The fight against malware has just gotten more sophisticated.
Although these schemes are not new, incidents regarding spyware and virus attacks using fake Web sites or security alerts are alarmingly increasing. Many users are falling for it since they look authentic. Indeed, even the most experienced and cautious PC user or surfer won’t be able to recognize that the page or file is a fake unless they take a closer second look.
It’s ironic that the infected Web site or security alert replicates that of antivirus and anti-malware’s. This is the reason why many have fallen prey to this modus operandi. Users usually don’t doubt messages regarding security updates. Many immediately download the suggested files or patches without even verifying if the source is genuine. To make matters worse, security suites will sometimes let the download pass without checking its authenticity since the process was initiated or had the approval of the user.
Although this may seem too tedious, the best way to ensure if the updates or security alert that you have received is genuine is by looking at the URL of the page that you’re being led to after clicking the link presented in the notice. If the address seems unfamiliar or doesn’t direct you to the manufacturer’s Web site, chances are is that the notice is spurious and that you’re being led to an infected page. Always check the URL if it seems genuine. It may be a very simple way of checking file or page authenticity, but it’s definitely effective.
Don’t think that the techniques which malware authors use to enable their virus or malicious file to get into your system are that sophisticated. Sometimes, if not most of the time, the methods that they use are either crude or pre-historic. As people expect attacks to be complicated and well planned, they leave everything to their antivirus and anti-spyware software. This hands-off approach is dangerous. Anti-malware software often rely on the user for inputs and other decision-making tasks. Consequently, when the user allows the downloading of a purported update which is actually a malicious file, the security program would treat such file or page as harmless. Of course, if such file would perform processes that clearly intend to wreak havoc in the system, your security tool would definitely put a stop to it.
No computer in any part of the globe could survive without antivirus software or registry cleaners. Sure, you may contend that standalone PCs or those which have no Internet connection or disk drives are some of the exceptions. But they are precisely just that – exceptions. One could hardly define a computer without mentioning that it has or should have the ability to connect to the Internet. It’s not too presumptuous or erroneous to say that the essence of a computer is to be able to process data and share the same to other people regardless of where they may be. Indeed, what’s the use of your PC if it can’t take you around the world.