The message here is: do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.
To expand on that point; you need to be sure that any security application you are considering installing on your computer is recognized as legitimate by industry experts. To do that, visit Spyware Warrior, an excellent web site that will advise you what products work and have a deserved reputation for quality performance.
Rogue security software such as XP Antivirus 2008, is software that uses malware, or malicious tools, to advertise or install itself. 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.
This particular rogue security software’s installer is usually found on adult websites, or it can be installed manually from rogue security software websites.
After the installation of XP Antivirus 2008 be prepared for false positives; fake or false malware detection warnings. As with all rogue security applications, XP Antivirus 2008 was developed to mislead unaware computer users’ into downloading and paying for the “full” version of this bogus software, based on the false malware positives generated by the application.
If the full program fee is not paid, XP Antivirus 2008 continues to run as a background process incessantly reporting those fake or false malware detection warnings discussed earlier. To really try your patience, this rogue security software cannot be uninstalled using the Windows Add/Remove Programs tool.
There have been some reports indicating that XP Antivirus 2008 has the potential to capture and transmit personal and financial information, although this remains largely unverified.
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 ThreatFire 3, 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 (latest version released May 30/08), will safely remove a number of rogue security applications.
A further resource worth noting is the Bleeping Computer web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of rogue software.
What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue security software.
- Be careful in downloading freeware or shareware programs. Spyware is occasionally concealed in these programs. Download this type of program only through reputable web sites such as Download.com, or sites that you know to be safe.
- Consider carefully the inherent risks attached to peer-to-peer (P2P), or file sharing applications.
- Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is Web of Trust, an Internet Explorer/FireFox add-on that offers substantial protection against questionable or unsafe websites.
- Do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.