Rogue Antispyware and it’s Threat to You
Experts are warning of a sharp rise in the number of malware infections caused by rogue antispyware programs flooding the market. Trend Micro, a leader in antivirus and content security software, has reported a “fivefold year-on-year” increase in the use of such programs, which claim to clean a computer system but end up infecting users.
Rogue antispyware, also known as rogue security software, is software that uses malware and malicious tools to install itself or to force computer users to pay for removal of nonexistent spyware.
Many rogue antispyware sellers will appear to be professional branded products, with well-designed websites that lack critical information about their products. With this information unavailable to a user, they have no idea about the malicious intent of the rogue anti-spyware application. Rogue antispyware will often perform fake scans on a user’s machine and report to the user that legitimate applications are actually spyware files. If a user takes the recommendations to eliminate these files, there is real potential of the user deleting their legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware applications, plus other files that their computer needs to function normally. These rogue anti-spyware programs can also deliver malcode directly to the user’s machine.
Some well known rogue antispyware programs out there include, but are not limited to, Winfixer, SpywareQuake, ErrorSafe, ErrorGuard, SpyShield, ApyAxe, SpywareNuker and, most recently, Spyhealer, DriverCleaner and SystemDoctor.
As with any program that deals with spyware, the main goal of rogue anti-spyware software makers is to sell their product. They are very sneaky; one of their common tactics is to make a Windows dialogue box appear on the computer users screen with “WARNING” in bold letters. The user, completely unaware of the spyware embedded on their machine, will just start clicking “OK” to a scan of their machine, not realizing that they will do more harm than good. Never, under any circumstance, should you click “OK” on these boxes, always close them by clicking the red “x” in the top right hand corner.
Rogue antispyware is also notorious for boggling a user’s mind with a report full of false positives. A false positive is fake or false spyware detection report in a computer scan. Because it is often displayed in a very professional manner, rogue antispyware can convince even the most advanced user that their computer is infected with nasty spyware.
As if the rogue antispyware out there right now isn’t bad enough, there is a whole list of new and more aggressive rogue antispyware programs sprouting on the Internet each and every day. These can be slightly more difficult to detect and remove, and often take a combination of methods, both electronic and manual, to do the trick.
Rogue antispyware programs are nasty, underhanded programs to deal with. As rogue antispyware programs are on the rise, computer users must demonstrate caution and always be alert when downloading software. Be very careful with each and every box you click when it comes to your spyware protection; whether you think you’re agreeing to something or you think you’re closing something you don’t want to look at. It may seem paranoid to be so hyper-vigilant, but in the end, it will save you a lot of headaches and frustration.
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