Many computer users now recognize the trickery behind the false urgency. The trick arrives in the form of unexpected pop-ups, critical dialog boxes, or insistent error messages. When these appear on your screen, it is an obvious indication that something is wrong. Experienced users know, however, that even the most detailed error message is not necessarily an actual warning from your computer. Instead, it may be a false warning from a virus or other malware. Once you are sufficiently scared, you are willing to do whatever the pop-up suggests to rectify the alleged problem your computer is having. Predictably, the suggestion made is often one that requires you to purchase something Ė the purchase invariably just as useless as the supposed warning.
This method of fraud is now so common that it has a name: rogue. Encarta Dictionary describes rogue as ďacting independently and using unorthodox methods that are unpredictable and are likely to cause trouble.Ē This is a great way to describe rogue programs. Like other phony antivirus programs, rogues mask themselves as warnings that are as urgent-sounding and intimidating as possible. The creators of these programs count on both your fear and your unawareness that there is a virus on your computer. Itís a clever ruse. Among the most clever is System Tool, an ugly malware program that is certainly no tool that you want to use.
Virus Name(s): System Tool; System Protection, Win 7 Antivirus
Symptoms Include: (Fake) Pop-Up boxes Ė these will warn you that your PC has been infected with something. The pop-up box will certainly look legitimate, but it isnít! It will prompt you to either download or refuse to download a specious sounding program, but this is not a real choice. Either way, once you click anywhere inside the dialog box, the malware will download itself.
Once the program has downloaded itself to your system, it will wreak terrible havoc immediately. It will block you from using your internet browser, prevent you from accessing your virus protection programs, and eventually cause some PCs to succumb to the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death Ė an error screen indicating your system has crashed).
Known locations of infection: Social networking sites, Online gaming sites
Although this rogue can be defeated by taking a few simple steps, like any bug, itís better never to contract it at all. Be wary online, even with familiar sites.