I don't really write about pure tech topics here, but the past few weeks some computers in our college writing center, two friends' home computers and now my own laptop were hit with a wave of scareware sites. These are sites that are injected into your web browser (usually by way of a Trojan).
The ones that have been hitting us pretend to be warning you of a virus or spyware on your computer. It's a nasty piece of code that you can't close or get rid of easily. I end up doing control-alt-delete, going into the task manager and ending my browser program. Of course, in doing so I lose whatever I was doing or had open in the browser.
They becomes more
and more profound trying to get you to install them. They use exploits, backdoors,or unsafe downloading practices. There are a number of terms for these sites. Whether they are scareware, fakeware, or spyware won't matter to you. It looks a lot like a real virus program and tells you that you have a virus and that they can get rid of it.
But it is NOT an antivirus engine.
It used to be that this might happen if you were downloading programs or media from bit torrents or visiting questionable websites. But the cases the past few weeks almost exclusively came from clicking a legitimate link from a Google search that then hijacked you to this bogus site.