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Fake Antivirus Scams Become More Expensive

Local McAfee distributor, Workgroup (in South Africa), has cautioned consumers of the country that scareware or fake antivirus software or rogue antivirus can be the most expensive online scam in 2010.

Victims of the scareware come across a fake pop-up ad that informs them that their system has been hit by a virus and they have to purchase an antivirus solution. The users, who have fallen to the trap and bought the software, later come to know that it is actually a malware that steals private data.

Andrea van der Westhuizen, McAfee Product Manager at Workgroup, states that scareware is one of the most harmful, rampant and sophisticated online attacks, hitting nearly one million people around the world daily, as per the reports by mybroadband.co.za on June 22, 2010.

Further, she states that McAfee Labs has estimated that hackers gained upwards of R2-billion worldwide from scamming users with scareware.

Unfortunately, the security firm reports that it has seen 660% rise in scareware over the last two years, along with 400% rise in reported incidents over the last one year.

Moreover, McAfee states that it is a very profitable business for hackers to earn money.

Further, it is not only "Workgroup" McAfee's distributor that has informed about the unprecedented growth of scareware scams in the past months.

During late April 2010, Google came up with a report which mainly highlighted that between January 2009 and the end of January 2010, its malware detection infrastructure discovered around 11,000 harmful or hacked web pages that attempted to impose forged antivirus on visitors.

The search giant found that as 2009 approached, scareware peddlers dramatically raised both the number of unique strains of malware made to install forged antivirus and the extent with which they deployed harmful websites set up to force the software on visitors.

Lastly, what was predicated at the end of 2009 by almost all security firms including McAfee, M86 and other firms is coming true. All the vendors had professed that scareware would rise in 2010 and thereby suggested users to be careful.

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

» SPAMfighter News - 6/30/2010

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