AOH :: IS1317.HTM

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The New York Times
October 29, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO =E2=80=94 How much money can criminals make scaring na=C3=AFve computer 
users? Try $5 million a year.

That is how much a marketing associate of one Russian operation appears 
to be earning from its sales of fake antivirus software through an 
elaborate scheme that relies on e-mail spam and indirectly controlling 
thousands of unprotected PCs, according to internal company files posted 
online by a Russian hacker.

The company is Bakasoftware, a clandestine effort based somewhere in 
Russia that markets what it claims is an antivirus program strictly to 
English-speaking computer users.

The program, whose name has recently been updated from Antivirus XP 2008 
to Antivirus XP 2009, lodges itself on a victim=E2=80=99s computer and then 
begins generating a series of pop-up messages warning that the user=E2=80=99s 
computer is infected. If the user responds to the warnings, he is urged 
to buy a $49.95 program for disinfecting the machine.


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