Rogues Detected on 19 Million Machines, Microsoft Announces
Article by George Norman
On 19 May 2011
Rogue software applications, also known as fake antivirus programs or scareware, are applications that pose as genuine security software solutions and try to scare the user out of his money. They make their way onto the user's computer via a Trojan or by tricking the user into downloading the rogue. Then the rogue says it uncovered all sorts of threats, and viruses and that the system is under attack and whatnot.

This is of course nothing but a scare tactic meant to trick the user into thinking his machine is genuinely infected. After scaring the user (hence the name scareware) the rogue asks him to purchase a license and remove the phony infection or address the security threats the rogue detected. If the user pays up, he pays for a fake program that uncovered a fake infection.

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The news is that in 2010 rogue security software was detected and blocked on about 19 million programs. This fact is detailed in Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report volume 10, the most comprehensive global threat report the Redmond-based software giant released to date. The report details the state of software vulnerabilities, exploits, security breaches, and malware in 2010. Data collected from more than 600 million machines from 117 countries was used to come up with the report.

As mentioned above, rogue security software was detected on about 19 million systems in 2010. The top five rogue families were responsive for the larger part of those detections. The top five rogue families were responsible for 13 out of the 19 million detections.

Just goes to show you that you need to keep your system patched and up-to-date and you need to use a properly good, genuine security software solution to keep your computer and your data safe. When picking out an antivirus application, go with a trustworthy, reputable company. Don’t fall victim to scams and don’t waste your money on rogues.

If you would like to read more about rogues and find out what else Microsoft uncovered in the Security Intelligence Report volume 10, you can download the full report here.

Tags: Microsoft, Security, Rogues
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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