By Irma Murillo
Amarillo, TX--Tens of millions of computers are currently infected with a virus, masquerading as an anti-virus program.
At first glance, it appears your computer is warning you of a virus infection. It tells you to get protected by purchasing the latest anti-virus software. In reality, what you are purchasing is more dangerous than the alleged virus.
"This product is the virus," explains Ray Wilson, Cat Man Du President and CEO. "We infected our computer thinking we were going to do something good for it. And the problem is that it is very difficult to take it off."
Because it's difficult to take off, the program could be gathering personal information which could end up in the hands of identity thieves.
Wilson says half of the computers he services at his offices in Amarillo, Canyon and Dumas have the virus.
According to a new report on cybercrime, by the company Symantec, there are at least 250 versions of this phony software.
"This can pop-up with all sorts of names and flavors and colors. And everyone of them is looking more and more realistic. This is no longer a pop-up, it's a legitimate program now running on your computer. And it's sort of married to Windows," Wilson adds.
That marriage can make it difficult to remove the program completely without re-booting the system. In addition, legitimate anti-virus software programs are not equipped to fight this virus.
Wilson recommends cleaning your machine regularly to protect your computer. And to spot the phonies--the details are key. Just as with other fake merchandise, pay attention to the logo and the wording.