|Theres a new spyware/virus combo that is sweeping the unwary net-surfing population of Russell County. |
Several times now people have brought machines to me complaining of strange behavior and unexplained lockups. The cause of all this is a fake anti-virus program called Antivirus XP 2008. This is often installed by a trusting individual after reading terror-ridden warning messages in pop-up ads. Essentially its like Iraq... they claim your computer has weapons of mass destruction so as to scare you to the point of stupidity, and in response you give them the keys to come in and wreck the place.
The advertisements are bogus, the program is bogus. It does a fake scan and gives lots of scary fraudulent results and then asks you to purchase the program so that it can remove all of the so-called threats. All the while, behind the scenes, it is installing viruses and possibly even a rootkit. So, if they've done all of this, do you think these are the kind of people you should give your credit card info to?
Paying for this program would be a mistake of grand proportions! Buying antivirus software from pop-up ads is like buying antibiotics from a stranger in a dark alley. Common sense should tell you that its a bad idea.
But being gullible isn't the only way that this program gets in though, in some cases it has seemingly installed itself onto computers that have no protection whatsoever whenever the user browses to less than reputable sites. So if you're running around the net unprotected, chances are this little bugger will just show up all on its own.
On newly infected machines, often this software can be disabled by running Avast Antivirus boot-time scan (or another good quality antiviral program), but in instances where it is entrenched, there's little choice but to offload important files, and then completely wipe and reinstall the operating system. Its very hard to tell just how far a system has been infected, so in most cases its safest to wipe and re-install. Also, any files that are taken off the machine should be scanned by a reliable anti-virus program.
If you've somehow got this software on your machine, you need to do something about it as soon as possible.
You can find removal instructions here:
And if you don't feel confident that you can remove it yourself, you're welcome to give me a call.
See ya next week!