Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: open(D:\TEMP\PHP\sess_mmfhi0aljncjre03u49a0m8bi4, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in D:\Hosting\6740649\html\zolexpc\blog\wp-content\plugins\wordpress-automatic-upgrade\wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 121
PC infected « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC
9Aug/10Off

Why Do People Create Computer Viruses and Malware?

This is a question I get asked very often when cleaning a computer for a customer.    An article from Technibble explains that there are primarily 5 reasons or categories that explain why people create computer viruses and malware.

  • To take control of a computer and use it for specific tasks
  • To generate money
  • To steal sensitive information (credit card numbers, passwords, personal details, data etc.)
  • To prove a point, to prove it can be done, to prove ones skill or for revenge purposes
  • To cripple a computer or network

Read the full article here:

http://www.technibble.com/why-do-people-create-computer-viruses/

Though this article is from 2007 it still holds true in today's world.     The reasons are the same and the infections are still there, albeit just in a differing variations.    While some of these reasons are less frequent such as crippling computers or networks, others such as those for financial gain or the stealing of sensitive information are on the rise.

There are some infections that use viruses to achieve multiple objectives.  For example you can have an infection that  tries to scam you out of your money to pay for Software to fix the infection.  When you purchase the software for this supposed Fix, you end up downloading another piece of malicious software.  This in turn could be used to spread it to other machines or steal sensitive information from your PC.   Infections like this are quite common these days.   It is important for the user who has contracted an infection to keep an eye on your Credit Cards for unauthorized charges as well as your bank account.   Remember that one infection usually open doors to other infections on your PC.

Viruses are not going away anytime soon.   There will always be people who create viruses for financial gain.    There will always be people who create viruses to test their skills against Microsoft's and Antivirus software's Security.     There will always be some people with malicious intent on destroying computers and their networks.  The truth is that there is always an incentive for people to create viruses and malware.  Whether it be financial or personal satisfaction or malicious in nature, there is an incentive to continue making new viruses and malware and for that reason, we will not be seeing the end of viruses and malware for a long long time.

Have any other reasons you think people create computer viruses and malware?   Feel free to leave a comment.

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

26Jul/10Off

Do Not Wait to Get Your PC Fixed If It Is Infected

Recently I had a customer who came to us stating that their PC was infected and they were no longer able to connect to the Internet.   The PC had been infected for a month or so but they had waited to get rid of the infection.   The longer you wait to fix your PC when it is infected the more damage the infection can do to your PC.    There are many variants of Worms and Trojans that can eat/delete files on your PC over time.  Some files may be specifically targeted such as your Antivirus Software, or vital Windows System Files.  Others may be non-important files that you may not notice missing.    Viruses and other associated Malware come in all sorts of shapes and varieties.  They have the ability to modify, delete, and create files on your PC.   The more time they have on your system, the more havoc they can cause.

Similar to a Doctor fighting an infectious disease, the sooner you catch it and begin treating it, the better chances you have for a full recovery.  The same principle applies to your PC and you.   While this does not apply to every PC infection out there, it does apply to some.   Waiting a few days or weeks can be disastrous.  Imagine you have a nasty password stealer or key-logger installed on your system without your knowledge.  This type of infection allows the hacker/virus creator access to all of your passwords etc and every single keystroke on your PC.   If you do banking online or shopping online, then you have given the Hacker/Virus creator all of your personal information.     They could steal your Identity and use your Credit Cards or SS# to commit crimes etc.    Even if it just a regular run of the mill infection such as pop-ups or fake scans, your PC could still be giving out your email address to any and every scam artist out there.

New infections are released on an unsuspecting public every day.  With the sheer number of infections out there you can not give them a chance to reside on your system wreaking havoc along the way while waiting to fix it.  The longer you wait, the worse the damage, and the bigger risk you are taking by not addressing the problem.  Not every infection is going to fall into this criteria, but the ones that do are extremely dangerous.    When your PC gets infected, remove the infection as quickly as possible.  Do not do any online shopping or banking or personal stuff until the PC has been cleaned of any infections.    Many infections will allow you to keep your using your PC and surf the internet so they can get more information from and about you.  If you keep using your PC, surfing the Internet etc, you will most likely end up contracting another infection.  Many infections and viruses have friends and can open up doors for them to join the party on your PC.

If your Antivirus software or other tools can not remove the virus for you, then have a professional do it for you.    Of course I recommend ZolexPC for this.  :)    Whatever you decide to do, remove the infection(s) as quickly as possible to avoid even more damage than has already been done.    Treat your PC like yourself when you are sick.  When you have a cold or an infection, you take medicine for it.  When your PC is sick with a virus, removing the virus is the best medicine.

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

1Jun/10Off

Can I Still Get An Infection When All of My Security Software is Up to Date?

This is a great question and the answer is yes you can.    You can easily go to a page where Viruses, spyware, malware and other baddies are lurking.  By inadvertently clicking on them, you can easily infect a fully updated and protected machine.   Many viruses are made to disable your Antivirus software once given the authority or authorization.  By opening that file or clicking on it you are authorizing the program to run.    The program simply tells the Antivirus software or Security Software to leave it alone and let it run.  Once the program is running it has free reign over your system.   Keeping your Security Software up to date is ONE of MANY components to keeping your PC infection free.

So how can you protect yourself against these kinds of threats?  There is no guarantee, outside of never connecting your PC to the Internet of not exposing your PC to potential infections.   New infections come out daily and it always takes time for the protection software to catch up.  What you can do to protect yourself is to be very careful where you surf.  Be very careful on what you are clicking on.  If you are on an Adult site be extremely careful as many Free Adult sites can be laced with a multitude of different infections.   File Sharing can also be a source.  If you do any of these things on the Internet, your chances will certainly increase to be infected.

People are not going to stop file sharing, free music, adult sites, and other places where some viruses can lie dormant waiting for their next victim.   What we as users need to do is just use all of our tools at our disposal to limit the opportunities for infection, and to be careful about what we are doing on the Internet.   Your Security Software works in conjunction with you to keep your PC safe.   Keep your software up to date, run regular scans on your PC, be careful what sites you view and your chances of getting infected are lowered.

Remember that it only takes one click and about one second to infect a machine with a virus.   When in doubt, do not click on it.   By doing these things and keeping your Software up to date, you give yourself and your PC the best chance of keeping your infections to a minimum.

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

Steve

www.zolexpc.com


Warning: Unknown: open(D:\TEMP\PHP\sess_mmfhi0aljncjre03u49a0m8bi4, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (D:\TEMP\PHP) in Unknown on line 0