Fear of viruses could be causing PC attacks: report
Wed Apr 8, 1:14 PM
By Bill Rigby
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Computer users' growing fear of worms and viruses could be behind a recent spike in attacks on PCs via bogus security software, according to a Microsoft Corp report published on Wednesday.
As the Conficker worm and other malicious software -- known as malware -- have grabbed headlines, more computer users have been looking for security programs online, some of which turn out to be agents for viruses themselves.
Out of hundreds of millions of PCs monitored by the world's largest software maker for its twice yearly Security Intelligence Report, seven of the 25 top security threats came in the form of fake security programs.
In the last six months of 2008, Microsoft said it cleared 4.4 million PCs of the most successful bogus security program, which goes under the name of Win32/Renos.
That is a 67 percent increase over the first half of 2008, said George Stathakopoulos, head of product security at Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.
Fear of Conficker "could be a part of it," said Stathakopoulos, explaining the sudden jump in attacks from what Microsoft calls "rogue" security software, or "scareware".
According to the report, more security-conscious consumers are being tricked by insistent or alarming pop-up warnings into paying for protection which, unknown to them, is actually malware designed to steal personal information.
rest of article: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/0904 ... t_security