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Be Aware, of the Free Software Curse!

Alex Christie

10 September 2008

Every time we use the internet we open ourselves up to vulnerabilities. Viruses, Trojans and other types of malware are increasing at an incredible rate and if that isn’t enough, an internet security company has recently released a warning to users about a new threat.

According to Panda Security, it’s becoming more evident that malware malefactors are using free Antivirus software, music, movies and software downloads to get malware onto users PC’s. The software and files are mostly available as free downloads. The software could then either be installed by the user or run without the user knowing about it in the back ground. Once running though, it displays a report about viruses it supposedly found. The users are then invited to purchase a full version of the antivirus software to be able to remove the viruses.

Users who ignore this will then repeatedly be harassed by reports, pop-ups and invitations to buy the full version and those who do decide to purchase it, will basically be buying completely useless software.

According to Panda Security these programs are increasingly becoming polymorphic – they can automatically change their look on every installation – which points to huge investments by the creators, which in turn means that these fraudsters are making large financial returns on unsuspecting users.

Here are some usefull tips to avoid becomming an victim:

  • Ignore e-mails with eye-catching news or subjects: These often invite users to click a link to watch a video or images of the false news. If they do, they may be allowing some kind of malware to enter their computer.
  • Be suspicious of unusual behaviour: Be wary if an unknown program begins to display false infections or pop-ups inviting comparisons with some type of anti-virus.
  • Keep all programs up-to-date: An outdated program is a potentially vulnerable program.
  • Scan computers with a reliable security solutions.
  • Never click on random pop-ups that invite you to download any type of software.
  • Be sure to have proper Antivirus software installed that is regularly updated.


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