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scareware Articles

FTC Orders Scareware Scammers To Pay $8 Million

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered an operator of an online “scareware” scheme to pay more than $8 million to settle charges he used deceptive ads to trick people into thinking their computers were infected with malicious software, and then sold them software to “fix” their non-existent problem.

The defendant whose settlement was announced today will be required to turn over $8 million so it can be used to reimburse victims of the scam.

Beware Tiger Woods Accident Information Sources
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The Tiger Woods car accident has had the web abuzz over the weekend. Like nearly anything else that creates such buzz, cyber-criminals will find a way to exploit it. This incident is no exception.

“Kanye West Died” Rumor Used as a Scareware Tactic
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A lot of people have been searching for queries like "kanye west died," "kanye west car accident," "kanye dead," etc. Obviously, this is an indication of a widespread rumor that Kanye West did in fact die (which he didn’t). It appears that the rumor was used to perpetuate a "scareware" tactic.

Blackhatters Hit Google, Twitter

PandaLabs has identified thousands of links designed to target searchers looking for information on recently popular targets. With the goal of infecting unsuspecting victims with scareware, Twitter recently has also been bombarded with trending spam.

Blackhat SEOs targeting Google search results came to light this spring to redirect trusting users to scareware sites—sites falsely warning targets of viruses on their machine, offering fake system scans, promoting expensive fake anti-virus programs, and installing Trojans.

SEO Blackhatters Target Ford Via Google
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PandaLabs has identified over a million spam links used to target Google searchers looking for information about automotive parts from Ford and Nissan especially. Panda calls it “a major Blackhat SEO attack” designed to dupe searchers into downloading spyware or purchasing phony security software.

Black Hat SEO Lucrative For Cybercrooks
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Obviously, cyber crooks wouldn’t do what they do if there wasn’t any money in it. Thanks to some black-hat search engine optimization and a little rogueware (a.k.a. scareware), some are making almost $11,000 a day, according to FinJan’s first Cybercrime Intelligence Report for 2009.
Finjan