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Scareware and the Conficker Virus

Have you ever gotten a pop-up window that tells you that viruses have been detected, offers you a free scan and then, after giving you an impossible list of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, adware, spyware, and all manner of malware; tells you that by downloading the their anti-malware application for just $49.95, you can clean your system and save yourself the headaches of computer sluggishness and the scourge of identity theft? If you have—and you probably have—then you have been a target of scareware, which can be defined as a type of advertising-related malware that scares you into ordering a product you neither want nor need. Being a target is one thing, but you have to fall for the gag to be a victim.  Victims think they are going to get more protection than they already have—they don’t—and thereby maintain the health of their computer system. Again, they don’t. By offering their contact and credit card info, they open themselves up to the sort of id... [Read Full Article]

Does the Industry Really Want to End Computer Virus Attacks?

OK, show of hands: Who out there has spent loads of money on a nifty antivirus solution for their company—you know, the kind that makes all sorts of promises as to the safety you will enjoy, the effectiveness of their antiviral software, the fieriness of their firewall, so on and so forth—only to be infected a short time later? I think it is safe to say that most of us have been there, furiously trying to figure out how to clean the virus off our machines—a virus that our new super anti-viral solution can’t seem to handle—without having to reformat the hard drive, reinstall Windows and then reinstall everything else. The question is, why? The answer, of course, is that antivirus solutions work in much the same way as medicinal vaccines: They only work on known viruses. In other words, a given antiviral solution will protect you against an old virus, something the solution has a definition for. That can be useful, since once a virus is “released into... [Read Full Article]

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