Scareware

Nowadays, there is an infinite number of cyber threats that organizations and individuals alike need to watch out for. A lot of individuals are knowledgeable about the”usual suspects,” like computer viruses/malware, phishing attacks, and ransomware.

But, there are lots of cyber attack strategies that the majority of individuals aren’t conscious of. Because people are not knowledgeable about these cyber threats, they could be exposed to them.

What is scareware? How can it be used against people online? Here’s a fast definition of scareware and how cybercriminals use it to target people and businesses.

Scareware Definition
An easy scareware definition is that it is a type of social attack which uses fear tactics to scare a target into taking a specific action. The specific action will be different depending on the sort of scareware attack being completed.

By way of instance, some scareware attacks attempt to fool recipients into surrendering their user account login information. Others attempt to trick victims into clicking on malware links using fake virus alert popups.

Scareware is sometimes known as rogue malware when it poses as security applications alarms.

So, why is it that cybercriminals use scareware tactics?
The reasons behind using scareware change, but one of the principal reasons cybercriminals use scareware is that it is a convenient way to allow them to steal additional malware on to devices.

By scaring the goal into clicking on a malicious link, the attacker may acquire other kinds of malware on the victim’s system or steal the user’s account credentials –allowing other malware-based cyber attach. To put it differently, scareware is often a means to an end, not the end itself.

Another reason that an attacker may use scareware is to trick the target into purchasing a bogus antivirus solution–thus giving up credit card information that the attacker may use to commit fraud.

Scareware Examples to Learn From
Knowing what scareware strikes look like can help workers to prevent them and take proper measures to minimize risk.

Scareware Emails: This is a social attack tactic where the attacker sends an”urgent” email demanding immediate action from the receiver. Oftentimes, the email will use a spoofed sender address or email domain name to look like it is coming from a legitimate source. The scareware email might demand that the recipient clicks on a download link to obtain an antivirus software to purge a particular threat or to discuss their accessibility information.

Scareware Website Popups: This is among the more prevalent kinds of scareware–one which can often be found on sites that are heavily promoted on social networking channels like Facebook. Here, an advertisement pop-up presents as an antivirus program alert, trying to trick the consumer into believing that there is malware on their computer or smartphone. The purpose is to get the user to click a link in the advertisement to download a”solution” to the issue. The thing is that the connection is a Trojan horse–rather than an antivirus, it is loaded with a malware program that will lead to damage. A number of these pop-ups are persistent and do not have a simple way to close them out of hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL and shutting down the process in Task Manager (and even that is not always enough).

Scareware Tech Support Calls
It’s a small stretch to call this”scareware,” since malicious software is not involved in this social attack strategy. Here, the attacker calls their goal when posing as a tech support agent (or law enforcement), asserting that”suspicious activity was tracked to your computer.” From there, the attacker tries to convince their goal to provide them access to their own computer or user accounts remotely. Once the target was duped, the attacker uses their newfound access to commit additional fraud.

How Can You Resist Scareware Attacks?
The first thing to remember to prevent scareware from working would be to always be skeptical of emails, pop-ups, and surprising phone calls claiming that there is “suspicious activity” or malware on your PC.

Taking a moment to look into the claim and check the identity of the sender can often readily disclose a fraudulent message.

In the event of popup advertisements posing as malware alarms, be careful to never click on the advertisement. Oftentimes, the entire window is a hyperlink to actual malware. Instead, open the task manager and cancel the procedure. With luck, this can prevent the download of malware.