IT Security & Network Security News & Reviews: Exposing How Rogue Antivirus Sites Snag Victims

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2009-09-24 Print this article Print
Exposing How Rogue Antivirus Sites Snag Victims

Exposing How Rogue Antivirus Sites Snag Victims

by Brian Prince
Behind the reports of rogue antivirus scams is a multimillion dollar business lining the pockets of cyber-thieves. The threats aren't new, but they have been growing in prevalence, 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. With all this in mind, eWEEK is going behind the scenes of some of the successful rogue antivirus scams that have plagued the Internet.

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