Fake Antivirus scanners, or Rogue scanners come in many forms. Many alter the properties of your browser window to make it look like a legitimate program, when in reality, it’s just a browser window. Others, executed via active-x, script or injected via a Virus, will actually look like a running program. These programs have a single goal, and that is to trick the user into actually installing the program. Once installed, the effects range from annoying to devastating. These programs will produce false alerts telling the user that there is a virus, pornography, and other items on their computer. It then has a fix it button. Once pushed, they are directed to pay a certain amount of money for a solution that never happens.
Some of these rogue programs are unusually deceiving. Programs like Antivirus 360, use the name 360 because the targeted user may believe that it is directly related to Norton 360. Others use names that lead people to believe that they are legitimate. They even go as far as using an exact replica of Microsoft’s Security center, producing an image like the one below.
Notice under “Virus Protection” there is a listing for one of the most common Rogue programs. Here, they want you to click on those buttons, ultimately obtaining your credit card and money from you, with no actual solution to your problem.
Here is a list we have compiled of the Top Ten Rogue Antispyware programs to watch out for, and a description of each one and their tactics. There is actually a very long list, but here are the most commonly seen rogue programs in our experience.
- Antispyware XP 2009 – Uses a replica of the Microsoft Security Center, as pictured above. Antivirus 2009 comes in many names, including Antivirus 2008, Antivirus XP/Vista and Antivirus XP 2009, XP Antispyware 2009
- Antivirus 360
- WinCleaner 2009
- Malware Doctor
- Spyware XP Guard
- Spyware Remover 2009
- Total Protect 2009/Total Defender/Total Security
- Virus Shield 2009/Virus Shield Pro
- Windows Security Suite
- WinAntivirus XP/Vista
Should you come across one of these programs on your system, we highly recommend that you get it removed as quickly as possible. It has been our experience that the longer they stay on the computer, the worse the damage gets.
By: Josh Borglund, Toptenreviews