The Underground Economy of Fake Antivirus Software
Fake Anti-Virus (AV) programs have been utilized to defraud millions of computer users into paying as much as one hundred dollars for a phony software license. As a result, fake AV software has evolved into one of the most lucrative criminal operations on the Internet. In this paper, the authors examine the operations of three large-scale fake AV businesses, lasting from three months to more than two years. More precisely, they present the results of their analysis on a trove of data obtained from several back-end servers that the cyber-criminals used to drive their scam operations.