Is this a real anti-virus program?Damien Moye
Over in the Geek Choice office, one of the more common problems clients ask us to assist them with are phony solicitations for anti-malware programs. When browsing the internet, users encounter bogus virus and spyware alerts that prompt them to input personal information:
- Credit card #
- Checking Account #
- Social security #
- Address and telephone #
These are more commonly referred to as “Phishing” viruses. Understandably, many of them are concerned about surrendering such sensitive information, worried that it’ll be used for purposes other than facilitating the purchase of software that will protect their system against malware.
Well, they’re right.
Our clients will happen upon a website that spawns a number of pop-ups alerting them to the presence of viruses and spyware, ending with a solicitation for the purchase of non-existent anti-malware software. In response to these pop-ups, users usually attempt to close the windows, resulting in the emergence of even more pop-ups.
One of the more notorious nuisances of this sort is Antivirus 2009. Masked as a legitimate program that removes viruses, this annoyance infects the client’s system with spyware, inundating them with pop-ups that insist that they purchase an “upgraded” version of software that doesn’t exist.
Similar bugs go by the name of:
- Antispyware Pro XP
- Anti-virus Lab 2009
If you’re ever met with one of these pop-ups, do NOT click on anything – do NOT close the window, click on ‘No,’ or type in a single field. If you’re taken to another website, do NOT click on any of the links.
Instead, Press CTRL-ALT-DELETE, which will bring up your task manager. When reviewing the list of processes, you will notice one that is linked to your internet browser. Highlight that process and click on ‘End task,’ a button located at the bottom of your task manager window. This will close your internet browser, including any pop-ups it has spawned.
While the pop-ups are momentarily done away with, simply terminating your internet browser will not completely solve the problem, as the source of the issue remains. If left unaddressed, the spyware will continue to see that you’re harassed by pop-ups each time you use the internet