Viruses, Trojans, and Spyware - Oh My!

Have you ever had to call Symantec or McAfee to ask them how to remove a virus? Or have you spent hours online trying to figure out how to remove spyware, only to find out that you did something wrong and now your computer won't boot? I know your pain and frustration with just trying to use your computer without worry. As a computer technician at ARCH Computing Services, I know how hard it can be to pay someone to remove viruses and spyware. In fact that's how I started in the computer business. I didn't want to pay someone to fix the problems that I usually caused. A little voice in my head told me "I can build a computer, it doesn't look that hard!"

Six years later, and a lot of dead computers in the beginning, have placed me where I am now. Let me tell you, it's a full time job, even when I'm not at work. There is always some new technology being developed, and of course security is a never-ending battle with new viruses, trojans and spyware daily.

The internet is full of how-to information. You can learn everything from how to make the perfect loaf of bread, tune your car, or remove a virus. Making a loaf of bread seems to be easy, and it probably is. Even if you end up making flat bread or burnt bread, you're not out a lot of money or in too much trouble. On the other hand, if you try to tune your car and break a spark plug or put the wires back incorrectly, it could end up costing you a lot more to fix it. All you wanted to do was save a few bucks and do it yourself. I've burnt bread and I've tried to fix my own car. The bread was thrown in the trash, the car I ended up taking to an auto mechanic and having it fixed right, which of course cost me much more than money, it cost me time.

You must be wondering what my point is. Yes, removing a virus or building a computer isn't really that hard of a task?if you live and breathe computers like I do and others do (we affectionately call ourselves Geeks). Let's take a look at the following scenario.

James is a real estate broker, and a damn good one. He makes his living helping people find the best buy for their dollar. As a result James keeps an extensive client list on his computer. Somewhere along the line he manages to pick up a nasty Trojan. His anti-virus software caught it but was unable to clean it. He does some research online and finds a site that explains how to remove the Trojan. After following the instructions he reboots his PC only to find that his machine will not boot. In frustration he goes to another computer and looks up information on boot problems and finds out that the best thing he can do is reformat his hard drive and re-install his operating system from his backup. Oh, by the way, he hasn't done a backup in over 6 months. By this time he has spent 4 or 5 hours trying to fix the problem, and now has the daunting task of re-installing his operating system without any backup?

The moral of the story here is that he literally wasted hours that he could have spent making a sale or helping a client purchase a house or land. Is the above scenario a little extreme? In some ways it is, but it doesn't fall too far from the truth. Many of the clients I see with virus or spyware problems have tried everything they can to remove the problem, only to find out they spent hours with no results, and often come out worse than they were. By the time they come to see me they are frustrated and just want it fixed. Unfortunately, this does cost them money that they didn't want to spend in the first place, and more importantly in this day and age, it costs them more time. Time is the great equalizer. If James had been able to make a 10% percent commission on a $200,000 house, spending the 65 to 100 dollars to clean his computer wouldn't have seemed very significant.

Nine times out of ten an infected computer does require a re-format and re-install. I don't say this lightly. It is usually much easier to backup and start over than spend hours trying to find every little piece of nastiness that was installed on your computer.

Eric Graves is a Senior Computer Technician at ARCH Computing Services. His computer knowledge and interpersonal skills have helped the company to grow at a remarkable rate. He's currently completing his BS in IT Management, and will go on to complete his Master Degree in Information Systems Security. He is also currently the administrator for the Mutagenix forums, a Slackware based Live CD.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Politico

Bolton names Commerce official as his national security deputy
Politico
“I selected her as deputy national security adviser because her expertise is broad-based and includes national security matters related to our alliances, defense posture, technology security, foreign security assistance and arms control,” Bolton said ...
White House announces new deputy national security advisorDefenseNews.com
John Bolton begins to shape National Security Council staff - The ...Washington Post

all 9 news articles »

Fortune

Twitter Bans Ads from Russian Computer Security Company Kaspersky Lab
Fortune
Twitter has banned ads on its service from Russian security software maker Kaspersky Lab, after the U.S. government prohibited agencies from using its products because of alleged ties to the Russian government. The ban, confirmed by Twitter to Reuters ...
Twitter banned Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab from buying adsTechCrunch
Kaspersky banned from advertising on Twitter over security fearsTelegraph.co.uk
Twitter Ads policies - Twitter for BusinessTwitter for Business
Reuters -Homeland Security -Kaspersky Lab -Ars Technica
all 38 news articles »

CryptoSlate

Crypto Trade Group Pressures SEC to Exempt Ethereum From Security Classification
CryptoSlate
An alliance of lawyers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs have recently met with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to petition for the creation of cryptocurrency “safe harbors” for specific cryptocurrencies and tokens, including Ethereum ...
US Regulators Asked Not to Classify Ethereum as a Security: NYT ...CCN

all 20 news articles »

TechRepublic

Upcoming Windows Defender feature will tell you when security fails
TechRepublic
All of the attestation is done by the secure kernel, the end result of which is security validation that an attacker or malware in the Windows kernel can't alter. Microsoft gives an example where "an app could ask Windows Defender System Guard to ...
Windows 10: Microsoft to boost Linux app security with Windows Defender firewallZDNet
Hackers can bypass the Windows 10 S lockdown due to security flawDigital Trends
Google discloses 'medium-severity' security flaw in Windows 10 SWindows Central
Naked Security -Chrome - Google -Monorail - The Chromium Projects
all 59 news articles »

Brookings Institution (blog)

Development for security: Lending for peace?
Brookings Institution (blog)
Two World Development Reports tackled the security-development nexus. The WDR 2011 explicitly argued that investments in citizen security and justice reform can help countries break recurring cycles of violence. The WDR 2017 surmised that good ...


