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Fake Antivirus « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC
23Aug/10Off

Viruses That Attack and Disable Antivirus Software

It is quite common to see infected PC's that have their antivirus software disabled by a virus.     The creators of viruses/malware are aware of many of the tools and software used to protect your PC against infections.  The creators of viruses/malware  can specifically write their virus to disable your Antivirus software and others.  Viruses can also disable programs or tools that you may use to remove the infections.     New variants and versions are released everyday on the internet thereby causing a delay as to when Antivirus software and other tools can be updated to combat the latest infections.    In some cases you may even have to do a manual removal of the infection in order to use some of your tools.

I had two customers this weekend, one was Windows 7 with Norton (updated subscription) and the other had AVG Free 9.0.    The Windows 7 machine only had a small infection but it did disable internet connectivity and kept Norton from updating.    The 2nd machine was Windows XP and had a very nasty rootkit on it.  AVG listed itself as running but no components were active or recognized.  The infection had completely disabled AVG.     Even after the infection was removed, AVG still needed to be reinstalled.   When your Antivirus software is disabled it is no longer doing it's job.   In this case once the shield is down, your computer is open and exposed to many other infections on the internet.

It is very easy for creators of viruses and malware to disable your Security Software.   The key is to try to protect yourself before the virus gets you.   What you can do is be wary of email attachments and keep your software updated (Windows, Java, Adobe Flash or other Adobe products, Antivirus & Antispyware, and other software).   These updates are released to fix bugs and exploits in the software and you need them up to date.    Be careful what sites you navigate to.  Watch out for suspicious videos or postings on Facebook and use complex passwords.  Remember if you are not sure don't Click it.

Once a virus is allowed in your system it can easily disable your protection and many other things.   This is why you should try to remove the infection as quickly as possible.  If you cannot do it on your own, then consult a professional.     The longer the infection(s) reside on your PC, the more damage they can do and the more doors they can open to other infections.    Some of these infections can be very nasty and result in data loss or data theft.

As the viruses get more and more advanced, the tools and security software will try to keep up with them but there will always be gaps.  You as the user must do your part in order to reduce your chances of becoming infected.     Viruses that can disable your Security Software can just as easily steal your passwords or other personal information.   It all depends on what the viruses goal is.    Watch for signs of infection and take care of it as quickly as possible.  If you do get an infection that you cannot remove, you can always count on ZolexPC to remove them for you.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

3Aug/10Off

It Only Takes One Click to Infect Your PC.

Over the weekend, I had a customer who had contracted a nasty virus.  He attempted to fix it on his own by doing a clean install of Windows.  The Install failed and he contacted ZolexPC for help.   We were able to load a fresh copy of Windows for him.  In addition we installed Security Software on his PC and got all of his Windows updates.    Not more than 3 hours after the service was completed, the customer returned stating his machine was infected again.   How is this possible?

A quick investigation revealed that the customer upon starting up his machine,  connected to the internet and immediately went to a specific website.  The website happened to be an  illegitimate website that he thought contained adult content.  Unfortunately the website actually was a fake site that delivered a virus to his PC instead.  By navigating to this website, he contracted a virus that penetrated all of his Security Software.  Why does this happen you may ask?

Once you click on a malicious piece of software or navigate to a bogus website laced with malware/infections, you are installing/authorizing the infection to carry out it's mission.    This mission is to infect your PC.  Many infections are designed to disable your Antivirus software and other protections that Windows has.   Once the infection has been launched your computer's security has been compromised and your machine is infected.   It is also now vulnerable to other infections as well since most of your Security has been disabled due to the original infection.

One bogus website or one wrong click is all it takes to infect your PC, even a PC with all of it's software up to date.   In this particular customer's case we removed the new infection pretty quickly and informed him to stay away from that website in the future.    The website was malicious and designed to trick the user into purchasing Fake Antivirus software.  This is a common trick and scam that is used by the makers of viruses and malware.   Most will attempt to trick the user into purchasing Fake Infection Removal Software for a price.  It is especially common on Adult Sites for obvious reasons.   With all of the downloading of videos and pictures on Adult sites, they are a prime target for malware and other infections.

The creators of viruses and malware are getting more and more inventive in finding ways to infect people's computers.   You need to be very careful and aware of your surroundings when surfing the Internet.   Some websites may be obvious Fakes or bogus why others may be very sophisticated and be hard to distinguish from bad ones.   If the site looks suspicious then do not navigate to it or click on it.

Some of the newest methods being used to infect PC's are using Search Engine Results so that when you search for something popular in the news or a popular topic, websites that contain links or redirects to infections/viruses will show up in the results.   For example, you search Lindsay Lohan prison release and while most results will be legitimate there may be some that actually redirect you to an infected website that contains viruses or malware.  There you may get an error message telling you your PC is infected and to download some Fake Virus Scanner.    When searching the Internet using Google or Bing be sure to look at the results carefully before clicking on a link.  Does it look funny or odd or seem fake?    Is there any gibberish in the description?

One wrong click can spell the difference between safe surfing or contracting an infection on your PC.   Take the extra time to examine what websites you are clicking on and navigating to.  If you do get infected you can always count on the pros at ZolexPC to help you get rid of it.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

12Jul/10Off

Can I Get An Infection From A Legitimate Website?

