Rogue security tools seem to be the most popular way to fool people and get their money, but the situation might change quite soon. Apparently malware creators noticed a glitch in most of corrupt anti-spyware. Although fake security tools are pretty convincing and people believe they are useful, most of customers decide not to pay for a license. People can stand the annoying pop-ups, crashing system and other inconvenient things caused by malware, because they don’t have money for the fake license or they are satisfied with security tools installed on board.
The pop-ups can be closed and frozen computer can be restarted. But if you can use neither applications nor browse the web, you get annoyed enough to click on that “Buy Antivirus 2009 now!” pop-up. These might be the reasons why more and more browser hijackers appear on web. Some of them take over the homepage. Some of them occasionally redirect browser to certain websites. And some of them only become active when people try to use online search engines. The new generation of browser hijackers redirect browser to fake security centers that sell fake anti-spyware or fake anti-virus.
The main goal remains the same – swindle out users money, but browser hijackers can be more annoying than rogue security tools. Once they redirect web browser to a malicious website, malware or several malwares may be installed automatically and secretly. If this way of infection is chosen, people may think that MS Windows or “the computer itself” downloaded the program, therefore it is legitimate, and therefore buying a full version is a necessary thing to do. This misleading strategy is often supported by other malwares that neutralize regular security tools and people notice that the new application is the only one working. It’s very easy to lose money this way. And it can only be avoided if user doesn’t trust programs that are installed without his permission. Reputation of every program can be verified easily. Simply put the name of the software on online search. Reputable anti-spyware/anti-virus will have both good and bad reviews. But you won’t find hundreds of complaints “How the %$*# I remove spyware doctor???” because STOPzilla is legitimate tool. And when application is the one of dubious nature, the complaints like that are very frequent.
Some of the browser hijackers choose different tactics. They display websites that appear to be security centers and try to push people into downloading malwares voluntarily. The websites usually display security related alerts and offer paid removal. The pop-ups might also be loaded by browser hijacker and toolbars installed by the hijackers. Some of the pop-ups might be disguised to look like anti-virus scanner results or messages of similar matter. These “features” might look funny when you read about them, but when you encounter them on YOUR machine the opinion changes quickly.
Browser hijacker may limit access to all the internet sources except for malicious websites. They usually inform customers that all the inconvenient things are caused by malware that can be removed after you pay for Windows Antivirus, Antivirus 2009, XP Antispyware or some other corrupt tool.
Do not trust software that appears on a computer without your conscious. Scan a machine with both anti-spyware and anti-virus if your web browser starts acting weird.