Rogue Security Programs and How You Can Avoid Them

If you think all anti-virus programs you spot are for your protection, you need to change your opinion. There are plenty of rogue security softwares or fake anti-virus programs out there that provide you little or no protection at all. Also known as scarewares, most of these misleading programs even facilitate the installation of malicious code that they claim to protect against. These fake anti-virus programs are created by scammers to rob people of their money and most often than not, the personal and credit card information that users provide to register these fake products are also used for additional fraudulent activities.

The rogue security programs often enter your machines via products like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime and Real Player disguised as needed video codecs or browser plug-ins to view web content. They are seen as links found in spam email messages, pop-up and banner advertisements on websites and instant messaging programs, postings on forums and social networking sites or sponsored or falsely promoted search engine results.

Browser helper objects are other routes these scarewares use to invade your machine. Of course, the users are tricked into believing that the softwares are valid first by using fear tactics and other social engineering tricks on them. Those who believe it download and install the software manually. Sometimes, the software also gets installed automatically without the user’s consent. Activities like visiting a malicious website designed to automatically download and install illegitimate applications lead to automatic installation. Clicking on a pop-up or advertisement choosing to download/install the rogue security software or emailing executable files that are executed can also bring about the same result. Already resident malicious code on the machine could also download other threats and install them such as Staged Downloaders. Sometimes, even visiting a legitimate website can lead to the download as the website might have been compromised.

But don’t worry; you can use Symantec Endpoint Protection, an antivirus product, to detect rogue security programs on your computer. Dynamix Solutions is your Toronto Symantec Partner.

Though it fails to detect the scarewares sometimes (because of new variants and clones appearing every other day), it is only a matter of time before those new threats become old when Symantec reviews them and helps you detect them. Meanwhile, you can devise your own protection ritual. Updating Antivirus software to the newest available version, updating Antivirus definitions regularly, keeping the Operating Systems updated with all posted security patches and keeping all installed applications in the environment patched so that there are no other software-related vulnerabilities on the machines are some of the things you can do to protect your machine from rogue security systems.

You should also filter potentially malicious email attachments, scan all downloads & email attachments with your antivirus program before opening them and set up a firewall to monitor and restrict malicious or unwanted traffic.

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