The internet is a great place for fraudsters to con naive computers users by appealing to their fears and desires.
Fake/fraudulent anti-malware (anti-virus, anti-spyware etc.) applications have been around for a long time and we see a regular influx of new variants. More recently we’ve seen a variation on this theme that targets current fears over identity theft. These applications typically arrive as follows: the user is browsing the internet and a popup browser Window claims that the user’s system is compromised or may be compromised and the user is coerced into downloading and running an executable file with the promise of a free scan and/or solution. When the fake application is run on a clean computer it finds non-existent threats and then offers to remove them from the computer if the user pays for the full version.
An example of this sort of application that targets fears over identity theft is “Privacy Watcher” (www.privacy-watcher.com) which claims to offer privacy protection. On a clean test computer “Privacy Watcher” displayed the following:
Prices start at $49.95 for a 6 month license.