Dodgy addons – rogueware in disguise

Can you be sure an addon is the real thing?

Rogue addons example - click for a larger view
Rogue addons example

Most regular websurfers use addons for their preferred internet browser to provide useful extra functions, but did you know some addons are not what they apear to be? This is one such example of a rogue addon you definitely do not want to install. The real address of the link shows up in the bottom left when you hover over the "install now" button, and it is nothing to do with Mozilla.com (where all official Firefox downloads including addons should come from), and instead a subdomain of reupd(dot)net. As it doesn't come from an official Mozilla address, it's most certainly rogueware.

Clicking on that link could find your browser hit with a nasty search and browser hijacker. The safety of your devices, and your data, are then at high risk.

What's this "rogueware" stuff then, Bulldog?

Rogueware once referred specfically to fake security programs, but now generally describes any programs or malicious webage that claims you need to do something to fix problems on your computer. They then prey on fear of a problem to convince the user to pay money or install more malware. It’s social engineering that uses fraudulent claims, playing on inexperienced users' fear of a problem, to gain a way in.

The whole thing typically begins with the sudden appearance of an alert window from what looks like a valid program. Examples are a fake antivirus scanners, faked Windows security features, or an addons from unusual sources. Sometimes, as in our example above, a browser window displaying a message about a reqired plugin is ground zero. Either way, the alerts will claim that your computer requires immediate attention to "fix" an issue. Rogueware will typically demand one of two things: the installation of additional software or the purchase of the ‘full version’ of the program to supposedly fix the issues detected. Often it then lays down a further cluster of malware infections in its wake.

DigitalBulldog has over a decade of experience in removing rogueware and other system infections. In most cases we are able to completely clean out the problem with absolutely no damage to your files or operating system.

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