Guess what I’m doing this weekend? That’s right, I’m already booked-up to remove malicious fake anti-virus programs from peoples computers. A problem that I’ve seen more and more in the last 18 months or so. Programs like these are often designed to trick you into paying for the removal of viruses and malware that aren’t even on your computer. Furthermore, they might disable your real anti-virus. Even if your current anti-virus recognizes one of these rogues you may still be at risk. They are craftily deployed to trick most users by with pop-up warnings like, “click here to remove infections.” The well meaning computer user wants to keep his computer virus free, and these rogues take advantage of this fear. While anti-virus, firewalls, and sandboxes help, education is key in helping people avoid these problems. Know what your AV’s user interface looks like. If in doubt, ctrl-alt-delete to kill a pop-up instead of clicking the X. And of course steer clear of the shadier sides of the web.
If you want more information on scare-ware and rogues, there are tons of websites out there that address these threats (but some of them are themselves malicious). One of my favorites is http://remove-malware.com/.
-Be careful out there-