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ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

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Scareware Scams

Scareware Scam almost snags Victim

…ts of scary things in life, and one is learning that your computer has been infected with a virus. If this happens, you’re now vulnerable to spending money on getting rid of the malware. The tactic of scaring users is called scareware. A pop up tells you “Warning! Your Computer Has Been Infected with Malware!” The pop-up can be triggered by visiting an infected website or by making a bad click. The pop-up can’t be closed out, or if it can,…

What is Fake Antivirus Software?

…their computer may be infected. Often, the popup includes a link to download security software that offers to solve the problem, or redirects you to a site that sells the fake antivirus software. It is also often also called scareware since the hackers use messages like “You have a virus,” as a way to get you to click on their message. Because the idea of having an infected machine is alarming to us—it can mean lost data, time, and money—most of…

What is scareware?

…software that they say will fix the issue. But, instead of real antivirus software, you wind up downloading a malicious program. These programs can even disable the legitimate security software on your device, which can make scareware very difficult to remove. These scams are one of the most persistent threats on the Internet today. They play on our fear of losing data, time, and money and leverage the urgency of popup messages and repeated…

Top 10 Security Considerations For New Device

…r security suites. o When shopping, look for theMcAfee SECURE™ trustmark, which indicates that the site has passed rigorous daily testing for 10,000 known hacker vulnerabilities. 7. Be aware of “scareware” and “ransomware” o Scareware tricks users into believing that the computer may be infected to get them to “buy” fake antivirus software and hand over their personal and financial details, usually via pop-ups. o Ransomware also appears through…

Internet Security Isn’t Getting Any Prettier

…ty of Apple products has inspired cybercriminals to create malware that will harm Macs. McAfee Labs is seeing fake antivirus programs targeted at Mac users. In other words, there are an increased number of programs known as “scareware,” which claim to protect users from viruses and malware but users who attempt to install the supposed antivirus software are actually downloading malicious software. This malware can damage your Mac or compromise…

Be Proactive During Cyber Security Awareness Month

…der and Flash. Adobe PDFs and Flash Player are ubiquitous on almost every PC. Which makes them a prime target for criminals. To update Reader go to Help then Check for Updates. To update Flash go here. Don’t be suckered into scareware. A popup launches and it looks like a window on your PC. Next thing a scan begins. The scan tells you that a virus has infected your PC. And for $49.95 you can download software that magically appears just in time…

Analysts Expect Explosion in Mobile Malware

…purchase smartphones—149 million were shipping in Q4…a 37% increase over Q4 2010—mobile operating systems from the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft are becoming big targets. Malware, which consists of viruses, spyware, scareware, and other digital infections designed to steal data, is known to be a serious issue for PCs. And in response, there are complete security solutions that include antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing protection,…

Seasonal Security: A Poem

…n locate a great deal, near or far. But not so fast: these codes can be tricky. Bad guys can use them to slip your cell a Mickey. Before clicking that link, remember to think: Is that code okay? Or might it be sticky?   Scareware pops up with frightening lies: “Your PC has a virus! Install me, or it dies!” But before you take action, be aware it’s a scam, and shut down that pop-up before you get jammed.   Apples are targeted now more…

4 Tips to Prevent Auction Holiday Fraud

…ll the latest security patches. Any website can potentially pose a threat. Never respond to pop-ups that claim your computer or other device has been infected and instruct you to install antivirus software. This is actually “scareware.” Buy from trusted sources: Some may not like my saying so, but buying from sellers with no track history is risky. If sellers have less than five transactions under their belt, they may be scammers. My rule of…

Approaching Holidays Bring “12 Scams of Christmas”

…Phony Facebook Promotions and Contests: Cyber scammers know that contests and free offers are attractive lures, and they have sprinkled Facebook with phony promotions and contests aimed at gathering personal information. 4. Scareware: This fake antivirus software tricks recipients into believing their computers are at risk, or have already been infected, so that they will agree to download and pay for phony software. An estimated one million…

Introducing: 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen

…e relevant information surrounding these issues in the form of simple, bite-sized chunks, In order to make consumers, families, employees, and small businesses safer and more secure. Readers will learn the difference between scareware, ransomware and spyware. They’ll learn about the types of cybercriminals, such as black hats, crackers, script kiddies, and hacktivists. And most importantly, readers will learn how to protect their identities,…

