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Fake Antivirus: How to Spot Fraudulent Programs

Arne Arnold

There are hundreds of antivirus tools out there and they just do one thing: They want your money. So-called fake AV or rogue antivirus programs pretend to protect your PC from viruses, but have no effect. This is how you can identify these malicious programs.

EnlargeNot every antivirus tool is reputable. How to tell the difference.
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A warning suddenly appears on the screen: " Your PC is infected with viruses. Act now! “In addition, the warning window shows a list of supposedly dangerous files on your hard drive. If you click on the link offered, you will be directed to the website of a paid antivirus software. Only this could eliminate the danger just discovered, so the warning. Whoever buys the advertised antivirus is paying for a completely useless tool. Because almost all of these programs do not have a functioning antivirus engine built in, but only simulate the virus warning and a subsequent virus removal.

And this process of deception is then the better case for the victim. Some of these programs not only provide no protection, but even install a Trojan horse on the victim's PC so that they can control and spy on the computer at will. These unwanted programs are called rogue security software or fake antivirus (fake AV).

This is how fake AV tools lure their victims on the Internet

There are three common methods that criminals use to distribute their fake AV tools: browser or code alerts, supposedly reputable online advisors, and spam emails.

Alarm messages: The warning message described above appears on the PC screen when the victims surf the Internet and visit an infected website. This opens a new browser window, which, however, disguises itself as a program window or as a system warning. The deception is usually almost perfect. Some Faketools do not warn against viruses, but rather warn against system errors such as damage to the hard drive. Accordingly, the victims should then not purchase anti-virus software, but a system rescue tool. In some cases, the warning message does not appear in the Internet browser, but is based on malicious code that has already lodged on the PC.

Counselor: Some fake AV providers are particularly insidious. They present advice on how to remove annoying adware on their website. This adware actually exists. Accordingly, those affected are looking for a solution to get rid of them. Of course, the guidebook stipulates that you should buy an offered "anti-virus" or "anti-adware" software for cleaning.

Spam mails: Time and again, fake AV distributors also send spam emails to advertise their tools.

Attention:Online fraudsters take advantage of Corona aids

How do you recognize fraudulent antivirus software?

EnlargeWith drastic messages like these, fake AV tools try to get their victims to act hastily. Your goal is to sell the victim an expensive but ineffective antivirus software.

Fake AV can be recognized quite well, at least as long as you keep a cool head. This is precisely why the fake AV distributors are giving you a warning about a virus so that you act hastily and rashly. You can protect yourself against this with the following tips.

Typical fake AV names: See the table below for a list of fake AV tool names. However, this is far from complete and is no longer up-to-date at the time the magazine was published. However, the list can still give an impression of what fraudulent software is called. You can find an even more extensive list on Wikipedia.

55 Fake AV Tool Names: Beware of These Offers

ANG antivirus

Browser Defender

Disc Antivirus Professional

Live Security Platinum

PC Defender Antivirus

Anti Spy Hunter

Byte Defender

Disk Doctor

Live Security Suite

PC Privacy Cleaner

Antivirus 360

Clean This

Doctor Antivirus

Malware crush

Spy Contra

AntiVirus Gold

Cleanator

Dr Guard

Malware Defense

Spy bouncer

Antivirus Master

Cloud protection

Easy Spyware Cleaner

Malware Protection Center

Spy Marshal

Antivirus System PRO

Contra virus

Eco antivirus

Malware alert

Spyware Sheriff