Fake Browser “Scareware” Scam
Scammers are spoofing the anti-malware warnings of popular browsers to dupe Windows users into downloading fake security software, Symantec said Monday.
According to the FBI, rogue security makers have made at least $150 million by duping the public!
Little wonder, then, that the fake security software industry is huge. During the 12 months from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009, more than 250 different phony programs tried to get on more than 43 million machines worldwide, Symantec said in a report issued last October.
Several malicious Web sites are displaying phony versions of the alerts that Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox present when users encounter pages suspected of hosting attack code. Rather than simply warn users that the page they’re about to visit may be dangerous — as do the legitimate alerts — the sham versions also include a prominent message that suggests downloading a browser security update.
In reality, no browser offers its users security updates from its anti-malware warning screen. Anyone who accepts the update actually downloads bogus software, often called “scareware” because it bombards users with endless fictitious infection warnings until people pay $40 to $50 to buy the useless program.
Even the cautious can be nailed by these sites. Users who refuse the mock updates are assaulted by a multi-exploit toolkit that includes attack code for 10 different vulnerabilities in Windows, Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer and Java. Windows PCs that have been kept up-to-date with bug patches will be immune from the exploit kit, however.
To keep your computer immune from these exploit kits, Mad Dog Computer Services offers Monthly PC Service Plans which include updating your Windows OS with all bug patches, maintaining legitimate anti-malware programs, and many more services to fight off attacks such as these.
Mad Dog Computer Services also recommends that you turn off your computer by pressing the power button when any window pops-up saying that your computer is infected and the message doesn’t come from the anti-malware program you have installed or security update warnings from your browser’s anti-malware warning screen pop-up as these are bogus warnings.
Doing anything other than pushing the power button to turn off your computer will download the bogus software, which is almost always a piece of malware that infects your computer. Our recommendation will often stop the malware from being downloaded, but that isn’t always the case.
If you do get a malware (viruses, spyware, exploit kit, etc.) infection we can help you with our Flat-Rate In-Shop Malware Removal and Tune-Up service.