Below is an example of a fake antispyware program. There have been about 20 different versions of this particular scareware program out since 2007. Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger version of the picture.

I found this one while browsing around as a normal user looking for legitimate antivirus programs. It came from a website toting ads for Webroot Spysweeper, McAfee, and Norton ’07 of all things. As I was looking about on this site, I got a popup saying something to the effect of “would you like to run a free virus scan now?”

After clicking yes there was a windows message asking if I wanted to run a particular program installer to which I clicked yes, and then a few seconds later this mess pops up.

The purpose of this program is to scare you into giving them your credit card information to buy this piece of software presented to you. Doing so will make the program stop bugging you to register, but will give a faceless scam artist your credit card, and the software does basically nothing. the files it shows as evidence of infection are common files on infected systems, but this system I was testing on had no such infection. It’s simply put forward to the user to scare them.

Do not be fooled for it  is fake as can be. Strangely enough, other than the graphics almost all fake antiviruses have the same look and feel. There are very few antivirus programs that will detect this program as a viral attack, so the best defense in this case is vigilance and periodical scans with an anti-spyware program (there are some available in the anti-spyware section above)