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October 19, 2009

Symantec reports scareware cons amount to millions

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by Darren Allan

Symantec has issued a report on scareware – fake anti-virus software – the makers of which can earn some £850,000 a year from plying their malicious trade.

The scareware scam involves making a user believe his or her computer has been infected by a virus, and then charging them to download bogus anti-virus software to solve the non-existent problem.

Not only do cybercriminals pocket money for their fake product, but it can also contain malware itself, such as key logging routines for stealing the unwitting user’s passwords.

According to Symantec, there are now more than 250 types of scareware program out there. And presumably quite a few malware millionaires.

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