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Rogueware & Scareware on the Rise with Growing Internet Penetration

Symantec Corp. has claimed that hackers are using convincing online scare methods to persuade computer users to buy rogue security solutions. Rogue security software or 'scareware' is a program that seems to be an authentic security solution. These applications offer minimum or no value and can even download harmful code or lessen total safety of the system.

Launching a report on November 19, 2009, Shantanu Ghosh, Vice-president, India Product Operations, Symantec, stated that rogue security software was discovered in a latest study carried out by Symantec based on data obtained in the one year period (July-June 2008-09), as per the news by THE HINDU on November 19, 2009. Almost 40 Million people were targeted by the 'scareware' scam in the last one year.

The study revealed that with the quick expansion of Internet infrastructure and rising broadband population, the existence of "Scareware" was an imminent concern that would critically influence consumers and enterprises.

Around 93% of the software download for the leading 50 rogue security software scams was deliberately installed by the user, said the study. In June 2009, Symantec found almost 250 unique rogue security solutions.

The primary financial loss to consumers, who installed these rogue products, was varied from $30 to $100, but the expense for restoring one's identity could be far higher.

Shantanu Ghosh explains the technique and states that hackers use site advertisements that exploit user's fear of security risks, as per the news by ZEENEWS.COM on November 19, 2009.

Ghosh stated that it would set up a fake claim by urging the user to follow a link to scrutinize their system or get software to eradicate the danger. However, the user will not come to know if his system has been attacked.

These rogue security solutions not only dupe users but the private details and credit card information revealed during the purchase can be sold on black market forums or can be used in other frauds.

From the leading 50 reported rogue security applications noted in the last one year under reference, 61% of the scams detected by Symantec were aimed at users in North America, 31% took place in the European, Middle East, and African region, 6% in the Asia Pacific\Japan region, followed by 2% in the Latin American region.

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