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One Step Ahead: Security and Privacy Made Simple
September 7, 2010, Volume 57, No. 02

One Step Ahead

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Fake Anti-Virus Alerts a Common Web Threat

As much as 15% of all malicious software on the web is currently related to fake anti-virus offerings (or “Fake AV”). Fake AV is malware or spyware posing as legitimate anti-virus software. Users encounter it when browsing the web, typically in the form of a pop-up window telling them their virus software is out of date and their computer is at risk. Believing the alert is real, users can be fooled into opening bad links, providing credit card information, or installing malicious programs. If you encounter a virus alert while surfing the web, simply close your browser and reopen it again. It is important not to click on anything or provide any personal information. If you think you’ve already been fooled or something installed automatically, contact your LSP for guidance about removal.

Remember, Penn Students, Faculty, and Staff do not need to purchase Antivirus protection for Penn-owned, or a personally-owned computer. Penn has site licensed this software for its constituents and it is available for download from www.upenn.edu/computing/product.

Almanac - September 7, 2010, Volume 57, No. 02