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Malware

You’ve heard the term Malware, but what is it?

Malware logo Crystal 128.

Malware logo Crystal 128. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The term “malware” can be the combination from the words “malicious” and “software”. When it comes down to it, the term “malware” actually gets its definition from the intent of the creator and not in the function from the software itself. This is because an item of software can not be termed “malicious” unless it’s used for malicious purposes. As we all know, the objective of a tool for example software is dependent upon the creator.

Here are a couple of types of malware that you should be aware of: Continue reading

Watch out for fake virus alerts

Dialog from SpySheriff, designed to scare user...

Rogue security software, also known as “scareware,” is software that appears to be beneficial from a security perspective but provides limited or no security, generates erroneous or misleading alerts, or attempts to lure users into participating in fraudulent transactions.

How does rogue security software get on your computer?

Rogue security software designers create legitimate looking pop-up windows that advertise security update software. These windows might appear on your screen while you surf the web.

The “updates” or “alerts” in the pop-up windows call for you to take some sort of action, such as clicking to install the software, accept recommended updates, or remove unwanted viruses or spyware. When you click, the rogue security software downloads to your computer.

Rogue security software might also appear in the list of search results when you are searching for trustworthy antispyware software, so it is important to protect your computer.

What does rogue security software do?

Rogue security software might report a virus, even though your computer is actually clean. The software might also fail to report viruses when your computer is infected. Inversely, sometimes, when you download rogue security software, it will install a virus or other malicious software on your computer so that the software has something to detect.

Some rogue security software might also:

  • Lure you into a fraudulent transaction (for example, upgrading to a non-existent paid version of a program).
  • Use social engineering to steal your personal information.
  • Install malware that can go undetected as it steals your data.
  • Launch pop-up windows with false or misleading alerts.
  • Slow your computer or corrupt files.
  • Disable Windows updates or disable updates to legitimate antivirus software.
  • Prevent you from visiting antivirus vendor websites.

Rogue security software might also attempt to spoof the Microsoft security update process. Here’s an example of rogue security software that’s disguised as a Microsoft alert but that doesn’t come from Microsoft.

Clean Fake virus Alerts

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Types of Computer Viruses and Other Online Threats

The term computer virus represents a computer program which can replicate itself once installed on a computer. Most people will use the term “Virus” for most types of malware found on a computer. Some of these other types of software are called adware and spyware. Typically these are not viruses as they do not replicate themselves.

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