Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Scare Tactics

The shadow Internet economy is worth over $105 billion. Online crime is bigger than the global drugs trade. No country, no person, no business and no government is immune from CyberCrime.

Currently there is an epidemic of fake anti-malware software on the Internet– which is collectively called “rogue anti-malware“. Marketed under hundreds of different names, such as VirusRemover 2008 and Antivirus XP 2009, this type of rogue software scares people by giving false alarms, and then tries to deceive them into paying for removal of non-existing malware.

This video (produced by the good folks at WOT) shows what happens when a legitimate site gets infected and redirected to one of these bogus anti-malware scams.
Yes, folks, legitimate websites are being ‘hacked’.

The people behind this scourge use many different ways to try to entice you to click– realistic looking pop-up windows appear, offers of “free trials” arrive in e-mail, and “free scan” buttons on legit-looking ‘fight malware’ websites.. the means are quite varied!

As this video shows, the user is tricked into (scared into, really) providing their credit card #  to clean infections that weren’t there before they clicked and aren’t really there now.
* The ‘false positives’ are not “cleaned” BUT, more adware and spyware is installed.
* A good percentage of my calls at Aplus Computer Aid are folks needing help with getting rid of these rogues. Because these clever programs use the latest techniques to combat removal, and it can be quite tough — if not impossible — to truly remove them.. without formatting your hard-drive.
* For more, please read Is that anti-spyware program really spyware?
* One Website dedicated to combating this epidemic is Spyware Warrior. It has a pretty good list of known rogues, and much more detailed information. Another excellent resource is .
* I have written several How-To’s on protecting yourself from malware, and how to clean your machines as well. to see those titles.

From the new MessageLabs whitepaper. (This eye-opening report provides a disturbing look into the ‘dark’ world of cyber-crime. This link is the online version.. you need to scroll a bit..)

Today’s free download: WOT is a free Internet security addon for your browser. It will help keep you safe(r) from online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites. WOT warns you before you interact with a risky Website. It’s easy and it’s free.

  • Ratings for over 20 million websites
  • Downloaded 1 million times
  • The WOT browser addon is light and updates automatically
  • WOT rating icons appear beside search results in Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Gmail, etc.
  • Settings can be customized to better protect your family
  • WOT Security Scorecard shows rating details and user comments

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 27, 2008 - Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, hackers, how to, Internet, Internet scam, News, PC, Phishing, phraud, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe shadow Internet economy is worth over $105 billion. Online crime is bigger than the global drugs trade^. There is an epidemic of fake anti-malware software on the Internet– which is collectively called “rogue anti-malware“. Marketed under hundreds of different names, such as VirusRemover 2008 and Antivirus XP 2009, this type of rogue software scares people by giving false alarms, and then tries to deceive them into paying for removal of non-existing malware. This video (produced by the good folks at WOT) shows what happens when a legitimate site gets infected and redirected to one of these bogus anti-malware scams. Yes, folks, legitimate websites are being ‘hacked’. […]

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    Pingback by Scare Tactics | October 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Download a REAL browser for an instance (ie: Firefox) and credible protection extensions (ie: NoScript).

    Like

    Comment by Pedro Vieira | November 24, 2008 | Reply

  3. Mr. Vieira–
    Foul language is not tolerated on this site. I have left the main point of your comment up, because it matches what I have advised in several previous articles.

    This site is written “for everyone”, which includes people who have never heard of Firefox and/or plug-ins, and I must say I don’t (and I don’t think my readers will either) appreciate your arrogant tone and condescending attitude.

    Like

    Comment by techpaul | November 24, 2008 | Reply

  4. really an interesting news..will help most users..thanx for the information…

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    Comment by mohan | November 26, 2008 | Reply

  5. A good program for removing Antivirus XP 2009 is Malwarebytes. Its fast, free, and good.

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    Comment by Nathan | November 27, 2008 | Reply

  6. Yup, it is my recommended ‘go to’ app for uninstalling rogues. Though I should caution that these devilish programs often appear to be removed, but aren’t, and several tools and methods should be employed if you’ve been infected.
    Also, be aware that the trojan that ‘dropped’ the rogue (you can see) onto your machine is merrily ‘dropping’ other malware onto your machine as well– invisible keyloggers, spam mailers.. all kinds of goodies– that you probably can’t see, until killed.

    Folks, my fellow blogger Bill Mullins has made the topic of rogue anti-malware (and the removal techniques) an area prime emphasis, and he has published many specific articles. (Just look at his “Top Posts” widget)
    http://billmullins.wordpress.com

    For those of you who aren’t comfortable with working from the command line, or going into Safe Mode, and have never heard of the Windows Registry, I strongly advise obtaining the help of an experienced professional. (Yes.. such as myself. It’s my blog, and I can plug my services from time to time. Wouldn’t you?)

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    Comment by techpaul | November 27, 2008 | Reply

  7. I think it’s actually pretty hard to get infected with any sort of malware. Awareness of malware’s many forms seems to be protection enough for me, even years ago when I still ran windows and IE6, I didn’t get infected as soon as I learned to recognize the scams that are out there.

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    Comment by mike | November 29, 2008 | Reply

  8. Awareness of the threats facing people surfing on the Internet is indeed a powerful tool, and – yes – many of the traps and pitfalls can be avoided.
    That’s why I post warnings and alerts.

    However, I find your statement that it is “hard to get infected” frighteningly out of sync with reality.
    Google “metasploit”, and “AV is dead”, for an eye opener.
    Or.. “how big is the biggest botnet?”

    Like

    Comment by techpaul | November 29, 2008 | Reply

  9. Mike, while I admire your ability to spot malware in the wild, it should be noted that scams are only one way cyber-criminals use to deliver malware.

    Clickjacking, email spoofing, keyloggers, website spoofing, drive-by downloads, redirected search results, invisible iFrames, are just some of the methods used to deliver malware that have nothing to do with scams. Social engineering is only one tool used by cyber-criminals.

    Your experience runs contrary to the experiences of both typical, and experienced users.

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    Comment by Bill Mullins | November 30, 2008 | Reply

  10. Install Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from thier website and this utility will kill these rogue anti-malware.

    Like

    Comment by Phao Loo | November 30, 2008 | Reply

  11. Folks–
    This is some good advice, for ONE of the scans you’ll want to run.

    The MSRT is part of Windows Update (and it runs at least 1/month on “Patch Tuesday”) but it can be downloaded/run seperately. You can get it here.

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    Comment by techpaul | November 30, 2008 | Reply

  12. I nearly fell for one of these years ago. It’s certainly not new.

    Like

    Comment by Ryan G | December 1, 2008 | Reply


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