Fake anti-virus software a growing online threat: Google

Apr 27, 2010
Google said Tuesday that fake software security programs rigged to infect computers are a growing online threat with hackers tricking people into installing nefarious code on machines.

Google said Tuesday that fake software security programs rigged to infect computers are a growing online threat with hackers tricking people into installing nefarious code on machines.

An analysis of 240 million by the Internet search giant during the past 13 months revealed that fake anti-virus programs accounted for 15 percent of malicious software it detected.

"The Fake AV threat is rising in prevalence, both absolutely and relative to other forms of Web-based malware," Google said in its findings.

"Clearly, there is a definitive upward trend in the number of new Fake AV domains that we encounter each week."

Fake anti-virus (AV) peddlers rig websites to frighten visitors with pop-up messages warning that supposed scans have found dangerous on machines.

The scam goes on by selling victims programs that hackers claim will fix the purported problems but which in fact usually plant nefarious computer code on machines.

Such transactions can also leave credit card information in the hands of cyber crooks.

"Surprisingly, many users fall victim to these attacks and pay to register the Fake AV," Google said.

"To add insult to injury, Fake AVs often are bundled with other malware, which remains on a victim’s computer regardless of whether a payment is made."

has refined tools to filter out booby-trapped Websites and hackers have evidently responded by flitting from one domain name to another.

Explore further: Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Worms infesting computers worldwide: Microsoft

Nov 02, 2009

A Microsoft security report released Monday warns that cyber crooks are digging into computers for weak spots to penetrate with worms -- malicious software that steals control or data.

Cyber-crooks targeting social-networking websites

Mar 03, 2009

Computer security specialists warn that Facebook users have been hit with a series of data-stealing attacks in the past week as cyber crooks increasingly stalk social-networking websites.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

10 hours ago

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

17 hours ago

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

A Closer Look: Your (online) life after death

Sep 16, 2014

Sure, you have a lot to do today—laundry, bills, dinner—but it's never too early to start planning for your digital afterlife, the fate of your numerous online accounts once you shed this mortal coil.

Web filter lifts block on gay sites

Sep 16, 2014

A popular online safe-search filter is ending its practice of blocking links to mainstream gay and lesbian advocacy groups for users hoping to avoid obscene sites.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
not rated yet Apr 28, 2010
I'm impressed how carefully every analysis of the affected operating systems is avoided. Everybody knows that there are differences but nobody seems to care.