Tag Archives: social

Downloading Fake/Rogue Software Hurt$

Being a member of the Blogging community has a major upside. It allows me to have direct contact with a great many other Internet users; many more than I would have the opportunity to communicate with, in any other way.

One of the benefits is the real life issues that other users are dealing with, come to my attention quickly. Overwhelmingly, these issues and experiences are positive, but given the current state of Internet security the negative issues that affect Internet users are an unavoidably part of the package.

Over the last year or so, I have written 40 or more articles concerning rogue security software. Here’s why.

adware 3 There is an epidemic of rogue security software on the Internet at the moment; much of it using social engineering to convince users’ to download an unsafe rogue security application.

Rogue security software uses malware, or malicious tools, to advertise or install itself on an unaware user’s computer. After installation, false positives; fake or false malware detection warnings in a computer scan, is 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.

To make matters worst, the installation of rogue security software frequently leads to a critically disabled PC, or in the worst case scenario, allows hackers access to important personal and financial information.

So what does this mean to real people; people like you and me? Let me share with you the following factual stories on the impact that rogue software has on people, brought to my attention by the very people who have been victimized:

Victim #1 – “What do you do if you were duped into buying the XP Antivirus software? Should I take any precautions such as canceling credit card and/or email passwords etc.? Is my home edition of avast! 4.8 Antivirus enough to keep me safe from bogus and/or rogue software???? Please help…my computer is my life! Thank you”.

Victim #2 – “Unfortunately I fell for the “virus attack” after trying to remove it, gave in and bought the XPAntivirus. They charged me not only for what I had bought but charged me again, $ 78.83 for something which I hadn’t ordered, nor ever received. It was a nightmare trying to get in touch with anybody, and I finally connected with a guy with an accent, who told me to E-mail the billing service re: my problem. I wrote them tried to call, it’s been a week, and they still won’t contact me to clarify what occurred. I printed off a purchase order from them when I bought the XP which verifies what I received. Anybody know what state their in, I’ll notify the states attorneys office. These people are crooks”.

banking1

If you are a new computer user or relatively inexperienced on the Internet then the following recommendations are for you.

A good partial solution to the problem is to ensure you have installed, and are running, an anti-malware application such as ThreatFire, 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, RogueRemover to help you remove rogue software and to help keep you safe and secure.

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.

The following recommendations are repeated particularly for new or inexperienced users.

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.

Additional precautions you can take to protect your computer system:

When surfing the web: Stop. Think. Click

Don’t open unknown email attachments

Don’t run programs of unknown origin

Disable hidden filename extensions

Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched

Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use

Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible

Disable scripting features in email programs

Make regular backups of critical data

Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised

Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.

Install a personal firewall on the computer.

Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet

Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments

4 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Browser add-ons, Don't Get Hacked, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools

MalwareProtector 2008 Lies! – Fake Anti-malware Software

Here it is Saturday again, and so it’s time for another rogue security software warning. The epidemic of rogue security software on the Internet is ongoing unfortunately, with many of these unsafe products continuing to use social engineering to convince users’ to download these products.

Rogue security software like MalwareProtector 2008, released within the past few days, 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 typically found on adult websites, or it can be installed manually from rogue security software websites. Apparently, MalwareProtector 2008 can also be installed through Internet browser exploits, or by means of the Zlob Trojan.

As with all rogue security applications, MalwareProtector 2008 was specifically 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. Even if you are tricked into paying for the “full” version, nothing, not even the false warnings will be cleaned from your computer.

When the program runs, a warning message appears indicating that the computer has been infected by malware and giving the unlucky user the opportunity to download MalwareProtector 2008. Rejecting the download leads to this malware launching a screensaver which shows cockroaches eating the desktop. We’ve seen this type of behavior before in the past few weeks with another rogue application, Advanced XP Fixer.

As well, once the malware has been loaded, MalwareProtector 2008 may display new desktop shortcuts, and icons – Remove Popups, Scan Spyware, Security Test and Spam Protection. It goes without saying, that clicking on any of these icons leads the victim deeper into this malware mess. Since spyware changes continuously, not all of these symptoms may be present on a specific targeted machine.

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 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.

The following recommendations are worth repeating, particularly for new or inexperienced users.

What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue security software.

Do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.

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.

11 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Firefox Add-ons, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Internet Safety, Internet Safety Tools, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

How Fake/Rogue Software Affects Real People

One of the many perks of being a member of the Blogging community is, it allows me to have direct contact with a great many other Internet users; many more than I would have to opportunity to communicate with, in any other way.

One of the benefits is the real issues that other users are dealing with come to my attention quickly; the positive experiences and, it seems more and more, the negative issues that affect Internet users.

In the last few months, I’m sure that regular readers of my articles, and there are some 80,000+ subscribers on my BlogSpot site, have realized, that I have written a number of articles concerning rogue security software. Here’s why.

There seems to be an epidemic of rogue security software on the Internet at the moment; much of it using social engineering to convince users’ to download an unsafe product. Frequently, after installation of this type of software on a system, an attempt is made to force users to pay for removal of nonexistent malware.

As well, the installation of such malware invariable leads to a critically disabled PC, or in the worst case scenario, allows hackers access to important personal and financial information.

So what does this mean to real people? Let me share with you the following factual stories on the impact that rogue software has on people, brought to my attention by the very people who have been victimized:

Victim #1 – What do you do if you were duped into buying the XP Antivirus software? Should I take any precautions such as canceling credit card and/or email passwords etc.? Is my home edition of avast! 4.8 Antivirus enough to keep me safe from bogus and/or rogue software???? Please help…my computer is my life! Thank you.

Victim #2 – I unfortunately fell for the “virus attack” after trying to remove it, gave in and bought the XPAntivirus. They charged me not only for what I had bought but charged me again, $ 78.83 for something which I hadn’t ordered, nor ever received. It was a nightmare trying to get in touch with anybody, and I finally connected with a guy with an accent, who told me to E-mail the billing service re: my problem. I wrote them tried to call, it’s been a week, and they still won’t contact me to clarify what occurred. I printed off a purchase order from them when I bought the XP which verifies what I received. Anybody know what state their in, I’ll notify the states attorneys office. These people are crooks.

Both of these people have been responded to privately.

If you are a new computer user or relatively inexperienced on the Internet then the following recommendations are for you.

A good partial solution to the 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, RogueRemover to help you remove rogue software and to help keep you safe and secure.

An absolute necessity is to make sure that any 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.

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.

The following recommendations are repeated particularly for new or inexperienced users.

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, http://www.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.

Additional precautions you can take to protect your computer system:

  • When surfing the web: Stop. Think. Click
  • Don’t open unknown email attachments
  • Don’t run programs of unknown origin
  • Disable hidden filename extensions
  • Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched
  • Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use
  • Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible
  • Disable scripting features in email programs
  • Make regular backups of critical data
  • Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised
  • Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.
  • Install a personal firewall on the computer.
  • Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet
  • Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments

10 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Browser add-ons, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Internet Safety, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools