Rogue Websites, malware websites or malware domains, are websites that are usually set up to distribute malware, steal a user’s personal information or other illegal or malicious purpose. A common trend among malware makers is to create rogue websites to entice users to download, install and then purchase rogue security software. Rogue websites provide several false claims when describing the rogue application that it is promoting. A rogue website can potentially be dangerous to visit as it may prompt the download or installation of a malicious program like a rogue anti-spyware program. Links to rogue websites may be found on questionable sources such as porn, serial/crack, or warez websites. Malware authors and crackers use rogue websites to attempt to load malware onto a users’ system. A rogue website can also be found in malware-laced codecs that insist that you download a new codec in order to watch a video file. To download or run an infected “cracked” software or malware-laced codec is what unlocks the malware program which may cause serious damage to a user’s computer or data. The victims who visit the rogue websites will be redirected to and exploited by the Web-based malware, and may be infected with further malware.
In some cases, rogue websites are named after the fake software that it promotes. Common rogue websites examples are: Anti-virus-pro.com, Malwarealarm.com, Ultimateantivirus.com, Xpantivirus.com, Microantivirus2009.com, Antivirus2009.com and Antivirus2008.com. Once a computer user visits one of these websites they are usually prompted with a popup message that says that their machine is infected with malware. This is a common situation where the developers of these programs and rogue websites get computer users to purchase a rogue application. It is basically a scare tactic forcing a user to believe he/she must purchase the offered software to fix the “issue” at hand. Other popular rogue websites are: Antivirus2009-Scanner.com, AHomePagePark.com, Softhomepage.com, Asafetysite.com, and Homepageroze.com.
A user who downloads and installs any program from a rogue website on their personal computer may lead to the loss or theft of personal information. Rogue websites allow malware makers to lead unsuspecting computer users into providing their credit card details to buy a non-existent or useless product. This is then transmitted to the malware maker automatically, enabling credit card fraud and other identity theft.