Cybercriminals are constantly finding innovative ways to target online users. One of them is posing as a legitimate AntiVirus. Fake AntiVirus is a type of scareware disguised as a reputed AntiVirus. These usually live on users’ insecurity and are mainly targeted towards the less tech-savvy crowd as shown in Figure 1.

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Figure 1: Not so tech-savvy users

These scourge users when they browse websites. You might have experienced this sometimes. For example, while browsing you might have got pop-ups saying your system is infected with malware and you would need to download the AntiVirus given in the same to protect your system from malware.

However, if you proceed to do that, you are inviting TROUBLE. You would be basically installing possibly dangerous malware onto your device, which could be stealing your sensitive credentials, encrypting your files, exposing your confidential data for sale in the darknet, etc. as shown in Figure 2.

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Figure 2: Sensitive data being stolen from users

These not only look very legitimate and promise to remove malware from your system, install updates to keep the AntiVirus up to date but may also prompt the users to pay money for subscribing to their product.

How to identify a Fake AntiVirus?

Few of them:

  • Having an AntiVirus software on your device that you never installed
  • Unable to uninstall the AntiVirus software
  • It keeps detecting issues that never existed
  • It prompts you to subscribe usually for a hefty amount to fix the issues detected
  • System slow-downs

Removing a Fake AntiVirus?

One of the below:

  • Backup your data and format your hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch
  • System Restore or a Factory Reset may work
  • A reputable AntiVirus program could identify this fake AntiVirus and remove all traces of it from your device

Staying Safe – Few Tips

  • THINK TWICE before clicking on links that download and install apps, especially from unknown websites
  • Do not install any software without checking for its credibility
  • Always BE AWARE when you do any online activity
  • Keep yourself abreast of the latest scams and threats around
  • Install a reputable security product such as “K7 Total Security” and keep it updated to stay safe from threats

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