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7 posts tagged virus

Virgin Digital Help Virus Guide: ZeroAccess Virus

Viruses come in a range of shapes and sizes. Some are fairly benign – they’ll pop ads up, make your computer run slowly and not much else. Some, however, you really don’t want to mess with. The ZeroAccess virus is one of them. 

(Image: Precise Security)

If you’re unlucky enough to fall foul of ZeroAccess, you may experience a slow computer, files that won’t open, regular disconnections from the internet, corrupted files and drivers and worse. 

As with other viruses, you can pick up the ZeroAccess virus from just about anywhere. Watching videos online, downloading P2P files, clicking on banner ads that you don’t trust – even with common sense, we can all be unlucky. A few steps to follow to keep as safe as possible are:

  • Avoid downloading software from torrent and peer-to-peer programs 
  • Keep your antivirus updated 
  • Refrain from answering random online surveys 
  • Delete temporary files 
  • Do not open suspicious emails that have attachments

If you have followed all of this steps and have still been unlucky enough to be lumbered with ZeroAccess, call in the experts. In the long run, you’ll be happy you did. 

VDH Virus Guide: Digital Currency

The internet carries its own currencies. Zynga Coins, Facebook Credits and XBOX Points are all online equivalents of cold hard cash that can be used to buy virtual goods, enhancing gaming, social networking and a bundle of other activities that require some sort of monetary outlay to be made complete. 

Well, you probably don’t need us to tell you that exchanging cash online is fraught with danger. If you buy any of the above – or the more anonymous Bitcoins – you should be vigilant at all times. As with anywhere money is exchanged, thieves are ready and willing to dip into your pocket. 

The modus operandi of our online currency thief is simple. A Trojan virus is added to your computer when you download some seemingly innocuous software. That Trojan, over time, mines your Bitcoins – for example – account, slowly taking currency here and there, delivering it back to the creator of the virus without them having to do a thing. 

This really hammers home the fact that we all must be careful when downloading anything. If you don’t know or trust the source, avoid it. Trojans can be completely symptomless, working away in the background while you are blissfully unaware. 

In order to stay safe:

  • Ensure you understand how the currency works and the possible implications should your digital wallet be a target for cybercriminals. 
  • Do not use your Bitcoins address if your account has been compromised. 
  • Keep active tabs on your digital purse. 
  • Stay away from phishing emails and security updates you haven’t specifically sought out to download.

If you get caught out, you can start to lose real currency, and cybercriminals will have access to your personal information, meaning things could get a lot worse. 

Virgin Digital Help Virus Guide: QR Codes

Do you scan QR codes? They’re the square, pixelated symbols you may have seen in magazines, shops, restaurants and on products you’ve bought in shops. Scan them with your phone and you will be taken to a website, shown an image or linked to a video. Usually, these links, images and videos give you more information on whatever the QR code relates to. Sometimes, however, they can lead you to something more sinister altogether. 

Due to the fact that you can’t see what the QR code hides, it’s the perfect means for malware developers to get their software onto your device. The link the QR code takes you to could be for anything, and you wouldn’t know until it was too late. 

If you do scan something you shouldn’t, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Unexplained charges appearing on your bill
  • SMS messages being sent to premium numbers

You also risk malware stealing personal information and tracking your passwords and login details. 

You can safeguard yourself in a number of ways:

  • Always keep an antivirus program on your smartphone. There are a number of reliable programs from reputable brands around, so make sure you’re protected
  • Don’t scan QR codes that are just lying around. If they’ve been stuck on an advert or handed to you in the street, you have no way of knowing what they’re really for 
  • If something is downloaded, delete it immediately

QR codes are, essentially, pretty cool things. They provide an amazing link between offline and online, and can be programmed to lead pretty much anywhere. Make sure you stay safe, and you can have as much QR related fun as you like. 

The VDH Virus Guide: Ukash Metropolitan Police Virus

An online threat for our UK readers here, the Ukash Metropolitan Police Virus. This is a particularly nasty virus for your computer to contract, as it prevents you from accessing anything, telling you that you will only be allowed to access your files and programs again once you have entered a code for payment of £100 (the amount may vary). 

Image: Spyware Removal News

The virus will prevent you from opening Admin Tools, so you can’t do anything about it. Obviously this can be a scary ordeal, as you risk losing everything from your hard drive. This fear is how the virus works, scaring those who don’t know how to remove it into paying for their freedom. If you’re unlucky enough to be hit with the Ukash Metropolitan Police Virus, do not pay a penny. Do not enter any bank details at all. 

