Information Technology Law: Fake Security Software

May 26th, 2017   |  

Is fake security software legal?

As advances made in the technological sector are happening rapidly, so are changes being made in the way that legal decisions and precedents deal with the advances. The Internet has numerous grey areas based on legality of fake software.

Every day, the legal system, both here and abroad, is adapting to the most recent breakthroughs and changes in defining legalities, property rights and even what “is” the law. So is fake security software legal? Yes it’s legal, but unethical and harmful towards consumers. The part that makes fake security software illegal are the harmful aspects, such as stealing personal data.

A legal (and security) issue that has become a major concern in the last year is the download and use of false internet security programs. Security software that shows false security vulnerabilities. Providing the user with useless information regarding security issues. Symantec recently estimated that as many as tens of millions of internet users have downloaded and legitimately paid for any of the scores of fake security programs online. Emphasized recently, fake anti-virus scan websites detecting false security issues. Most of these types of sites use redirects, spoofing, or similar domain names to maliciously convince the use to download fake security software. The software will normally warn of high priority threats; in reality, the threat is the anti-virus software.

The Sad Irony

Many of these programs are, in themselves, malware – programs designed to pilfer information from and breach the security of the users’ computer. Hackers and malicious scammers will commonly collect personal information through fake software. Infecting the computer with malicious anti-virus software can allow the hacker to target and record specified documents and websites; track and advertise via popups and in-browser ads; use your computer as a bot for extended activities, such as DDoS attacks. It is always a wise step to research a computer security program online before downloading, installing or even visiting the site of any such program.

Top Rated Security Software for 2017

Top rated security software of 2017 includes Norton, McAfee, and Malwarebytes. Never trust links, emails, or free alternatives to top rated security software. Fake applications will attempt to mask behind an existing name or domain. They attempt to gain your trust through reputable names. One of the most common corporation names used maliciously is Microsoft.

For more information on the topic, read this article from Reuters, which explains how tens of millions of U.S. computers have paid for scam security software installed that could actually be putting the computers at risk.

Need help verifying security software is legitimate? Want assistance from professionals with security support for websites and email? Please contact Media Genesis at 248-687-7888 or email us at

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