Myth: Apple Products Don’t Get Viruses

…hat will harm Macs. Until now, Macs have been immune to these threats, but McAfee Labs is seeing the very first wave of fake programs targeted at Mac users. In other words, there are an increased number of programs known as “scareware,” which claim to protect users from viruses, but users who attempt to install the supposed antivirus software are actually downloading malicious software. This malware can damage the user’s computer or compromise…

7 Ways to Combat Scareware

…in time to save the day. From that point on if you don’t download and install the software, your computer goes kooky and pop-ups will invade you like bedbugs in New York City. Web pages may be infected or built to distribute scareware. The goal is to trick you into clicking on links and download their crappy software. Information Week reports those behind a new fake antivirus software have added a new social engineering element — live support…

Scareware Scams

Published Articles

…/report-18-billion-cyber-attacks-per-month-httpowly1cluf-huffingtonpost-robert-siciliano-secur.html http://blogs.transworldnews.com/RobertSiciliano/Post.aspx?postID=86918 http://open.salon.com/blog/robertsiciliano/2010/04/23/scareware_incorporates_customer_service http://blogs.transworldnews.com/RobertSiciliano/Post.aspx?postID=86705 http://identitytheft-reality.com/wordpress/identity-theft-stories/stealing-identities-of-the-dead…

Watching Out For Criminal Hacks

…ns. The scan tells you that a virus has infected your PC. And for $ 49.95 you can download software that magically appears just in time to save the day. Studies show that organized criminals are earning $10,000.00 a day from scareware. That’s approximately 200 people a day getting nabbed. Some “ distributors ” have been estimated to make as much as $5 million a year. Just shut down your browser and do a scan with your existing anti-virus. Then…

Criminal Hackers Had Their Best Year

…ot without first checking the legitimacy of the business or the individual. A quick scan online of a company, individual, or even the nature of a transaction can often provide enough information to make an informed decision. Scareware was also a big player. Studies show that organized criminals are earning $10,000.00 a day from scareware. That’s approximately 200 people a day getting nabbed. Some “ distributors ” have been estimated to make as…

Scareware Incorporates Customer Service

…the bad guy. Real scammers on the other end of chat have the ability to offer live remote access support instructed by support to click a link initiating remote access to their PC. The best way to prevent seeing a pop-up for scareware is using the latest Firefox or Internet Exploer browser. An updated browser lets few, if any pop-ups through. No pop-ups, no scareware. If you are using another browser and a pop-up –pops-up, shut down your…

Personal Security: Scareware Scares You In To Paying

…‘scareware’. If one could have a favorite scam, for me, it would be “scareware.” My reasoning is it’s one of the few scams that actually gets through to me. My computer’s defenses are pretty good, but I still see scareware. They’ve even taken my blog posts and used my name to launch scareware in Google News Alerts. I have some criminal hacker’s attention and he created scareware in honor of lil’ ole me! Web pages may be infected or…

Week of FUD; Hackers breach electric grid, Conficker sells out, Obama has a plan

…n the past 6 months in response to attacks on the government’s computers. This is part reactionary and part proactive. Wired reports that Conficker is now a lame spambot, selling fake Internet security software in the form ofscareware. I’m going to shut up about Conficker, for the most part, unless this thing does something that impresses me. Bob Sullivan points out today in “Why all the cyber-scares?” (as I did earlier this week)…

WWW. Weird Wild Web Goes Nutty

…egenerates worked together to extort money from teenagers in exchange for stolen images. They allegedly gained access to computers using a variety of e-mail addresses and screen names. Conficker is spawning new hacks such as Scareware as Scammers are taking advantage of the huge interest in the impending “activation” of the Conficker superworm by poisoning search engine results. Washington Post reports experts have discovered a…

Identity Theft Expert; Scareware Scares You Into Paying

…ert If one could have a favorite scam, for me it would be “scareware.” My reasoning for this is thats it’s one of the few scams that actually gets through to me. My defenses are pretty good, but I still see scareware. They’ve even taken my blog posts and used my name to launch scareware in Google News Alerts. I got some criminal hacker’s attention and he created scareware in honor of lil’ ole me! Web pages may be infected…

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