Tag Archives: Sergei Shevchenko

Google: Fake antivirus is 15 percent of all malware – Is this NEWS?

image When I get into one of my “what the hell is going on” moods, I can’t help but consider mainstream media, and what a pathetic job it does when it comes to informing Internet users of critical consumer safety issues.

Part of my distain for so called News organizations, is based on mainstream media’s habit of consistently “coming late to the party”, when dealing with a technology issue that demands an immediate response.

Take Google’s recently released (April 28, 2010), 13 month study of Fake antivirus software, for example. Immediately upon release of this study, this “news” was everywhere on the NEWS.

So, what’s wrong with this “news” story? Well, how about this – This is NOT news! Certainly not “late breaking news”. Simply because this study is not news of course, doesn’t mean that it can’t be MADE news.

Here’s a clue for these News organizations – every day, for years now, typical Internet users’ have been exposed to this type of sophisticated malware and penetration attempts, just by surfing the Web. Oh, by the way, when you’re giving advice to consumers as to how they should deal with these issues – get the underlying technology issues right. That’s a minimum expectation!

The Google report is only marginally informative, contains limited new Internet security information of any value, and is, on the face of it, not news to anyone who has been even marginally aware of security conditions on the Internet during the past two years. Despite this, I found that every News channel that I generally watch, had a story in which the Google study was quoted.

Selected outtakes from the Google study:

A rise in fake antivirus offerings on Web sites around the globe shows that scammers are increasingly turning to social engineering to get malware on computers rather than exploiting holes in software.

Once it is installed on the user system, it’s difficult to uninstall, you can’t run Windows updates anymore or install other antivirus products.

Fake antivirus is easy money for scammers.

On this site, (like many others), we have been reporting on Fake AVs (rogue security software) since the first day essentially – more than 100 articles to date.

Additionally, guest writers on this site have addressed the fake AV issue. Guest writers such as Sergei Shevchenko, Senior Malware Analyst at PC Tools, who, in his guest article, “Be Prepared for 2010’s Malware – PC Tools Malware Trends in 2010”, offered readers a peek into the 2010 malware landscape and made the following observations respecting Fake antivirus applications – long before Google’s report.

Cybercriminals operate in the same way as legitimate organizations – they’re looking for the best return on their investment. It’s therefore inevitable that as we move in to 2010 there will continue to be increased interest in producing malware that brings swift and healthy dividends, with a focus on new and diversified rogue security solutions and in continuing to employ social engineering techniques.

When the initial “accumulation” phase of the rogue security software businesses comes to completion, we might expect cybercriminals to start using their budgets for establishing call centers, support lines, virtual offices, registering off-shore companies, and even launching advertising campaigns.

Users who keep an eye on the range of security software solutions on the market will be aware that many vendors already provide at least one of these services. The difficulty lies with making an informed choice on which offers the best protection – and that’s where the independent anti-malware testing labs come to the fore.

I’ll stop ranting now.

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Filed under Bill's Rants, cybercrime, Google, Interconnectivity, Internet Security Alerts, Rogue Software

Be Prepared for 2010’s Malware – PC Tools Malware Trends in 2010

image All the signposts point to 2010 being a banner year for cyber-criminals. Being prepared and being aware, while not a panacea, will continue to be a key element in mitigating risk exposure.

We’ve said it many times here, but it bears repeating – “Being aware of Internet threats is critical to your security on the Internet, so that you can protect yourself and stay ahead of the curve. Knowledge is a critical ingredient in ensuring your personal safety on the Internet”.

In this article, guest writer Sergei Shevchenko, Senior Malware Analyst at PC Tools, offers a peek into the 2010 malware landscape.

Cybercriminals operate in the same way as legitimate organizations – they’re looking for the best return on their investment. It’s therefore inevitable that as we move in to 2010 there will continue to be increased interest in producing malware that brings swift and healthy dividends, with a focus on new and diversified rogue security solutions and in continuing to employ social engineering techniques.

Malware authors will continue to shift their focus towards the services, platforms and architectures that are the most popular and offer the largest market share.

We can expect to see more attacks against Windows 7 and other new operating systems as their installed-base grows, such as Apple customers running Mac OS X. Users must ensure that they have comprehensive security solutions to protect them against new and unknown threats.

Traditional techniques were aimed at causing system shutdowns and denial of service attacks. Now Cybercriminals are more focused on data loss, financial fraud and identity theft and as such threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Old techniques are unlikely to become completely obsolete – because often the greatest threats materialize when the least expected malware techniques re-emerge.

We expect future trends to blend existing malware techniques with new inventive schemes that assume tighter social interaction with the public and look less-underground related.

When the initial “accumulation” phase of the rogue security software businesses comes to completion, we might expect cybercriminals to start using their budgets for establishing call centers, support lines, virtual offices, registering off-shore companies, and even launching advertising campaigns.

Attacks will also be designed to exploit vulnerable systems and users by evading the latest detection systems and why behavior-based software is so integral to comprehensive protection. It recognizes that a threat is present and works to neutralize it.

Methods such as virtualization, behavioral analysis, cloud-based detection and remediation will all become increasingly important in detecting, repelling and removing the latest malware.

Users who keep an eye on the range of security software solutions on the market will be aware that many vendors already provide at least one of these services. The difficulty lies with making an informed choice on which offers the best protection – and that’s where the independent anti-malware testing labs come to the fore.

Stay tuned – in the next few days we will be reviewing PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010, and we will be offering you an opportunity to win one of ten free licenses in a contest give away.

In recent independent tests performed by AV-Test GmbH, a leading service provider for IT security testing, PC Tools Internet Security 2010, scored the highest of the 12 products tested in blocking malware, with a a success rate of 94.8 percent.

Followed by Symantec Norton Internet Security Suite 2010, with 92.8 percent; Kaspersky Internet Security 2010, 89.8 percent; Panda Internet Security 2010, 88.7 percent; Avira Premium Security Suite 9.0, 87.2 percent.

As well, we are currently running a contest give away in which you have an opportunity to win one of ten free licenses for PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Anti-Virus. Go to, Spyware Doctor with Anti-Virus 2010 – Worth the Money? on this site, and and get your entry in.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Guest Writers, Internet Safety, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Advisories, PC Tools, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools