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Fresh Scareware Scam Launches False Security Warnings from Firefox

According to investigators at Sophos the security company, a fresh online scam is presently attacking Firefox users with scareware.

Notably, Firefox utilizes the Safe Browsing Application Programming Interface of Google for blocking access to websites which Google labels as malevolent. Further, with Safe Browsing, data is gathered from the specialized crawlers of Google as well as from different intermediary entities.

Significantly, whenever an illegitimate website is viewed within Firefox, a security warning pops up in the browser telling the Web-surfer that his request has been blocked, while a list of alternatives gets displayed.

State the investigators that the perpetrators of the new scareware scam seem to have made a replica of the website as well as altered it to show like a scrutiny has been done on the PC that has found infections.

The phishing website then suggests Mozilla's Firefox users to load appropriate application for safeguarding their PCs, and also offers them a button -"Start Protection" for the purpose.

Remarking about the above malicious campaign, Senior Security Advisor Chester Wisniewski at Sophos stated that clicking "Start Protection" downloaded the most recent and harmful rogue anti-virus software that did exactly what such software was expected to do that is it spotted non-existent viruses on the infected PC and convinced the user to buy its licensed version for at least $80. Nakedsecurity.sophos.com published this on May 30, 2011.

The security expert further stated that any Firefox user who saw an alert of viruses on his system need to understand that it was false. For, there wasn't any virus scanner within Firefox which merely cautioned users of malicious websites. Thus anytime an alert of a perilous site appeared inside Firefox, the user simply required shutting the browser, Wisniewski added.

And because the above kind of scareware scams were so malicious, security specialists suggested end-users whose PCs might already be contaminated that they needn't go for a hard drive reformat. Instead they should do a PC scan with up-to-date AV software, else opt for 'system restore;' take the computer to safe mode followed with bringing it back to its original configuration, Wisniewski concluded.

Related article: Fark.com Files Suit against Suspected Hacker from Fox13

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