Fake Antivirus Programs

Fake anti-virus warnings like the one below really piss me off.  This one came up in Internet Explorer while using Google to do some research.

Antivirus 2009
Antivirus 2009 in Internet Explorer


This dialog popped up from a perfectly legitimate link in Google results.  Regardless of whether the dialog is closed with the OK button, the Cancel button, or the window close button, the user is taken to a malicious web site.  The web site behind the link redirects to winfix2008live.com/_freescan.php.

Pop-up blocking is activated in Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer Popup Blocking Set
Internet Explorer Popup Blocking Set

Firefox is no less immune in this respect.

Antivirus 2009 in Firefox
Antivirus 2009 in Firefox

 Apple Safari on a MacBook Pro has the same issue.

Antivirus 2009 - Safari
Antivirus 2009 in Safari


I’m a fairly knowledgable computer use with up-to-date security software installed on my systems, so it was a bit of a surprise when browsers started popping up warnings about being “struck by the virus.”  It is easy to see how “average” computer users can be misled by these sorts of popups