Counterfeit Downloads, Misleading Applications - How Can You Be Safe?

What is a misleading application?

Misleading applications typically strike people when they are surfing the web. There is not a single type of website where these applications are found, but they are more common from sites offering pirated goods and adult content, as well as blogs and forums. They can even sneak into advertisements on legitimate sites, usually through banner ads at the top of Web pages. In order to get installed onto a system, a person is usually either tricked into downloading the program (thinking it’s something else) or a small program called a "Downloader" is installed by the attacker through an un-patched flaw in the person’s web browser. This is often known as a "drive-by" install.

Misleading applications often are not the first unwanted program to land on a person’s system. A Downloader, such as Trojan.Zlob or Downloader.MisleadApp, infect the system first and then download the misleading application to the computer. Once the downloaded application is installed and ready, the malware that installed it will inform the user that they are infected with a new, previously unknown threat. This can be done through a "balloon message" that appears in the lower right-hand side of the system. The misleading application will then present itself and either pretend to download or run a scan of the system.

The scan results produced by the misleading application may be entirely false or may include some real issues affecting the system, but will always exaggerate the problems on the system and refuse to fix them until the vendor is paid and a registration key is entered into the program.

Why are they dangerous?

Misleading applications, sometimes called rogue software or rogue anti-virus, like a trojan horse, trick consumers into believing a problem exists on their system. Consumers who trust the messages are tricked into purchasing bogus applications for resolution of the problems they have been duped into believing exist. Misleading applications scam consumers out of money, faking the existence of problems and failing to deliver the protection they promise. They also create a privacy risk as the victim must provide their credit card information to the scammers in order to register the misleading application and solve the supposed problems. The victims of misleading applications have paid for software that does not work, handed their personal information to scammers, and are left with a false sense of security that leads them to potentially greater risks from more aggressive threats. Even if a person catches on to the ruse and does not pay the misleading application vendor, the programs can be notoriously difficult to remove without the proper security software.

What To Do?

Be sure to install a reputable, valid security program on your computer. You can check them out by doing research about them using the internet. Some very reliable and highly recommended security systems should be competent, valid and be a secure security protecton program. Norton/Symantec Security Systems have proactive protection programs against spyware and preventatives for other security risks. Kaspersky with real-time blocking of new and emerging viruses and spyware, McAfee anti-virus and anti-spyware software, Windows Defender anti-virus protection programs and scans. Which are proactive and reliable for internet security. Blocking threats that are more and more common on the internet today. There is even system protection for your smartphones. You can have confidence in knowing your system will be protected. Be especially cautious when clicking on pop-up advertisements—especially ads promoting system security or performance tools that look like a standard Microsoft Windows alert. You can always check with Microsoft Windows if you're not sure and don't click on any links on a suspicious looking email.

Do not accept or open suspicious error dialogs from within the browser!

Purchase security and system performance software from reputable sources by visiting there website instead of clicking on an uncertain link you receive in an email. Keep software and security programs up to date. Although there are many names of misleading applications some of the names of these rogue/suspicious anti spyware programs may go by similar or different names. Thats because the criminals behind these scams are still in business today and have been in business for many years. They have changed their names or reBranded themselves but are running the same rip-off security programs. So buyer... beware!