Sophos warns Firefox users of scareware

Malicious programme gets users to download fake virus scans then pay for them

Tags: Cyber crimeMozilla FoundationScarewareSophos
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Sophos warns Firefox users of scareware Sophos is warning users of Mozilla Firefox to be aware of an advanced scareware campaign that tricks users into thinking their computers are infected.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  June 4, 2011

Sophos is warning Firefox users to be vigilant after it discovered an advanced scareware campaign which sends Firefox users messages to make them believe their computer is infected with a virus.

The scareware looks like a genuine Firefox security alert and displays a realistic system scan window, which displays a progress bar and the names of malware supposedly found on the users system.

Scareware often tries to part users from their cash by persuading them their computers are under attack and infected when they are not.

Scareware is often planted on websites as pop-up advertisements or disguised downloads, but can also be sent out as spam by cyber criminals.

"Taking advantage of detailed information about the person's computer and software allows for a much more specific, believable social engineering attempt," said Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos. "We are likely to continue to see these criminals targeting each operating system, browser and any other details that can be gleaned from HTTP requests sent from our devices."

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