What Is Scareware?

Scareware is a form of malware that uses social engineering to cause shock, anxiety, or the perception of a threat to manipulate users into buying unwanted software. Scareware is part of a class of malicious software that includes rogue security software, ransomware and other scam software that tricks users into believing their computer is infected with a virus, then suggests that they download and pay for fake antivirus software to remove it. Usually, the virus is fictional and the software is non-functional or malware itself.

According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the number of scareware packages in circulation rose from 2,850 to 9,287 in the second half of 2008. In the first half of 2009, the APWG identified a 585% increase in scareware programs. It is also known as "rogue scanner" software or "fraudware". Scareware and rogue scanners have become a multimillion-dollar scam business, and thousands of users fall for this online scam every month. Preying on people's fear and lack of technical knowledge, scareware products will bilk a person for $19.95, just by displaying a bogus screen of a virus attack.
Scareware commonly generates pop-ups that imitate Windows system messages, often pretending to be antivirus or antispyware software, a firewall application or a registry cleaner. The messages usually intimate that infected files have been found on the computer, and the offer to purchase software to fix the problem is made. In actual fact, there are no infected files and the suggested software is probably malware. If the software is purchased, the money will be lost, as the software is effectively useless, and there is a good chance it will make the user's computer unstable. Sometimes, the pop-up windows that appear have a clickjacking feature, which redirects the user to a malicious website or triggers a malware download if the "Cancel" or the "X" buttons are used to close the window.

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In October 2008, Microsoft and the Washington attorney general sued two Texas-based companies, Branch Software and Alpha Red. Those two companies are responsible for Registry Cleaner XP, a very common scareware program. In December 2008, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated a restraining order against two companies in the United States, Innovative Marketing, Inc. and ByteHosting Internet Services. Scareware programs produced by those companies include DriveCleaner, WinAntivirus, ErrorSafe, WinFixer and XP Antivirus.
If you encounter a suspicious pop-up, you should right-click on the item in the taskbar and select "Close" or manually exit the browser by clicking Ctrl-Alt-Delete. To protect your system from future attempts, install a good pop-up blocker and configure it to prevent pop-ups from sites other than those that you specifically allow.

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Effects Of Scareware:-

Scareware affects the user's computer in the following ways as described by us below:-

* Accessing your credit card: scareware will deceive you into paying money for fake antivirus software.

* Identity theft: scareware will surreptitiously invade your computer and attempt to record your keystrokes and banking/personal information.

* "Zombie" your computer: scareware will attempt to take remote control of your machine to serve as a spam-sending zombie robot.