In the beginning of 2009, there was a sudden increase in new form of malware being distributed. The bad guys are now getting smarter by the day, giving rise to a new breed of attacks being carried out. All the attacks have one common thing though - they exploit victims paranoia for malware !
Almost every month there is a new variant of these so called security or Antivirus programs. These fake security programs pretend to do a scan of your system and claim that the machine is infected with lot of malware, when the fact is that there is none ! Some of the screens shown are so convincing that any one not having an antivirus will easily fall for it.
They all boast the WinXP/Vista look and feel. While some of them will trick you into downloading more malware, others will try to scare you into spending $30-80 to buy fake protection. They also supply the Visa, MasterCard and PayPal payment mechanisms that enable consumers to pay.
This takes fake security programs to the next level. Now apart from those irritating screens that show that the machine is infected, the malware locks and prevents other programs from running including Task Manager, Command Prompt or other system and office applications. There are even some variants that encrypt all office files stored on the system. Now the user is forced into paying up for using his own machine :o !
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Attacks
You might think that all this dirty work might be some script kiddie sitting somewhere in Russia wanting to earn some quick bucks. But that's not all that it is to this story - there a whole bunch of underground syndicates running these operations !! There is an excellent article posted by Byron Acohido on his blog regarding how the bad guys are making profit out of this whole fake programs thing ! Now thats some real scareware ;)