Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Tools, techniques, and mechanisms related to detecting malware both before and after it's reached your machine.
Which contact gave a virus can be hard to guess unless you can follow the clues from the email or instant message that delivered it.
Regardless of what techniques a password utility might use, it is possible that it could still be logged, even if it bypasses the keyboard.
In general, it's very unlikely that a picture would become infected with a virus, but there are related scenarios to be aware of.
A virus attacks the software installed on your machine. Fixing it may take work, but hardware should not need to be replaced due to malware.
Virus programs are designed to be run in Windows normal mode. If you are looking for a suspected virus, there is a better way.
Anti-virus updates (from well written anti-malware tools) should not be accumulating virus definitions on your hard drive.
Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult for an average user to tell if a hack is in progress. I'll touch on a few ways and discuss prevention as best.
Sometimes it seems obvious, sometimes not, but ultimately there's no way to prove that a computer is not infected. Best we can do is increase the odds.
A friend brought me his machine infected with several viruses. I'll review the steps I took to clean it up.
I had a machine that was having troubles accessing common sites like Hotmail and Facebook. A virus was suspected. I'll walk you through the steps I took to clean the machine.
Once you've removed malware from an infected machine it's possible that Windows may suffer lingering side-effects. I'll look at why and what to do.
This particular problem with downloading sounds like something has inserted itself in the computer system. It's behaving suspiciously like malware.
It sounds like malware. I recommend doing a deep scan with an additional set of tools to see if those will clean the computer.
Anti-virus programs are good at removing more problems, but occasionally they can't. We'll look at approaches to manually dealing with the issue.
Lately memory cards, such as used in digital cameras, have been used as "carriers" of malware. The card is easy to clean. Your system may not be.
Some malware go through great lengths to prevent you from downloading, running or trying to apply a fix. I'll look at what you can try.
Most malware tools can remove most malware fairly well. Occasionally a removal will leave behind startup entries that I'll show you how to clean up.
You will need to start taking the basic steps for removing malware from your machine. Even if it wasn't intended as malware, it is acting like it.
Scanning your nuclear power station's Windows computers for malware can present some challenges if the machines have been secured properly.
If your machine is sending lots of email without you knowing it, it may be a zombie. Zombies are preventable, but may be difficult to clean up.
Many setup programs ask you to temporarily disable anti-virus tools. I'll show the setting in Microsoft Security Essentials and discuss if you need to.
Once infected knowing that you've removed a virus totally is theoretically impossible. In reality we most often assume that it can be done anyway.
A computer that won't update is a serious problem. We'll start by investigating potential malware.
If you clicked on a link in a spam email, you should immediately do a thorough scan of your computer. Unless you are not running a Windows machine.
For some reason many people's gut reaction to a malware infestation is to consider a new machine. That's just ... wrong.
Every so often malware comes along that the current crop of anti-malware tools don't remove. We'll look at why, and what steps you should take.
Several current scams center around gaining remote access, often in the guise of fixing problems on your machine. Be it for money or other reasons, one thing is clear: it's a trap!
In most cases getting rid of malware involves running up to date scanners for viruses and spyware, and then making sure you're behind a firewall.
A sudden pop-up saying that your computer is infected feels like malware. To be safe, treat your machine as if it is already infected.
Multiple anti-virus programs should not be running real-time scans together. They might conflict. I look at what you really need running on your computer.
Microsoft's Anti-Spyware (now called Windows Defender) turns out to be a reasonable anti-spyware solution.
A quick scan is going to find a good percentage of malware problems. You should also consider a full scan at the right time.
One approach to disinfecting a drive is to install it into another machine for cleaning. It's common, reasonable even, but there are risks.
When your anti-virus program tells you that it caught something, your next steps depend on what, when and how it was caught. And it depends on prudence.
Once infected it's often difficult to know what malware has done to a machine. What you do next depends on your concern and some legitimate paranoia.
If you're logged out as soon as you log in to Windows it's likely that your anti-malware tools removed an infection along with your ability to login.
Once infected it's difficult to guarantee that your cleaning efforts succeed. Best is to make sure that you never get infected in the first place.
Pages obscured by a survey might be legitimate ads... or it may be a virus. Time for a thorough scan.
Antivirus 2010 and similar are malware that tries to fool you into installing viruses or spyware, and then charges you for the promise of removal.
Traces of malware could be left in various places on a computer after a virus or spyware infection. First thing: don't panic!
Anti-malware tools, on identifying malicious software, will "quarantine" it. I'll look at what that means, and if there's any residual threat.
"Signatures" are the unique data patterns that malware scanners use to detect viruses as they scan your files or data.
Digital signatures are used to confirm the integrity of things from web sites to software. I'll look at what it means when software signatures "break".
Msmsger.exe is, most likely, an imposter. Trying to look like something legitimate, msmsger.exe is probably malware.
There are two types of virus scans: continuous or periodic. Which and how many you need and how often they're needed depends on your situation.
There are many free antivirus programs available for your computer. We'll look at some of them, including the one I'm currently evaluating.
Sounds like Avast is doing its job and keeping you away from websites that are infected with a trojan.
Depending on how anti-virus programs work, certain files may not be scanned. In some cases that's expected and nothing to worry about.
Occasionally, malware will infect files that are critical to Windows own operation. Repairing these types of infections can be difficult, at best.
The world of malware and malware removal is complex. Occasionally, malware can't be removed by some tools. Occasionally, it will return quickly. I'll look at why and my approach to dealing with persistent pests.
Anti-virus tools won't catch all malware, all the time - especially in real-time visits of questionable sites.
'This operation is canceled ...' is an unfortunately common symptom of an all-too-common problem: a virus infection. We'll look at your options.
If you get a message, "Your computer is at risk," it's a scam. The solution is to follow computer safety (so you know you are not at risk) and then determine where the message comes from.
It's not uncommon for setup programs to recommend disabling anti-virus programs first. We'll look at why. But do turn it back on when you're done.
Anti-malware software tries to insert itself between you and "possibly malicious" links and webpages on the internet... it often does that less than perfectly.
Malwarebytes for standard security is best used as a first step in a cleanup job. It's a great program to pull out when you suspect you have a problem.
If you're getting messages that you computer is infected, it might be. But you MUST be skeptical and extremely careful about the steps you take next.
When a major malware infection was discovered last year, a temporary solution was created on the internet. On July 9th, 2012, it's scheduled to go away.
It's sometimes convenient, and occasionally even necessary, to run anti-malware software before Windows boots or when it can't. Windows Defender Offline is Microsoft's solution that allows you to do just that. I'll show how to download and use it, and I'll also point out a few additional alternatives.