WFAA.com

Italy ISD increasing security after school shooting
WFAA.com
Italy ISD increasing security after school shooting. "Italy ISD will always be the school that this happened to. What we're going to do is focus on prevention and response." Author: Monica Hernandez. Published: 8:54 PM CDT April 20, 2018. Updated: 9:07 ...


Rutland Herald

Rutland Town eyes poll security at school
Rutland Herald
Rutland Town Clerk Kirsten Hathaway said the alleged threat of violence at Fair Haven Union High School and violence at schools in other parts of the country has her thinking twice about security at Rutland Town Elementary School during townwide voting ...

and more »

Assessing Server Security | CIO
CIO
Analysts at Chicago financial firm William Blair believe that Equifax's costs tied to dealing with last year's data breach could run between $200 million and $300 million1 – and that figure is after insurance coverage is applied. While this was a ...

and more »

NewsChannel5.com

Maintaining Cyber Security On Student Devices
NewsChannel5.com
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - In order to keep students without access to the internet from falling behind, students will be able to take laptops home. But some are questioning what that means for their cyber security. It's why several school districts have moved ...

and more »

Ars Technica

When you go to a security conference, and its mobile app leaks your ...
Ars Technica
A mobile application built by a third party for the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week was found to have a few security issues of its own—including hard-coded security keys and passwords that allowed a researcher to extract the ...
No way, RSA! Security conference's mobile app embarrassingly ...The Register

all 7 news articles »
Google News

New CipherSend Online Security Service Thwarts Email Address Theft And Soothes Password Fatigue

In 1997, I decided after 15 years as a practicing... Read More

Top 10 tips for Safe Internet Shopping

Over £5 billion pounds was spent on online shopping in... Read More

Identity Theft Article ? A Phisher Is Trying To Steal Your Identity!

Sooner or later everyone with an email account will receive... Read More

Viruses and Worms, Protection from Disaster

Virus damage estimated at $55 billion in 2003. "SINGAPORE -... Read More

A Painless Plagiarism Solution

A crowded marketplace can lead to unethical webmasters using underhand... Read More

What Every Internet Marketer Should Know About Spyware

If you run any type of Internet business, Adware and... Read More

Reducing Fraudulent Transations ? 5 Simple Ways To Protect Yourself

The money being spent online is steadily growing. With billions... Read More

Top Five Online Scams

The top five online scams on the Internet hit nearly... Read More

Another Fine Mess!

I'm in the Anti-Spyware business, and I'm doing a lot... Read More

How To Clean the Spies In Your Computer?

Manual Spy Bot Removal > BookedSpaceBookedSpace is an Internet Explorer... Read More

Is My PC Vulnerable on the Internet?

No longer are viruses the only threat on the internet.... Read More

Phishing: An Interesting Twist On A Common Scam

After Two Security Assessments I Must Be Secure, Right? ---------------------------------------... Read More

Dont Miss Information Because of Misinformation

It has been said that with the wealth of information,... Read More

Instant Messaging ? Expressway for Identity Theft, Trojan Horses, Viruses, and Worms

Never before with Instant Messaging (IM) has a more vital... Read More

3 Pervasive Phishing Scams

Scams involving email continue to plague consumers across America, indeed... Read More

Behavior to Stay Safer Online

1. Importance of a Virus Scanner: A Antivirus program can... Read More

Anti-Spyware Protection: Behind How-To Tips

There is no doubt that "how-to articles" have become a... Read More

Virus Nightmare..Lessons Learned

I got a virus the other day, Thursday I believe... Read More

Phishing-Based Scams: A Couple of New Ones

Phishing in its "classic" variant is relatively well-known. Actually, 43.4... Read More

Personal Firewalls for Home Users

What is a Firewall?The term "firewall" illustrates a system that... Read More

What to Look for before You Purchase Spyware Software

Huge number of spyware software applications are available in the... Read More

Click Here To Defeat Evil

Microsoft routinely releases new security updates, many of which are... Read More

Phishing - A High Tech Identity Theft With A Low Tech Solution

Have you ever got an email asking you to confirm... Read More

Secure Your PC From Hackers, Viruses, and Trojans

Viruses, Trojans and Spyware: Protecting yourself.No user on the internet... Read More

3 Things You Must Know About Spyware

1)Spyware is on your system. Like it or not, statistically... Read More