virus4Here at AndersonPC we see the amazing things that technology
can do for us as well as the miserable things that a malicious person can do
with that technology as they design and deploy virus, spyware, and malware.

We spend significant time
putting in measures to prevent and remove infections. Before I detail some of the worst ones we see
during the holidays, I thought I’d share the definitions of the three so it’s
clear.

Malware, short for malicious software, is software
designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s informed
consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to
mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program
code. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware

A computer virus is a computer program that can copy
itself and infect a computer. The term “virus” is also commonly but
erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, adware, and spyware
programs that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can only
spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code) when its
host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it over
a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium such as a floppy
disk, CD, DVD, or USB drive. Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to
other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system
that is accessed by another computer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_virus

Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers
and collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of
spyware is typically hidden from the user. Typically, spyware is secretly
installed on the user’s personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as
keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public
computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyware

Some of these scary infections become prolific during the holidays as predators use this time of year to spread their misery. A handy site to keep track of these bad boys is http://threatinfo.trendmicro.com/vinfo/default.asp You can see the latest Malware, Spyware, and Vulnerabilities that are spreading across the world.

One that can be a bear to remove is Windows Antivirus Pro comes in varying
names like Internet Antivirus Pro, and others.

virus1Windows
Antivirus Pro
is a rogue anti-virus program and a ransomware that does not allow you
to run any programs on your computer. When Windows Antivirus Pro is installed it is configured to run every
time Windows starts. Once running it will automatically scan your computer and then list a variety of infections that you
cannot attempt to remove until you purchase the program. This program also acts
as ransomware because while it is running it will state that almost any program
you try to execute is an infection and not allow you to run it. This makes it
hard to run any legitimate anti-malware programs until you end the Windows
Antivirus Pro processes or purchase it.

virus1Be very careful of this one. ALT-F4 is your new best friend to close windows that are suspect without accidentally installing something.

There are so many virus and suspect programs to discuss I think the best bet is to follow the advice from my previous blog post at http://blog.andersonpc.com/2009/12/antivirus/ and work hard to steer clear or problem areas.
Just remember the majority of infections come from users clicking and
installing the malware or virus. Very
few can infect the PC without the user allowing it.

 

 

Some helpful links:

http://www.microsoft.com/Security/portal/

http://threatinfo.trendmicro.com/vinfo/

http://home.mcafee.com/VirusInfo/Default.aspx

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/home_homeoffice/media/theme/parentresources/14550777_FOSG_final.pdf