There are steps you can take to keep your computer safe. They include:

  • Avoid downloading software from torrent and peer-to-peer programs
  • Keep your antivirus updated
  • Refrain from answering random online surveys
  • Delete temporary files
  • Do not open suspicious emails that have attachments

These should keep you safe from most nasties. If you don’t deal with this particular virus, you risk having all of your .exe files corrupted, meaning nothing will open. It may also disconnect the PC from the internet, meaning you are unable to get help. 

If you think you’ve been hit by this scam, call in the professionals to get it removed as quickly as possible. As always, vigilance is the strongest weapon in your arsenal, so always keep an eye out and ensure that your computer is fully protected. 

The VDH Virus Guide – Rogue AV: Windows Protection Unit

Using the internet can be littered with risks. Malware, phishing scams, viruses and a plethora of other nasties that can threaten your system and personal information. Most people know that some kind of protection is necessary – but what happens when a wolf in sheep’s clothing arrives offering just that?

(Image: Trojan Killer)

Rogue Antivirus is just that. It pretends to be helping, all the while infecting your computer with malware that can lead to serious damage. The Windows Protection Unit rogue AV masquerades as an antivirus program created by Microsoft to protect your system from malware. It will be presented in a pop up that will ask you to register and purchase the product. Don’t. 

Generally, a rule of thumb is that if something pops up asking you for payment details, avoid. Other ways to safeguard yourself from Rogue AV are:

  • Avoiding downloading software from torrent or peer-to-peer programs
  • Keeping your trusted antivirus update (Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG, for example)
  • Refraining from filling out random online surveys (answer this for a free iPad!)
  • Deleting your temporary files
  • Refraining from opening suspicious emails that have attachments

If you don’t take these necessary precautions, you could end up with a completely wrecked device. This virus will corrupt internet settings, .exe files and your .dll drivers file, rendering your computer useless. 

If you’ve fallen foul of the Windows Protection Unit Rogue AV and don’t feel up to the task of removing it, don’t panic. Call an expert and ask them to guide you through the process. 

Keep safe everyone!

The VDH Virus Guide - Rogue AV Scanner

Vigilance is an essential trait of the modern computer user. We all must be watchful at all times that what we’re doing isn’t putting our device in harm’s way. So what happens when we encounter the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing? Something that comes along claiming to help, but is actually designed solely to infect your computer with malware?

This is the practice of Rogue Antivirus malware. You’re surfing the internet, minding your own business, when a warning pops up telling you your computer is infected with malware. The pop up kindly informs you that you can visit a site for a full security scan, which will remove this malware. Of course, there is no malware – this will be added to your computer during the scan, or when you’re asked to subscribe to the security vendor’s service for a nominal fee.

So, if you’re browsing the internet and a scan starts without you asking it to, or you’re asked to purchase a security software license from a vendor you didn’t seek, there’s a fair chance you’re being targeted by Rogue AV Malware.

·         If there’s an option to, immediately click ‘x’ and exit the pop up or page you’re on.

·         Always be wary of sites that have lots of thumbnails linking to external sites offering the chance to see free movies, photos or other tantalizing treats.

·         Enable a link checker in your legitimate antivirus that checks links on Google before you click them, as hackers will often attack search engines to insert malicious links into results. AVG Antivirus offers this service, for example. 

·         Make sure your anti-malware and antivirus software is fully enabled and up to date. 

If you think you’ve been infected by malware and can’t get rid of it, call the experts, or talk to us online. We can all keep safe if we work together. 

VDH Virus Guide

Introduction to Virus Guide

At VDH we receive an awful lot of requests for help. This covers all sorts of areas, from setting up new computers to recovering deleted files. However, one issue crops up again and again for people in need of our expert assistance: computer virus prevention and cure.

It is for this reason that we’ve written the VDH Virus Guide, the first in a series of guides that we’ll be publishing to help tech users come to grips with their devices and avoid any pitfalls that come hand in hand with their usage.

The VDH Virus Guide will cover common issues, including:

  •          Rogue Antivirus
  •          iGoogle page redirection
  •          Facebook clickjacking
  •          QR Codes
  •          Digital currency
  •          Fake apps on Google Play
  •          Pharmacy discount sites
  •          Twitter spam
  •          Zero Access Virus

Each week, we’ll be posting new sections of the guide for you to refer to whenever you have problems with malware or viruses on your computer, so stay tuned.

If you have any additional questions, or areas you think we should cover, just let us know over on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks!