If the day should ever come when anti-malware applications achieve a 100% effective rate in the detection of malware, or software developers develop operating systems and applications that are fully malware resistant, I’ll have to find something else to Blog about! It doesn’t look like that day is likely to happen soon however. In the meantime many of us will continue to download and test/tryout the latest, greatest, and newest anti-malware tools.
Knowing this, Cyber crooks will continue to develop and distribute “rogue security software”. Unless you have had the bad experience of installing this type of malicious software, you may not be aware that such a class of software even exists. But it does.
Rogue security software is software that uses malware, or malicious tools, to advertise or install itself. Often, after installation on a system, an attempt is made to force users to pay for removal of nonexistent spyware. Rogue software will often install and use a Trojan horse to download a trial version, or it will perform other actions on a machine that are detrimental such as slowing down the computer drastically.
After installation of rogue security software, false positives; a fake or false malware detection warning in a computer scan, are the primary method used to convince the unlucky user to purchase the product. After all, a dialogue box that states “WARNING! Your computer is infected with spyware! – Buy [XYZ] to remove it!” is a powerful motivator. Clicking on the OK button takes the user to the product download site.
Another warning message typical of rogue anti-spyware software is as follows: “System has detected a number of active spyware applications that may impact the performance of your computer. Click the icon to get rid of unwanted spyware by downloading an up-to-date anti-spyware solution”.
Generally, reputable anti-spyware software is capable of detecting rogue software if it attempts to install, or on a malware scan. But this is not always the case. Anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database can be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.
A good partial solution to this problem is to ensure you have installed, and are running, an anti-malware application such as ThreatFire3, free from PC Tools. This type of program operates using heuristics, or behavioral analysis to identify newer threats.
As well, Malwarebytes, a reliable anti-malware company has created a free application to help keep you safe and secure. RogueRemover will safely remove WinAntiSpyware/WinAntiVirus, SpyAxe, VirusBlast, VirusBursters, as well as a number of other rogue applications.
Download from MajorGeeks.com
An absolute must is to make sure that the security application you are considering installing is recognized as legitimate by industry experts. An excellent web site that will keep you in the loop, and advise you what products work and have a deserved reputation for quality performance is Spyware Warrior.
Some current rogue software includes:
- Malware Alarm
- Spyware Quake
- Spyware Stormer
- System Live Protect
Always remember of course, that you are your greatest line of defense against malware. STOP. THINK. CLICK