The program, called ProtectionBar, tries to trick users by installing false security programs on their computers, according to anti-virus firm Panda Software.
These programs inform users that their computer is infected by threats that do not exist or show fictitious errors. Then they threaten users so that they buy the license in order to delete the malware supposedly detected. The aim of this system is to earn a profit for the developers of these programs, who will share it with the creators of ProtectionBar.
Luis Corrons, director of Panda Software research offshoot, PandaLabs said this system for earning an income is nothing new. Supposed anti-spyware programs have been detected in the past, like RazeSpyware or SpySheriff, which offered to clean users' computers of spyware that didn't exist or had been installed by the application itself for a modest fee. Certain coincidences in all of these applications could suggest that they belong to the same creator.
"The risks of surfing the internet include the possibility of being tricked by applications that try to make users believe that they want to help them, or even threaten them with serious consequences to their computers if they don't buy their alleged security solutions," said Corrons. "What they are really doing is playing with the user's confidence and concerns, offering a product that does not do anything, which they wouldn't otherwise buy."
He added that when deciding which security solution to install, users should not base this decision on threats or tricks, but on objective facts, such as the technologies included in the solution or whether it can combat unknown threats.