Personalantispyfree—The Mechanic That Breaks Your Car

Here is yet another rogue security tool geared towards making your life miserable.  Personalantispyfree is a mock antispyware tool with a clearly malicious intent.  It’s not enough for them to infect your computer with spyware, they do it with the goal of conning you out of your money.

Rogue programs like this are a relatively new class of malware.  They combine various types of spyware and add a sales page and a shoddy antispyware program with the above goal in mind:  They try to make you think you need their software to clean an infection.

The downside of this information is that it won’t keep you from getting infected.  Only a 100% guaranteed effective antispyware program can do that.  What it can do, though, is keep you from getting swindled out of fifty to eighty dollars, and perhaps your entire credit account.  That means also your credit score is at stake.

These programs typically lurk at infected websites and in infected downloads.  The websites are typically adult-oriented, gambling, or online pharmacies.  However, every rogue security tool also has a home page where you can get infected, so they can maintain the illusion of legitimacy.

Ultimately, any website where you can click an icon on the screen can get you infected.  The only sure test is if your antispyware program will let you on that page, and that’s assuming that it has already discovered that page.  If you encounter an infected website, you need a better antispyware program.

The downloads are somewhat easier to avoid, but there’s no real certainty.  Most often, these programs will haunt peer to peer (P2P) file sharing communities and downloads of pirated material.  Internet piracy has always had the risk of infection in the downloads.  From the beginning, viruses, worms and spyware have been a danger, and rogue security software has joined the club.

Let’s not forget also that Internet piracy is illegal, so there is the additional risk of being arrested.  The FBI is serious about this, and has shut down some file sharing communities for this reason.  Free music and videos are just not worth the risk.

The programs may have different names and appearances, but the pathology is always the same.  First, you get a warning in a pop up saying that you’re infected, and it may show a scan in progress.  This is a slightly modified spyware program itself.  It’s actually showing you your temporary files, which aren’t infected.  They’re just your browsing record.

The next thing is that your browser gets redirected to the rogue tool’s home page.  This is another spyware trick, called Browser Hijacking.  Now you are given the option of buying the “full version.”  It’s only apparently an option, because it won’t take no for an answer—it just pops back up.  You are effectively held captive.

As I said earlier, you don’t want their package.  I neglected to mention that it also has spyware in it, specifically a Trojan Downloader.  All you gain by buying this is more pop up ads.  You’re better off buying a real program.

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ZookaWare runs on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. It has no ads, popups or bundled software and fully uninstalls by clicking Start > All Programs > select ZookaWare and click Uninstall.

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