Author Topic: Watch out for scareware and DON'T PANIC or click too much  (Read 1776 times)

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Watch out for scareware and DON'T PANIC or click too much
« on: October 19, 2009, 07:50:26 am »

This morning my wife was browsing websites and her netbook started going crazy with red warnings flashing up saying she had eight serious viruses.

It displayed her folder tree with the numbers of viruses in each folder highlighted. Alongside was a button urging her to download an executable file [.exe] to solve the problem.

I told her to ignore it and run her own anti-virus software (Norton 360) which did a comprehensive scan and failed to find any viruses.

At the same time I was listening to a feature on the BBC R4 Today programme warning about Scareware. The link to the article is below, but I have copied the main text below for those who don't have the time to click.

Millions tricked by 'scareware'

Online criminals are making millions of pounds by convincing computer users to download fake anti-virus software, internet security experts have claimed. Symantec say more than 40 million people have fallen victim to the "scareware" scam in the past 12 months. The download is usually harmful and criminals can sometimes use it to get the victim's credit card details. The firm has identified 250 versions of scareware, and criminals are thought to earn more than 750,000 a year from it.

During the scam, warnings pop up on the computer screen telling users their computer has a virus, and directing them to a website where they can download protection for up to 60. Symantec says some 43 million people have fallen for the scam in the last year. It is becoming so popular that the rogue software has even been franchised out. Because the individual amounts of money stolen are so small, the scam is hard for police and other agencies to target.


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