McAfee '911' Helps Victims Recover from Online Attacks

Dennis Faas's picture

McAfee has launched a new website designed to help the victims of various cybercrimes fight back against Internet deviants. Dubbed the "Cybercrime Response Unit," it acts a lot like an "Online 911".

A victim of an online hacking is left with very little options following an attack. On one hand, the thought of calling the police to report a random computer virus is comical, but if the virus is comprehensive enough that it affects a great number of people, the party responsible for its creation should be held accountable.

In the U.S., online crimes can be prosecuted by state, local and federal authorities, including the FBI and the Secret Service, but sometimes the justice system is a bit intimidating for the average end-user to pursue.

Online 911

The McAfee Cybercrime Response Unit is a kind of like an "Online 911" where people can go to check the severity of their damages, and if need be, get in contact with the proper authorities. The site could be the difference in recognizing a Conficker attack over a harmless (albeit annoying) malware bug.

Even if your computer has not been targeted, the website provides a wealth of information about Internet scams, online bullying, identity theft and other random acts of cybercrime.

McAfee Recommends Online Scan

McAfee recognizes that a great number of victimized people do not even realize that their computer has been jeopardized.

In this respect, McAfee recommends an online scanning program that will check the computer for any signs of supposed cybercriminal activity. The scanning program is exclusive to Internet Explorer and/or Windows users for the time being. (Source:

Online Scan Links to 'FreeScan' and Paid AntiVirus Edition

The Cybercrime Response Unit page offers a link to a "Cybercrime Scanner," a free scan that takes about 15 minutes to complete. (Source:

After the scan, the user is presented with the further option to "contact the Cybercrime Response Unit TeleCenter and take a survey." There is also a link to "Run Virus Scanner", which points to the Mcafee home page, where 'Mcafee FreeScan' is hosted as a download. (Source:

FreeScan claims to provide "links to more information about the viruses and what you can do to clean your system." (Source: Upon initialization, 'FreeScan' presents the user with links to a redundant scan of their PC and to purchase their paid antivirus subscription edition.

Complaints Up, Actual Cybercrime Figures Unknown

According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center, people complained about Internet-related crimes 33% more often than in the previous year. (Source:

While the exact number of Internet-related crimes changes on an hourly basis, the figure above shows that people are becoming much more aware of threats online. If this data holds true, expect the McAfee "Online 911" system to attract many new visitors in the near future.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet