However, even without any vulnerabilities present, clever social engineering attacks can cause an unsuspecting user to unwittingly install malicious code supplied by an attacker on their computer. One increasingly prevalent threat is the spread of Fake Anti-Virus (Fake AV) products. “Google conducted an in-depth analysis of the prevalence of Fake AV over the course of the last 13 months, and the research paper containing our findings, “The Nocebo Effect on the Web: An Analysis of Fake AV distribution” is going to be presented at the Workshop on Large-Scale Exploits and Emergent Threats (LEET) in San Jose, CA on April 27th. While we don’t want to spoil any surprises, her’re a few previews. Our analysis of 240 million web pages over the 13 months of our study uncovered over 11,000 domains involved in Fake AV distribution — or, roughly 15% of the malware domains we detected on the web during that period. Also, over the last year, the lifespan of domains distributing Fake AV attacks has decreased significantly,” states Google.