The Virus Lab – What Is Scareware

Scareware is a malicious file that falsely informs the user their computer is infected, only to actually infect it in the end. This is mostly a psychological manipulation and often appears in the form of a pop-up.  Other names include Deception Software, Rogue Scanner Software, and Fraudware.

Traits of Scareware

  • Providing false messages from anti-virus software – this will trick the users into downloading a fake anti-virus software by informing them their computer has been infected.
  • Bombarding your desktop with false-solution pop-ups -these pop-ups often indicate the “problem” and the “solution”.
  • Using emails to trick you into downloading malicious files.
Some Scareware will bombard your screen with false-solution pop-ups.

Noteworthy Scareware

  • SpySheriff
  • XP Antivirus 2009
  • Total Secure 2009
  • AdwarePunisher

How to Avoid a Scareware Infection


Want to learn more about the different types of computer viruses? Check out other blogs in our Virus Lab series below!

What is Malware and Why Does it Exist?
What is Spyware?
What is a Backdoor?
What is a Trojan?