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Dupe an antivirus program for under $300

Computer virus
A slightly on-the-nose depiction of malware. Photo: ullstein bild / Getty

Researchers at Recorded Future profiled the only two large sellers of fraudulently acquired “software certificates” in a new report. With prices as low as $299, the illicit certificates can evade some digital defenses on the cheap.

Why it matters: Software certificates are essentially a high-tech way for computers to ask a trusted third party, “hey, have you ever heard of this program?” If that system breaks down, unsuspecting users may end up installing malware without any warning.