Beware 'Win 8 Security System' Scareware: McAfee

Dennis Faas's picture

With firms like Dell unveiling new products that run the upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS), set for release in late October 2012, interest in Microsoft's newest OS is steadily mounting.

However, the growing buzz could benefit hackers, who -- as always -- will be seeking to take advantage of public interest in a new software product.

That's why it's not surprising that PC security firm McAfee claims to have found a fake antivirus and anti-spyware software utility that calls itself the "Win 8 Security System."

Fake Security Software Claims to Keep Windows 8 Systems Safe

McAfee says the fake security software claims to be compatible with Windows 8, and promises to both detect and remove emerging security threats to the new Microsoft OS. (Source:

McAfee says those claims are a load of hogwash.

The security firm has revealed that "Win 8 Security System" is primarily set up to provide users with fake warnings that an infection has occurred. Users are told that those threats will be removed only after they install more software.

According to McAfee's Naganathan Jawahar, this is not a new idea. Referred to by industry experts as "scareware", these kinds of malware threats are often used by hackers and spammers to con people out of their money. (Source:

'Win 8 Security System' Just 'Scareware'

"The Win 8 Security System is typical rogue, or fake, antivirus software," Jawahar explained.

"After infecting a user's system, this malware scares its victim into buying the 'product' by displaying fake security messages, stating that the computer is infected with spyware or other malware and only this product can remove it after you download the trial version," he added.

"As soon as the victim downloads Win 8 Security System, it pretends to scan your computer and shows a grossly exaggerated amount of nonexistent threats." (Source:

Of course, actually installing the software won't fix the problem, since the problem never existed in the first place.

With Windows 8's October release fast approaching, it's likely we'll soon see more threats of this kind.

That's why it's important that web users carefully research any security tool prior to making a purchase. Even a quick Google search for the product in question is likely to highlight whether it is real security software or a phony one.

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