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Bogus Anti-Virus Apps are Being Heavily Circulated

As per Rik Ferguson, Trend Micro's Solutions Architect, fake anti-virus (FAKE AV) applications have been present for quite some years now, but there have been indications that hackers are circulating the scareware apps more extensively, as per the news published by infosecurity.com on May 20, 2010.

For elaborating his point, Ferguson cited the research conducted by Robert McArdle, Senior malware Researcher in the research division of Trend Micro. As per the research by McArdle, in the span of one year, a group of cybercriminal produced almost $180 Million from the malware, which hit victims in minimum 30 countries across the world.

Ferguson said that when people are asked why they paid for harmful software, they reply that they did not even know it was harmful, as per the news by countermeasures.trendmicro.eu on May 18, 2010.

As per Ferguson, the gang makes persuasive fake security software to make people believe that their system is actually severely infected. These FAKEAV applications are then promoted by making web pages which rank at the top in search results for newsworthy events or famous search terms. As soon as the user clicks the malevolent search result, a pop-up message emerges and initiates the infection sequence.

In his blog, Ferguson has posted a video of the scam in operation for explaining it more directly and has been asked by the reader about the methods adopted by hackers for making huge amount of money.

Ferguson responded that the bogus result frightens the user who is then urged to pay for the complete version of the "security" software in order to clean the malware that never existed in reality.

In this way, the user ends up revealing his credit card details, installing malware on his/her system and paying around $50-$100 for the rogue security software.

Ferguson also stated that if, for example, one gang is able to redirect 100,000 searches and just 1% users fall into their trap and make payment for the fake product, they would earn $50,000 for just one day of work.

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