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Beware of “Antivirus.NET” Scareware

Antivirus.NET may sound like a legitimate website or program, but it’s far from it.  It’s essentially a newer version of previous rogue anti-virus software such as Antivirus Scan, Antispyware Soft, and AV Security Suite.  The first reports of Antivirus.NET surfaced in the fourth week of January 2011.

What Exactly Is Antivirus.NET?

Antivirus.net is a rogue anti-virus program, also known as ‘scareware.’  As such, it masquerades as genuine anti-virus software while providing incorrect results of fake malware scans.

It typically uses a trojan to gain unauthorized access to victims’ computers.  Victims inadvertently download files containing an Antivirus.NET trojan, which ensures that Antivirus.NET is downloaded and installed on your PC.

Once it’s on your computer, when you restart Windows, Antivirus.NET runs and tries to scare you into purchasing its software.  After running fake scans on your computer, the malicious program provides a scan results list of threats that it allegedly found on your PC. While they’re more than likely not actually on your computer, the listed threats are existing, serious pieces of malware that are intended to illicit a panicked response from victims.

Additionally, Antivirus.NET can generate fake pop-up alerts and warnings that, again, attempt to scare victims into buying software that can only do harm.  These warnings may say that a remote computer is trying to access your computer, that viruses have been found on your computer, or that your PC is unprotected from threats.  The goal is always the same:  to get you to buy fake security software and steal your money.

Removing Antivirus.NET

Having a solid antivirus and antispyware program is the best way to avoid threats like Antivirus.NET.  However, this particular type of malware is also capable of disabling antivirus programs that are already on your computer.  So, in the event that your PC is already infected with Antivirus.NET, it may be necessary to use a program like PC Tools’ Threat Removal Tool.  The Threat Removal Tool can kill the AV-terminating component of the malware, which will then allow a more robust security program to finish cleaning the infection.

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