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New Scareware Pretends to be De-Fragmentation Programs

Security researchers from Symantec say that there has been a temporary shift of scareware purveyors from the common fake anti-virus idea to unleashing fresh rogue items which pretend to be de-fragmentation programs.

According to these researchers, it was during October 2010 (second half) that the above programs began emerging and from then on they have become more widespread with fresh variants getting spotted every day.

Explains Symantec that following the planting of these rogue programs a scan is performed on the infected computers after which they suggest for carrying out a de-fragmentation process. And if the computer operators acquiesce, these programs start imitating real de-fragmentation applications.

Elaborating on this scam, Researcher Hon Lau at Symantec stated that the rogue programs prompted users for executing the process of de-fragmentation that subsequently falsely took the system to 'safe mode' as well as further acted to solve certain problems. Softpedia.com published this on December 1, 2010.

Lau added that just like users would anticipate, certain severe problems continued to stay that suggested that the rogue de-fragmentation programs be executed after paying a fee prior to actually solving them.

Emphasizes Symantec that the programs so far have been appearing in names such as Trojan.FakeAV!gen28, UltraDefragger, and Trojan.FakeAV.

Meanwhile, according to the company, Windows by default arrives packed with various tools of which some are used to de-fragment disks as well as clean them in general. Naturally, users are suggested that they utilize such tools for enhancing their systems' performance and thereby solve problems prior to taking help from 3rd-party programs.

Worryingly, because of scareware campaigns like the aforementioned type, scareware items are on the rise. Scams based on fake anti-virus themes currently account for 12% of the total malicious programs spotted online, reveals the most recent study by Panda Security a cloud-based security company, which outlines that the phenomenon has grown massively during the last 3 years (2008-10).

In fact, the security company emphasized that in spite of rogue anti-virus campaigns doing the rounds during the recent years, in 2010 alone, scareware accounted for 40% of the total malware indicating that they're now cyber-criminals' most favorite weapon.

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