losing your own hard-earned cash up front, but at the back end of that, if you're transacting with these guys online you're offering them credit card details, debit card details and other personal information," Symantec employee Con Mallon told BBC.  

The 43 million were victims of the scareware threat from July 2008 to June 2009, when researchers began collecting information.

The overall threat of identity theft and bank fraud continues to increase as criminals use more sophisticated techniques to compromise PC users.  Furthermore, even more people around the world are now using the Internet to view bank information, pay bills, and shop online.

Cracking down on criminal enterprises tends to be extremely difficult, with many organized hacker groups operating in Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, and other locations in which it is difficult to identify suspects.



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RE: Millions of PC Users Tricked by Scareware
By tmouse on 10/21/2009 8:08:02 AM , Rating: 3
That is phishing, but phishing is not the only way. Ever heard of keystroke loggers? There are many trojans that monitor your system for fields like logon, password, paypal ect. They store the information and send it out to remote servers later. Then there are the ones that simply stay dormant until they are instructed to send DDOS attacks. Nothing is 100% effective, but using that as a reason to have no protection is stupid plain and simple.


RE: Millions of PC Users Tricked by Scareware
By SpaceJumper on 10/21/2009 4:57:29 PM , Rating: 1
I don't see how you can do that unless you are giving Windows permission to install that piece of malicious software in your computer. I agreed that people do all the time by just clicking yes to everything. That's the different issue, because it is not Windows issue. If you know how do to that you should send the source code to Microsoft and let them verify it.
The risks of catching one is very rare now a day. It is the same for MAC versus Windows. MAC is way more vulnerable than that of Windows but the risk of exploitation is very slim.
Is it just your scare tactic? Could you name the malicious piece that can do what you said?


RE: Millions of PC Users Tricked by Scareware
By tmouse on 10/22/2009 9:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
How do you know if anything you install is infected? If you install anything you give permission, if one or more files are infected your system gets infected. There have been many cases of "trusted" files accidently getting infected prior to going online and being made available before being caught. There have even been cases of gold versions of programs being infected before duplication. Fortunately there have not been many cases of that with the advent of AV programs. Some worms just need to get inside of your firewall and wait until you install something and piggyback on the installation, they can live in your browser cache, (by definition you give your browser permission to create files there, some will auto flush other do not that's how many browsers "speed up" browsing by storing pages on your computer.

quote:
The risks of catching one is very rare now a day


I'm not sure what planet your living on with that statement.

quote:
It is the same for MAC versus Windows. MAC is way more vulnerable than that of Windows but the risk of exploitation is very slim


I have no real evidence that the Mac is "way more vulnerable than that of Windows" and I seriously doubt you do, it IS less of a target due to a combination of a smaller installation base and Apple is not as disliked as Microsoft, currently.


By SpaceJumper on 10/22/2009 11:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
Now I realized that scare tactics, paranoia, imagination, and assumptions are very effective marketing tool for selling the anti-something software(s).


By SpaceJumper on 10/22/2009 4:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
Good computer Halloween story. Good job!!!


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