Posted by: David Harley | December 23, 2012

‘Tis the season…

…in fact ’tis (always) the season for scams and hoaxes…

While scam-watching has been all too much a part of my professional life (i.e. the blogs and articles I get paid to write) I haven’t been spending much time on chain letters and hoaxes lately. Before I get to that, here’s a scam-ish item that caught my eye today.


Being useless doesn’t necessarily qualify software as malware, but Kaspersky’s Roel Schouwenberg was more than happy to classify as such a couple of Android apps that do nothing very much. And I think he’s right: an app that calls itself ‘Internet Accelerator Speed Up’ but does nothing but tell you that your system has been optimised by [random number between 20-45]% is a hoax if you don’t pay for it, and fraud if you do. Roel’s screenshot shows the cost of the download as $0.00, but even if that’s the cost, he also suggests that it has adware functionality. Claiming non-existent functionality in order to install adware would also suggest fraud to me. Kaspersky flags it as HEUR:Hoax.AndroidOS.FakeBapp.a. (Hat tip to John Leyden for bringing this to my attention.)

Here are a couple of scam-related articles I’ve posted recently on the ESET blog:

Back on more familiar hoax territory, here are a couple of relevant posts I’ve also put up on the ESET blog:

And a confession: that isn’t a baby reindeer in the photograph (Photoshopping courtesy of Jude Harley). It’s a Mule Deer we encountered in Yosemite on our last visit to the US (and it wasn’t Christmas, either). Well, this is a hoax site.

Compliments of the season to you, and best wishes for the New Year, from Jude, Letitia and myself.

Small Blue-Green World/Mac Virus
ESET Senior Research Fellow

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