rogue antivirus softwareAlso called smitfraud, scareware, or rogue security software, this type of software is defined as malware - it is designed specifically to damage or disrupt a computer system. In this case, not only is the software going to disrupt your system, it's going to try and trick you into making a purchase using your credit card.
This specific type of malware appears to users in the form of a fake Windows warning on your computer system that reads you have a specific number of viruses on your computer (usually in the hundreds) and that this software has detected those viruses. To get rid of them you must download and purchase the full-version of the antivirus software. It's important to remember that by purchasing the "claimed full version to remove the viruses" you will be submitting your personal information to unscrupulous persons and may also end up being a victim of credit card or identity fraud or theft.
The good news is that you probably do not have a computer that is infested with hundreds of viruses as the rouge software claims. The bad news is that the rogue antivirus software itself is on your computer and you must remove it, a process that is hindered as the rouge software usually locks the control panel and the the Add/Remove Programs function to prevent users from removing it. Other things that may be disrupted by the rogue software include being unable to visit reputable and valid antivirus and malware Web sites, being able to install legitimate antivirus software and also being unable to access your desktop.
Common names of some rogue antivirus software include; AntiVirus (2007, 2008, and 2009), MS-Antispyware, XP AntiVirus (2007, 2008, and 2009), Home Antivirus 2009, SpyWareGuard, Malware Cleaner, Extra Antivirus, as well as many other names.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »Apple Pay Promises to Strengthen Payment Security
Experts believe that Apple Pay and other competitive payment systems will be far more secure than cards, even cards equipped with EMV chips. Read More »Internet of Things Shaping IT's Future
To make the IoT both work and pay off, IT is juggling upgrading and building app-centric networks, mapping out new data center architectures and... Read More »
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Webopedia Polls
The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website
This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »