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Scareware, also known as fake anti-virus software, has become one of the most common methods computer hackers use to swindle your money. If you have had a security alert icon pop up on your computer, you may have been the victim of scareware.
In a recent TV interview, I discuss how scareware programs usually look and feel just like legitimate security programs. The scareware will claim to have detected a large number of nonexistent threats on your computer and then urge you to pay for the “full version” of the software to remove the threats. In the second half of 2011 alone, Microsoft detected scareware approximately 52 million times in the United States.
Here are some tell-tale signs that may indicate a scareware infection:
The criminals behind these scareware scams go to great lengths to make their software look legitimate. However, scareware is designed to steal your credit card information and identity alongwith any and all information on your computer. Steps to protect from scareware:
For more info about security threats and trends, please read our Security Intelligence Report (SIR).
Tim RainsDirector, Trustworthy Computing