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Fake Security Applications Pose Big Threat to Canadian Computers

Microsoft Corp. has recently released a security report, which states that during the first six months of 2009, the biggest threat to Canadian computers was Win32/ZangoSearchAssistant, an adware that dodged victims' notice.

Mohammad Akif, Security and Privacy Lead at Microsoft Canada, explains that ZangoSearchAssistant dupes unwitting users in such a way that they download it believing that it enhances search results and presents related web-links following searches for certain keywords, as reported by InfoWorld on November 6, 2009.

Akif further said that a Web surfer might think he was lucky because he had been trying to get Michael Jackson related websites, when the offer(s) just popped up. However, the fact was that the web-links were of firms within ZangoSearchAssistant's network.

Majority of 25 most dangerous security threats listed in seventh version of the Security Intelligence Report of Microsoft (SIRv7) are consumer threats. But few are important for the company, such as Win32.Renos and ASX/Wimad, Akif said.

According to Akif, the greatest risk globally, however, is from fake antivirus and anti-malware software that are normally promoted in the form of free applications for a trial period. After finishing of the trial period, users are encouraged to buy their "full" version, which are also fake. Further, as soon as end-users enter their financial and other personal details, attackers steal them to churn illegal benefits.

Fake security software are designed chiefly to reap financial gain. According to Akif, while the aggregate count of PCs spotted with fake security software fell during the past six months over the last survey, the threat continues to be serious for Web surfers.

Since global rankings keep on showing Canada's slackened response to Internet problems, the country indeed can't afford to ignore them, said security experts. Thus, user awareness in the country about threat and security issues is required even more now.

While Canadian consumers are getting increasingly familiar with these threats, there has to be spread more awareness among the SMBs as these small-and-medium sized businesses are frequently hit the hardest within any economic condition. Security specialists further stated that security de-investment wasn't any solution.

Related article: Fake Spam Mail Announces Australian PM’s Heart Attack

» SPAMfighter News - 11/19/2009

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