Fake security software 'still a big problem'

Fake security software was the No. 1 cybersecurity woe afflicting computer users in 2009, and Apple users lost some of their immunity to cybercrime as they stored more data online instead of on hard drives, according to the cybersecurity firm Symantec.

In a report released today, Symantec noted that Brazil had risen to third place in the list of countries with "malicious activity," defined as spam, online scam attempts and other types of cybercrime. The United States remained in first place at 19 per cent, with China second at 8 per cent, and Brazil third at 6 per cent.



Conficker - a malicious software program all over the news last April - and sophisticated attacks on websites of Google and other large companies in December and reported in January were the most publicized cyber events of the year.



But the single most prevalent form of cybercrime was fake security software, which computer users normally see as a flashing notice that their computer is infected with a virus, said Vincent Weafer, a Symantec vice president.



The notice often provides a link to software that can be downloaded after payment, but the user does not get security software but rather, a virus or worse, Weafer said.



"Virtually everything we see today is fake AV (anti-virus)," he told Reuters. "It's such a money-making racket."



The scam is popular is because victims willingly hand over their credit card numbers, thinking that they are purchasing legitimate software, and those credit cards can then be used at will.



Weafer also warned that Apple users, as they move their computer activities like storing photographs in remote servers managed by online companies, will have to take the same precautions that savvy PC owners have used for years to avoid identity theft. These precautions include keeping credit card and other key numbers secret and being suspicious of offers that seem too good to be true.



"It's the notion of 'I'm on a Mac.' Yes, you're on a Mac but you're in the cloud," said Weafer. "They've got to be as careful as anybody else."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Full Stack Software Developer - £80k - Javascript / MEAN

    £45000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Ambitious, entrepreneurial busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Sage 200 Consultant

    £30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They have a unique reputation f...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior IT Support Technician

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior IT Support Technician ...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior / Graduate Front End Developer

    £20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides actionabl...

    Day In a Page

    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
    I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

    I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

    Latest on the Labour leadership contest
    Froome seals second Tour de France victory

    Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

    Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
    Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

    The uses of sarcasm

    'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
    A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

    No vanity, but lots of flair

    A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
    Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

    In praise of foraging

    How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food