25 Feb 2011

New scareware spreading worldwide

One of the most widespread and dangerous pieces of scareware circulating the web is AntiVira AV, according to Web Wire.

AntiVira AV mimics a legitimate antivirus program and embeds itself into a users’ computer. Computers can become infected by browsing unsafe websites and downloading video codec to watch movies.

The infection can also occur through Facebook and Twitter and will bombard the victim with fake pop-ups and security alerts designed to scare them into making some type of purchase. AntiVira AV does not only make money for the virus’ designers, but also contains keyloggers to record sensitive data, such as passwords, bank information and Social Security numbers.

The virus can be removed by legitimate spyware removal programs, reformatting the hard drive or removing it manually.

“The longer this infection remains on a computer, the greater the chance of identity theft for the user,” writes Web Wire’s Jimmy Walker.

A recent report from an online security company found that virus writing has evolved to organized crime factions generating millions of dollars. The report also found that botnets will continue to pose a dangerous threat to mobile phones and internet-enabled applications.