In the last month I’ve seen three different laptops infected with Antispyware 2008. “But isn’t ‘antispyware’ a good thing?” their owners ask. Not always.
Legitimate anti-spyware companies advertise and promote their product like other software vendors do, in magazines and on websites. Legitimate companies do not pop up windows trying to make you think your computer is infected, nor do they hijack your computer and corrupt your operating system.
Antispyware 2008, also known as Antispyware2008, is a rogue anti-spyware program that performs fake system scans and displays warning messages to lure you to purchase Antispyware 2008′s full version. Antispyware 2008 is usually downloaded and installed via a trojan called Zlob found on a media codecs that are downloaded from adult websites. Antispyware 2008 prompts users with warning messages and popups that state that you are infected with spyware in an attempt to get you to buy Antispyware 2008′s commercial version. Another attempt used by Antispyware 2008 is to perform system scans that show false positives. Antispyware 2008 is not a legitimate spyware removal tool. Antispyware 2008 is clone of Xp Antivirus, XPAntivirus2008 and Antivirus 2008. (Source-Spyware Remove)
In a couple of cases we couldn’t get the malware removed and the corrupted files repaired without reinstalling the operating system.
If your system becomes inoperable (for example: it loads up to the “Welcome” screen then reboots auotmatically), you can still access your files and save documents and pictures before you reinstall your operating system using a “live” Ubuntu Linux disk. This is a Linux operating system on a CD-ROM that can read Microsoft folders and files, and may allow you to save what you can before it gets overwritten.
The basic rules of internet safety are still:
- Do not open suspicious email. If you don’t know the sender or there’s no subject line, just delete it without opening it.
- Don’t click on suspicious attachments to an email.
- Be sure your anti-virus spplication is up-to-date. Do daily definition updates to ensure your system’s safety.
- Be sure you’re up-to-date with Microsoft updates if you use Windows. Mac and Linux users should be sure their systems have the latest updates as well.
- Use an anti-virus program that scans incoming and outgoing email.
- Do not click on popup ads on websites that supposedly are warning you that your computer has been infected by a virus. There’s no way a website can determine that without a scan of your system, something you’d have to have authorized. Instead of closing the popup ad, close the entire browser window. If you cannot close a browser window because of persistent popups, use ctrl-alt-delete to open the Task Manager and close your browser. Restart your computer if you have to, just don’t click on popup ads that are suspicious.
- Unless you have to, do not leave your computer turned on and connected to the internet over-night or any other time you aren’t using it.
- Do not connect a modem directly to your computer. Use a router and set it up to provide good security to your home or work network.
- Do not share your logons or passwords with anyone unless you initiated the contact and know who your are dealing with.
- Never share personally identifying information (credit card numbers, pin numbers, etc.) on any website ever unless that site is secure (htpps://examplesite.com).
- If in doubt, don’t. Don’t click, don’t open, don’t share. Always be skeptical. If you’re not sure, ask someone familiar with computers and security for their advice.
Better safe than sorry.
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