A new report from internet giant Google claims fake anti-virus software is on the rise and accounts for a massive 15% of all malware incidents detected.
The fake virus software pops up when users visit a particular site imbedded with the code. The pop-up insists that a virus has been detected, and prompts the user to install detection software. Once completed, however, the software acts as malware, potentially harming the computer and stealing private data.
Some other types of fake anti-virus software ask for payment to remove viruses that are actually non-existent. In a blog post, security engineer Niels Provos said the threat is worsening.
“[T]he Fake AV threat is rising in prevalence, both absolutely, and relative to other forms of web-based malware.”
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
The report, which is to be presented at a conference this month, shows fake anti-virus attacks represent 60% of malware found on websites which include popular keywords.