Scammers Target Internet Users with Counterfeit Anti-Virus Software

Internet users must be wary of social engineering schemes used by cybercriminals to extract sensitive information.
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Albuquerque, NM ( May 13, 2011 - Cybercriminals constantly find ways to exploit software vulnerabilities and user negligence to install malware or extract confidential information. While some of the scams have become common, cybercriminals tend to repackage, refine and make use of new themes to defraud users. In the recent times, cybercriminals have been quick to exploit events such as Royal Wedding and Osama bin Laden's death. Cybercriminals try to lead users to malicious and fake sites through phishing, SEO poisoning and other techniques. One of the scams involves enticing customers to purchase fake anti-virus software. Internet security firm Trend Micro has identified a trend wherein cybercriminals attempt to monetize their schemes by creating accounts with FAKEAV affiliates. The affiliates provide URLs to the landing pages, which display fake anti-virus scanners. Researchers identified that most of the domain names are propagated within two days of their registration. Unwary Internet users, who click on a malicious link are redirected to a fake website, wherein they get a false virus alert and are enticed to purchase the fake scanner. The income generated is shared between the affiliates and other cybercriminals.

Security researchers at Sophos recently identified a scam, wherein Internet users allegedly receive an e-mail from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The cleverly crafted e-mail by scammers attempts to scare users by informing them that their IP address has been logged on several illegal websites. The e-mail asks users to respond to their questions listed on the attached zip file. When susceptible Internet users download the file, they inadvertently download malicious software. The malware then alerts uses that their computers are infected with malware. The e-mail scares users to purchase counterfeit anti-virus scanners to safeguard their computers. Users are required to enter the names, addresses, credit card number, card expiry date and other personally identifiable information.

Internet users must be wary of social engineering schemes used by cybercriminals to extract sensitive information. They must avoid responding to e-mails from strangers. They must directly visit the website of a legitimate vendor to purchase and download anti-virus solution and programs. Social engineering techniques are also used to entice employees of an organization to reveal sensitive business information. Employees must be guided on the various security threats through training sessions, huddle meetings, e-learning programs and encouraging them to undertake online computer degree programs.

Security professionals qualified in IT masters degree may enable an organization to identify emerging Internet-based threats, update IT security policy and ensure proper adherence to security guidelines by employees. Online technology degree programs may help IT professionals to update themselves on latest information security practices, and monitoring mechanisms.

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EC-Council University is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and offers Master of Security Science (MSS) degree to students from various backgrounds such as graduates, IT Professionals, and military students amongst several others. The MSS is offered as a 100% online degree program and allows EC-Council University to reach students from not only the United States, but from all around the world.

EC-Council is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in cybersecurity and e-commerce skills. It is the owner and developer of 16 security certifications, including Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) and EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)/License Penetration Tester (LPT). Its certificate programs are offered in over 60 countries around the world.

EC-Council has trained over 80,000 individuals and certified more than 30,000 members, through more than 450 training partners globally. These certifications are recognized worldwide and have received endorsements from various government agencies including the U.S. federal government via the Montgomery GI Bill, Department of Defense via DoD 8570.01-M, National Security Agency (NSA) and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS). EC-Council also operates the global series of Hacker Halted security conferences.


Tag Words: urls, social engineering, fakeav affiliate, fake antivirus scanner, information security, scammers, fbi, sophos, trend micro, online computer degree
Categories: Security

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