Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buyer Beware

This is often the phrase used when considering the purchase of a product or service that may not live up to expectations. 

As we approach the holiday season and while we’ve got an emotionally charged political climate we all need to be aware of suspicious emails and web sites.  While spam and malware are always searching for victims, this time of year and the social climate we’re in lend themselves to a more volatile Internet environment.

Recently, we’ve seen more virus activity at our clients with current and industry standard antivirus solutions including third party antispam filtering.  In short, these environments have several layers of security built-in, both on premise and remote.  Still, viruses have weaseled their way onto these PCs and have caused much frustration.

Specifically, we’ve seen variations of the MS Antivirus malware infection AKA “scareware”.  This type of infection claims to remove virus infections on the host PC.  However, these infections are bogus and only made to look like the real deal.  If you’re convinced that what you’re seeing on your screen is real, then you’ll click the screen pop up that entices you to download a program to deal with these virus, albeit entirely bogus. 

What makes this worse is the fact that if you’re not convinced, you’ll pay the price in other ways.  From Wikipedia, “This deceptive tactic is an attempt to scare the Internet user into clicking on the link or button to purchase MS Antivirus. If the user decides not to purchase the program, then they will constantly receive pop-ups stating that the program has found infections and that they should register it in order to fix them. This type of behavior can cause a computer to operate slower than normal.”

If you find yourself in the precarious position of having to eradicate this infection, try  Their free tool has handled this malware very well for us and was able to restore the PC to a usable, malware free system.

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