Rogue Antispyware is Fake Antispyware
Rogue antispyware is a type of software that looks and acts as a security program, but actually installs components such as adware and spyware. Rogue antispyware may also be installed on a computer without providing any notice or consent to the end user. As a consumer and an Internet user, it is important for you to be aware of the repercussions rogue antispyware can have; the least of which is bogging down your computer, the worst is being a precursor to identity theft.
According to recent studies by Trend Micro, the threat of rogue antispyware is on the rise. George Moore, threat researcher for Trend Micro, says, “Rogue security programs are clearly on the rise. Therefore users must demonstrate caution and always be alert when downloading software. In addition they need to protect their systems by using the latest security software against Web threats.”
Rogue antispyware resembles legitimate security software running in trial mode on the user’s PC. In many cases, the developers of rogue antispyware design the warnings to resemble Microsoft Windows alerts. The programs indicate that some form of a virus or spyware infection has been identified and that the only way to stop it is to purchase specific software to clean out the infection.
The programs can be installed in many ways. For instance, the malware author can install the program when a user simply opens an email or views a website. Yet another method used is when a user visits a website with video content, the site may instruct the victim to download a video codec in order to view the content. But, instead of downloading a codec, rogue antispyware is downloaded, and a simple command plays the video.
Pop-up banner ads that entice users to download so-called “required” software also provide a means for malware authors to upload rogue antispyware. The software, which lures the user in by offering a free trial, offers an upgrade at a fee for full functionality.
An increasing number of pop-up windows, hijacked browser homepages, and/or hijacked desktop wallpaper can warn the user that their PC has been infected.
There are ways to avoid infection by rogue antispyware. For starters, only purchase and use legitimate, trusted software. Make sure that if an infection suddenly pops up on your machine, seek a second opinion before taking any action.
When purchasing security software, check online reviews of what is available and read the feedback from consumers that have used it. Always check the list of available software against a list of rogue antispyware compiled by analysts in the industry.
And always make sure your antispyware software is a member of the Better Business Bureau. You can find out by checking for the Better Business Bureau logo on their website (you’ll see ours at the top of our site) or do a search for the company at www.bbb.org
If Trend Micro is right, rogue antispyware is not only nasty stuff, it’s ruthless and it’s on the prowl for you. Protect yourself against rogue antispyware and give yourself the arsenal of tools you need to combat this Internet threat. Get a firewall, install legitimate antispyware software on your computer and scan regularly.