They go by many names. Security.Cleaner.exe, my latest troublemaker, is just one example. They seem to be the malware du jour.
Malware du jour
Where do they come from? An email from somebody you don’t know but curiosity made you open it or maybe a website you visited. The moment you open the email or the webpage, bam! It’s loaded onto your C: Drive. It’s not a solitary virus though, it likes company. The first form of the virus (malware) will set your computer up to down load more programs just like itself. Each one takes a toll on your computer’s ability to resist. Their purpose is to take control of your computer away from you. You most definitely will lose control of your Internet Explorer browser (why are you still using IE anyway?).
The obvious symptoms are the windows cropping up saying you have multiple viruses detected by your Windows Operating System, or “your registry has been corrupted”, or “warning, your computer has been infected with spyware”, or “warning, 40 viruses found”. They will offer you a way to save yourself. Just click on this announcement and we will sell you the most fabulous software known to man. It will clean out your infection. For a mere $39.95, your computer can be clean.
If you don’t click on their pop-up window, you can delay any further infection (maybe) but it is persistent. It will wear you down. Their ultimate goal, I mean aside from getting your $39.95? Well, if you give them your sensitive credit card information, they can sell that. Maybe ultimately they will try to extort money from you or hold your computer ransom.
How do you fight it? You’ve heard it all before. (1) don’t accept an email from someone you don’t know, (2) Don’t go to questionable websites (you know what I mean), (3) buy a good anti-virus from a reputable company and hope like heck it will catch it, (4) hire a tech like me and we will clean it off your hard drive. Just remember, if your tech doesn’t re-format your hard drive, how can you be 100% sure the virus is gone. The ONLY way to be sure is to re-format the drive and re-install your Operating System.