Beware! Scareware on the Prowl



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I once had an ad popup with a fake XP Explorer screen (complete with different fonts and out of place red progress bars). I was running Vista at the time (now its 7). I believe the technical term is "epic fail".



Well, no surprise there these days, everyone panics at the mention of a virus that has been found on their systems... I see these ads all the time and get enough calls from my aunts and uncles about them too... They install these things and then wonder why their system gets hosed...

The funny thing though, I got called by a new mac user who hit one of these things and panicked because it was a rendition of the my computer window from xp (seeing as they migrated from an xp system to mac and asked the local tech shop to transfer their data) saying that a virus was detected. The lols I got from that.

- mike_art03a
Owner, Network Admin
Michael Artelle Online Solutions



Personally, I don't call these scareware.  I call them scamware, because they do nothing to protect you, and they try to scam you out of more and more money... 


The Relic

I have never fallen for these, but judging from the number of people who have sent their computers to me to fix after downloading crap like Antivirus 08/09 in the last year and a half, it must be pretty prevelant.

I have told them never to download programs like these (usually they'll get some popup that claims it is "scanning" their system, then (surprise) it "finds" malware that only a download of their wonder program can remove), but unfortunatly fear seems to rule over reason when they see a popup, download, then visit me when their system inevitably pukes.

Oh well, I shouldn't complain. I probably wouldn't make half as much money if they actually listened to my advice ^_^.



My recollection is that a lot of the Antivirus 08 installs were using exploits in windows to install without input from the user.  Not sure on Antivirus 09.

I've also just ran into my first scamware ad where when you click the X to close the window, it pops it back up and trys to install...  Had to end task on Internet Explorer to get out of it... :(

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