Attack of the semi-fake antivirus
And now there is a third category: semi-fake antivirus. It’s not a blatant malware attack and may actually include a real antivirus application. From a strictly technical perspective, it might not even be called malware.
But one thing is clear: it is still taking money from consumers in a way that some would call fraudulent.
Recently, I got an email from the UK-based Computeractive about an irate customer wanting a refund on avast! Pro. It seems that the person went on the internet, searched for avast, and found a site offering special download services and videos. They ended up getting a messed-up computer and spending over $100.
And then there is the French Connection: avast2011.fr-01.net. Combining avast, the year, and a major French IT portal together into a very attractive domain name; hackers created something that scored very well with search engines. Visitors to this site could spend a couple Euros for a premium SMS permitting them to download a copy of avast! Free Antivirus.
For both suspect sites, the fine print in the legal agreement says they provide only links to the software sites. Are they fraudulent? Well, I am not a lawyer. But, Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court, famously said “I know it when I see it”. I think this could apply here.
I agree. Better sooner than later.
If you have any other examples of such sites, please let me know.