Users Lose $150 Million to Rogues So Far, FBI Informs
Article by George Norman
On 17 Dec 2009
The internet can prove to be a very scary place if you think of all the threats that lurk out there. There are viruses, spyware, worms, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, and a whole lot of other malware types. Luckily enough there are security software solutions that will protect the user’s computer from being compromised. There are some people with malicious intent that found a way to make a quick buck by exploiting the user’s fear of getting infected. These people develop and release rogue security software applications and wait for the software to bring in the dough.

Rogues look like genuine security software applications. They are maliciously advertised as being capable of detecting, removing and protecting against all sorts of threats. Just that once installed on a user’s computer, the rogues will not act like a genuine security software solution – and quietly run in the background, protecting the user. Oh no, they’ll start blasting him with popups and fake security alerts and fake system scans until he’s properly scared that his system is infected.


The scared user will then be asked if he would like to remove the infection. Well, of course he does. I don’t know how many users out there would like to get infected or how many users would choose to use an infected computer. But the rogue will not remove the supposed infection unless the user purchases a license or a full version first. .

See how the whole scam went? The rogue posed as a genuine security software application, pretended to have found some infection, then asked for some money to remove it.

According to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), rogue security software applications (also known as scareware because they scare the user into thinking the system is infected) have racked up more than $150 million.

“The assertive tactics of the scareware has caused significant losses to users. The FBI is aware of an estimated loss to victims in excess of $150 million. Be cautious — cyber criminals use easy to remember names and associate them with known applications. Beware of pop-ups that are offering a variation of recognized security software. It is recommended that the user research the exact name of the software being offered. Take precautions to ensure operating systems are updated and security software is current,” said the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Curious to see what rogues are out there? Just check out our dedicated section here.

Tags: Rogue, Security Software, FBI, Internet Crime Complaint Center
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Users Lose $150 Million to Rogues So Far, FBI Informs
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