Can I Get An Infection From A Legitimate Website?   This is a great question and the answer is yes.   How can this happen?    A virus or malicious content can be put onto a legitimate website without the owner being aware.  Just as the PC's themselves can get infected, websites can also be infected.     Users that in turn visit those sites could end up catching a virus themselves just by navigating to a compromised site.

Read the full article highlighted below.  Note the pictures where you can see a Fake YouTube looking website.   The article states that this particular infection was actually located on 2 different companies websites without their knowledge.     http://www.symantec.com/connect/de/blogs/use-legitimate-sites-malicious-web-attacks

In this particular case the infection is contracted by clicking on Yes to Download the Codec.  Legitimate codecs are used to watch videos.  Your standard Windows Media Player will usually play most videos for you.  If you see a prompt to download a codec in order to watch a video, there is a good chance you will be getting an infection instead of watching the video.

Most larger websites will have high enough security and safeguards in place to prevent this from happening.  The risk is with smaller sites or Mom and Poppish types.    It is important for these types of business to have the right security in place for their websites.  This is usually handled by a hosting company that specializes in this.  Godaddy.com is a prime example.  However individuals can also host websites on their home PC's.   Websites like this are more vulnerable to this type of attack.

As the user or surfer on the Web, what you can do to protect yourself is the usual regimen that we have covered before.   Do not download anything you are not sure of.   If prompted to download something such as  codec, do not do it unless you are 120% sure it is safe.   Keep your Windows up to date.  Keep your Security Software up to date if applicable.   Do not open any email attachments unless you are sure of the sender and that the file is safe.

As the security to combat viruses and infections gets better, the viruses and malware get more advanced as well.  It is up to you to be smart and careful to reduce your risks for infection.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolepc.com

1Jul/10Off

New Twilight Movie Online Scam

Beware all Twilight Fans that the Fake Antivirus scammers are targeting you next.     When you do a search for the new Twilight Movie some of the search results could be harmful software.    If you click on any of these links by mistake or intentionally you will most likely infect your PC with a Fake Antivirus scanner.

http://www.spamfighter.com/News-14656-Twilight-Movie-Online-Scam-Spreads-Malware.htm

The program will  prompt you to purchase software with your Credit Card to remove the infections or to activate the software.    By doing this you have not only infected your machine but also given your Credit Card # to Bad Guys.  If this has happened to you, you need to immediately call your Credit Card Company and stop the charges.   Also watch out for other non-authorized charges going forward.  Consideration of canceling that card and getting a new one might be a good idea as well.

When you go do any searches for the new Twilight Movie, be sure to read the website name before you click on it.   Not taking the extra time can be the difference between getting the correct movie times or getting a real nasty virus and host of other problems.

If you do get a virus and need it removed, you can always count on ZolexPC to remove it for you.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

13Apr/10Off

Rise of Fake Antivirus Programs Continues to Plague the Internet

Fake Antivirus software continues to infect more and more users everyday.   At ZolexPC we are seeing a large increase in a few specific ones that merit mentioning.    Antivirus 2010, Internet Security 2010,  Total PC Defender, and Fake Alert.   These viruses are all designed to mask themselves as legitimate software to clean your machine of infections.   The programs will run scans that are fake, and then prompt you for money to fix them.    There are variants of these programs and many more out there that are similar in scope.     Some of them even go so far as to put out new fake ones each year and name them accordingly.   For example, there is an Antivirus 2009, 2008, and of course Antivirus 2010.

Some people may accidentally click on links for these viruses while others just may see them all of sudden show up on their PC.   This is usually the result of going to an infected page on a website or an infected website in general.   You may also contract this virus from not keeping your existing Security Software and Windows updated.    Many programs will just surf the Internet searching for machines that are vulnerable to their infections.   Similar to a burglar who walks around a neighborhood checking for unlocked doors, sooner or later he will find an open door to break into.     These programs can wreak havoc on y0ur PC very quickly.

A common target of these programs is the ability to prevent executable programs from running.   This may prevent your Antivirus software from being able to run, or additional programs that will not work because the virus will block.     The infection does this to protect itself from being deleted.    You will usually get a message from the Fake Antivirus software telling you that the particular program you are trying to use is infected and cannot be run.   It will tell you that you should install and run their software, usually for a price.   If you do this, you will most likely further infect your PC with additional infections and the scam will continue.    These types of infections can almost make your PC inoperable.

If you are surfing the Internet and you get prompted or see a message from any program that is not your normal Security Software, you should immediately close your browser and run your Security Scans, with your Antivirus software or Antispyware scanners.     If you scanners will not run and the machine is infected you will need to call on the professionals to have them remove it for you.   The process can take some time to remove the infection and to make sure the PC is clean.     At ZolexPC we can remove these infections and get your PC back to a healthy state.      Keep your Security Software updated.  ZolexPC recommends updating your Security Software every two weeks.   Your Antivirus software will usually update by itself, but your other Security Software may not.   If you use Free Software, you usually are responsible for the updating of it.   The process is usually very quick,  but easy to forget to do.

Fake Antivirus programs and software will continue to plague us on the Internet but the more vigilant we are and the more we keep our Security Software up to date, the less it can harm us.  Be sure to keep your Security Software up to date and be suspicious of any program that you don't recognize.  If you do get infected with one of these, you can always count on ZolexPC to remove them for you.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com


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