AVprofit: Rogue AV + Zeus = $

An amazing article about how the “bad guys” are making some serious coin with malware…

The presence of rogue anti-virus products, also known as scareware, on a Microsoft Windows computer is often just the most visible symptom of a more serious and insidious system-wide infection. To understand why, it helps to take a peek inside some of the more popular rogue anti-virus distribution networks that are paying people to peddle scareware alongside far more invasive threats.

Read the rest of this here.


malware botnets have the largest “cloud”

Who’s got the biggest cloud in the tech universe? Google? Pretty big, but no. Amazon? Lots and lots of servers, but not even close. Microsoft? They’re just getting started.

Household names all, but their capacity pales to that of the biggest cloud on the planet, the network of computers controlled by the Conficker computer worm. Conficker controls 6.4 million computer systems in 230 countries, more than 18 million CPUs and 28 terabits per second of bandwidth, said Rodney Joffe, senior vice president and senior technologist at the infrastructure services firm Neustar.

Read the rest here.

Ripping on the mainstream security software

Back Story, for you bored people out there- I used to subscribe to the “Langa Letter” by Fred Langa. He merged with Windows Secrets a few years ago. I got THIS in a e-newsletter: http://windowssecrets.com/2010/03/18/01 saying how awesome the various internet security suites are, including McAfee.

I was “horrified” to say the least.  These people are supposed to be competent??!?

So, I replied with THIS:

I have to ask, don’t be offended – how much did McAfee pay you to say their software was worth more than the $0.50 CD it’s written on? I routinely fix computers by removing the atrocity that is all things McAfee. McAfee has been worthless since I first had the misfortune of encountering it in 1999….

Norton is only slightly better than McAfee because the entry level Antivirus doesn’t immediately mess up systems. However, the Internet Security product and 360 product are horrible, I have personally fixed mysterious network issues and poor system performance on more systems than I can remember – by simply removing it.

The computing professionals that are in the trenches day to day know first hand that Norton and McAfee “security” products look good on paper but don’t stack up when the rubber hits the road.

To which THEY replied:

Thanks for the e-mail, I’ve shared it with the editorial team.

Best wishes,

Stephanie Small
Research Director

So, since I have the same exact discussion nearly every day, I went onto CNET and posted THIS as a review for Norton Internet Security 2010.  I plan to do this more often, until they reply, as per this post.

I am a computing professional. I repair them, build them, network them, and virus removal is my specialty. I have personally FIXED many many computers by REMOVING NORTON INTERNET SECURITY 2010 and earlier. Norton Internet Security (and 360) is WORTHLESS JUNK. Your system might be protected at first, but after a few mon…ths the hackers will figure it out and you will have only a false sense of security.Norton 2009 worked well until the middle of the year, then it was laughably worthless – I was fixing 4 or 5 computers AT ONCE all with Norton 2009 and all with really bad malware infections.

People pay good money for this junk, and then pay me to fix their computers – by removing viruses this software DOES NOT STOP. I also charge them to remove the junk norton software because when it breaks, it breaks your network connection.

I’ve had people bring in their computers because their ISP told them their network card was broken. No, they had norton 2010 and it was broken. I removed Norton, fixed the network stack, removed the viruses (malware) and they were good to go. SHAMEFUL.

Microsoft Security Essentials is FREE and it works better than this junk. I am telling everyone I know this information.

I tell people that MSE is free, works better and WON’T break their computers, and they look at me stunned. THEY DIDN’T KNOW they could have good protection for FREE. They know now, and now you do too.

The rogue security software (fake antivirus like Antivirus 360 or Internet Security 2010) is a rampant problem. You can get these rogues no matter what, some (or most) CANNOT be stopped.

If there is a burden on the user to be careful, AS WELL AS a certain amount of chance, why pay for security when you can be in the same boat and NOT break your computer, for free?

rogue database


I had a customer call me today and complain that the Microsoft Security Essentials icon was missing.  After talking with them for a minute, he mentioned he had “Malware Professional 5.0” installed.  Huh?

He informed me that he paid $30 for it, and came across it from Priform CCleaner’s website.  I don’t know about that, but I do know that Malware Professional 5.0 is a rogue.

My guess is that MP5 killed MSE.  Also, it was not on the Add/Remove programs list either.

I informed the customer as such and encouraged him to dispute the charge and get a different CC# on that account.


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