If Rogue antivirus software are on the rise, can the Rogue Antivirus Testers be far behind? Rogue AntiVirus products sell fake security products at best. At worst, they in fact install additional malware!
In the case of Rogue Anti Virus Testers, the business model is no longer based on a false sense of security but instead, on a false sense of insecurity. So, how do they operate? Well, it seems to start with a number of tests which look legitimate, and mimic real world conditions. Then, the tests slowly become more “complicated” and security products do worse and worse. Sometimes, the product that did best in the previous test suddenly becomes the worst in the group. In other cases, all products fail miserably. Finally, the main idea emerges: that all security products are bad and utterly useless. Hence, the false sense of insecurity is promoted through the tests: you are insecure, your money was misspent – beware!
Here are some characteristics which have been identified as being specific to rogue antivirus testers, that can help you spot them:
- They are not affiliated with any serious testing organization, such as AMTSO.org. Sometimes, the Rogue anti virus testers could also show fake affiliations or even falsely display the logo’s on their website, in order to remove suspicion and doubt.
- They publish free public reports, but charge money for the “full” reports. In general, the public reports should look as bad as possible for all the tested products, to maximize the profits from selling the full reports.
- The public reports are full of charts that look complicated and intelligent, but sometimes reveal amusing mistakes.
- They claim all anti-virus or security products are useless. This is the foundation stone of any business based on the “false sense of insecurity”.
- They charge for samples and methodology, usually very large sums of money, to make sure the flawed methodology and samples cannot be reviewed externally.
Just as Rogue AntiVirus or Scareware products exploded and became one of the most profitable categories of crimeware, Costin Raiu, the Director of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research & Analysis Team, feels that Rogue AntiVirus testers will follow.