Rogue threat!!! Fake antispyware - antiviruses!
Rogue security software is a form of computer malware that deceives or misleads users into paying for the fake or simulated removal of malware. Rogue security software, in recent years, has become a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing.
Rogue security software mainly relies on social engineering in order to defeat the security built into modern operating system and browser software and install itself onto victims' computers.
Most have a Trojan horse component, to which users are misled into installing. The Trojan may be disguised as:
* A browser plug-in or extension
* An image, screensaver or archive file attached to an e-mail message
* Multimedia codec required to play a certain video clip
* Software shared on peer-to-peer networks
* A free online malware scanning service
Some rogue security software, however, propagate onto users computers as drive-by downloads which exploit security vulnerabilities in web browsers or e-mail clients to install themselves without any manual interaction.
Once installed, the rogue security software may then attempt to entice the user into purchasing a service or additional software by:
* Alerting the user with the fake or simulated detection of malware or pornography.
* Displaying an animation simulating a fake system crash and reboot.
* Selectively disabling parts of the system to prevent the user from uninstalling them. Some may also prevent anti-malware programs from running, disable automatic system software updates and block access to websites of anti-malware vendors.
* Installing actual malware onto the computer, then alerting the user after "detecting" them. This method is less common as the malware is likely to be detected by legitimate anti-malware programs.
Some rogue security software overlaps in function with scareware by also:
* Presenting offers to fix urgent performance problems or perform essential housekeeping on the computer.
* Scaring the user by presenting authentic-looking pop-up warnings and security alerts, which may mimic actual system notices. These are intended to leverage the trust of the user in vendors of legitimate security software.
Partial list of rogue security software
The following is a partial list of rogue security software, most of which can be grouped into families. These are functionally-identical versions of the same program repackaged as successive new products by the same vendor.
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