Fake antivirus infection rates down as authorities interrupt cash flow

first_imgWhen you think about protecting your computer against trojans, worms, and other malware, you probably think of companies like ESET and Symantec. After all, it’s their hard work and software that prevent the millions of digital threats in the wild from making mincemeat of your computer — right?Turns out that there’s another crew on the case: international law enforcement agencies. In recent years, agencies like the FBI have been getting more and more involved in cybersecurity issues. In fact, the Bureau has been working with folks like Microsoft since 2009 to tackle fake antivirus distribution, which remains one of the largest rackets in the malware world.And it now appears as though their involvement is making a major impact. After busting two malware rings this summer, authorities have now managed to stem the flow of credit card payments that allow cybercriminals to fund fake AV operations. Security researchers Brian Krebs notes two major factors: the shutdown of a multi million-dollar scareware organization and the arrest of ChronoPay co-founder Pavel Vrublevsky by police in Russia. ChronoPay has a well-documented history of supporting malware, including the infamous MacDefender.It’s encouraging to see the sharp drop on the chart above, but no one should think that this in an indication that fake antivirus is on the way out. Assuming the ChronoPay link is a big reason funding has been put on ice, and that Vrublevsky’s arrest is directly related, they could be processing payments again soon. Vrublevsky has plenty of very powerful friends in the Russian government, and it’s unlikely that he’ll remain incarcerated for long.Even if he is, the scareware business has already generated millions in ill-gotten profit for others — so someone, somewhere will step in to get the machine fired up once again. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see that hard work by the good guys has made even a temporary impact.More at Krebs on Securitylast_img

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