Tech – for Everyone

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

Security Alert — An Infection Has Been Detected!

Online crime is bigger than the global drugs trade¹. The Internet shadow economy is worth over $105 billion.  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“ and/or “scareware”. 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. [update: some of the newer ones are now encrypting your files, and requiring a ‘ransom’ for the key. Don’t pay. There is help online.]

This video shows what happens when a legitimate Website gets infected and redirected to one of these bogus anti-malware scams.
Yes, folks, legitimate websites are being ‘hacked’. (It’s called “poisoned”.)

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 Bleeping Computer.
* I have written several How-To’s on protecting yourself from malware, and how to clean your machines as well. Click here to see those titles.

¹ From a recent 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 (Web Of Trust) is a free Internet security add-on for your browser. It will help keep you safer 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 22 million websites
  • Downloaded over 4 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 (new “Parental Control” setting blocks access to Web sites with a poor child safety rating and no rating at all)
  • WOT Security Scorecard shows rating details and user comments

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 16, 2009 - Posted by | advice, antivirus, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, PC, phraud, privacy, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Thanks. This is good stuff, Paul.


    Comment by Pepper Hastings | April 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Mr. Hastings,
      Thank you for the kind words.


      Comment by techpaul | April 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. TechPaul,

    Wow Paul! I did not realize the extent of this problem [Online crime is bigger than the global drugs trade]…

    As always, you bring out things that many of us do not know about. Keep it coming…



    Comment by whatsonmypc | April 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Thank you sir.

      Yes.. and the sad truth is.. that figure is the “tip of the iceberg”. How much goes unreported and/or uncounted? How much can you not put a price tag on?

      Do they even count the ‘little guy’ who got scammed for $50?

      We simply don’t know the true extent of this crime epidemic. Frankly, if somebody really does know, would they tell us? Nope. A little thing called “consumer confidence” is too important.


      Comment by techpaul | April 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. Paul,

    Once again you have written an “expose” that needs to be read by all Internet surfers. None of us is immune from the antics of cyber criminals, and the best defense we can muster, against this scum, is knowledge and education.

    Thank you for doing more than your share in educating those of us who are in need of an immediate wake-up call.



    Comment by Bill Mullins | April 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Mr. Mullins,
      I thank you, sir.

      Folks, the very first website I posted to my “blogroll” was Mr. Mullins’ Tech Thoughts. If you are at all concerned with, or interested in keeping safe on the Internet, his site is a prime resource for information and advice.


      Comment by techpaul | April 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] For additional information on cyber crime, checkout TechPaul’s “Security Alert – An Infection Has Been Detected!” […]


    Pingback by Play “Want to Infect Your Computer With Malware?” - Follow These Easy Steps! « Bill Mullins’ Weblog - Tech Thoughts | April 17, 2009 | Reply

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