INSECURITY EXPERTS at the GFI-Sunbelt Rogue Blog have spotted an alarming trend in rogue disk defragmentation software.
The software does nothing but throw up phony warnings and demand that the victim purchase them before they "fix" the fictional problems they warn about.
They go under the names HDDDiagnostic, HDDRepair, HDDRescue and HDDPlus, but they are basically clones.
The report calls them a new family of rogue security products that it terms FakeAV-Defrag.
It is a new type because usually rogue security software does it best to pretend to be anti-spyware or anti-virus products.
In the last two months, however, it has become clear that the rogue malware writers are turning to fake optimisation software instead.
Earlier in December we had PCoptomizer, PCprotection Center and Privacy Corrector which were intended to look like some kind of generic security product.
Lately it has been "defragger" clones that claim to be disk utilities: UltraDefragger, ScanDisk and WinHDD. These pretended to find "HDD read/write errors".
Disk defragmentation once was considered a good way of speeding up a computer, but it has become less of a problem as PCs got faster, hard drives much larger and newer versions of Windows had better file handling capabilities.
But some users have become aware of the defrag utility and think they need it often which is why the rogues impersonate defrag utilities.
The cyber criminals who are sending out the software are changing the name of the software every few days to evade antivirus scanners.
The report said that Internet users should be suspicious of any application that is advertised by spam, pops up dire warnings that your machine is affected by numerous problems, tells you that you need to update your browser, or demands that you make a purchase before it will clean or fix problems in your machine. µ