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Scareware Volume in October Touches the Highest Level in Over One Year

Security company Fortinet in its "October 2009 Threatscape Report" has revealed that the volume of fake anti-virus software, popularly known as 'scareware' or 'rogueware', have reached the highest level in October 2009.

Derek Manky, Project Manager for cyber-security and threat research at the company and also the author of the report, stated that the aggregate amount of scareware identified, recorded the highest level so far over the past 12 months or so after a considerable upsurge towards the end of September. According to him, the earlier outburst of rogueware was first observed in September last year. SCMagazine reported this on October 30, 2009.

Moreover, the scareware attacks are occurring rapidly, frequently and strongly, according to the report. In fact, it can even be described as a pandemic, as all the data that Fortinet collected show that scareware assaults are globally prevalent.

Another aspect outlined in the report pertains to scams that lead to phony DHL/UPS invoices, fake Conficker.B alerts, apart from scareware.

Furthermore, according to Fortinet, these scareware assaults appear to be extremely dangerous due to several reasons. First, they are obviously fraudulent as purchase of any scareware only leaves users with a useless item as well as a lighter money bag. Second, all the attacks, which Fortinet observed since September 2008, particularly those during October 2009, have been connected with 'downloaders'. Third, scareware keeps on growing more sophisticated with simultaneous evolution towards newer attack points.

Interestingly, the aggregate volume detected between September 21, 2009 and October 20, 2009 was over four folds the amount indicated in the previous report, Fortinet's new report states.

The company's last report, namely, "September 2009 Threatscape Report" showed that scary tactics were predominant that tricked and manipulated consumers. It also revealed a diversion of criminals' focus from 'scareware' to 'ransomware.'

However, Manky had then stated that although scareware grew constantly, it would ultimately start diminishing when computer users became educated about it. TMCnet.com reported this during the 1st week of October 2009.

Thus, according to Manky, end-users must remain alert and wary, and exercise utmost caution while working online.

Related article: SecureWorks Identifies Bank and Information Stealing Trojan Coreflood

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