This morning I had an e-mail from a reader who was seeing pop-ups indicating that his computer was infected and he needed to purchase an anti-virus program. I thought it would be time to again mention that Webopedia has a couple excellent resources for those who need more information on Rogue Anti-virus Software (aka SmitFraud, scareware, crimeware).
First, you can learn more about this type of infection by reading the Webopedia definition of SmitFraud. Then, read the Webopedia article, “Rogue Anti-Virus Software Explained” for details on how this works and steps you can take to try and remove the SmitFraud yourself.
Rogue anti-virus programs usually appears in the form of a fake Windows warning on your computer system that reads something like, you have a specific number of viruses on your computer (usually in the hundreds) and that this software has detected those viruses. To get rid of these viruses, you’re prompted to buy the full-version of the antivirus software (which is really rogue antivirus software).
The good news is that you probably do not have a computer that is infested with hundreds of viruses as the rouge software claims. The bad news is that the rogue antivirus software itself is on your computer and you must remove it. Removal is hindered as rouge software can lock the control panel and the the Add/Remove Programs function to prevent you from removing it easily.