Computer Virus Phobia Leads to ... Computer Viruses

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2009 1:03 PM CDT
The exterior of security software maker McAfee Inc. headquarters.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Fear of computer viruses is now one of the major reasons people are getting them in the first place, Reuters reports. According to Microsoft, seven of the 25 top threats come in the form of fake security programs, which users terrified of malware like Conficker are installing indiscriminately. Losing market share to the bugs they try to defend against has flummoxed above-board Internet security firms.

But it’s not so bad for Symantec or McAfee: Fear of widespread viruses that the companies publicized has also led to a boom in sales of genuine security products. Overall, Microsoft says, security threats decreased in the second part of last year, though major threats were up.