Revised 04/25/2011, 12:45 p.m.
Don’t Be Fooled into Downloading Scareware – Use Your “Net Smarts”!
Scareware is a type of malware that can trick you into downloading useless and potentially dangerous software, and we need your help to protect against this threat to Bancorp’s security. While we have many security controls in place to prevent scareware, they are not, nor can they be, 100 percent effective.
Please read below for an overview about scareware. Learn what it looks like, what you should do if your computer is infected and how to prevent it.
What is scareware?
Scareware is specially designed malicious software created by professional hackers and distributed by cyber-crime organizations for profit. Typically, these viruses are designed to evade detection and are planted on legitimate Web sites that have been compromised. Ads or pop-ups disguised as real applications appear on your screen and warn you that there are problems with your computer, attempting to trick you into downloading software to fix the problem. Although this ruse may be obvious to experienced users, people can and do still fall for it.
The thing that makes scareware a particularly prevalent form of malicious software is that it is extremely profitable for companies that make it. ITPro.co.uk wrote about a crime company called Innovative Marketing that scammed more than $160 million from Americans alone with its software known by names such as WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner and XP Antivirus, along with many other variations. The company hired hundreds of programmers and support staff, and even set up a call center to attempt to dissuade its “customers” from requesting refunds once they discovered that they had been duped.
There are a number of ways that scareware can get installed. Two common scenarios are:
* Banner ads, pop-up ads, or cleverly placed search results invite you to get a “free” scan of your computer (for viruses, registry corruption, or the like). In...