Virus | Spyware | Malware

virus2What Is A Computer Virus ?

Computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere with computer operation.

A virus might corrupt or delete data on your computer, use your email program to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk.

Computer viruses are often spread by attachments in email messages or instant messaging messages. That is why it is essential that you never open email attachments unless you know who it’s from and you are expecting it.

virusViruses can be disguised as attachments of funny images, greeting cards, or audio and video files.

Computer viruses also spread through downloads on the Internet. They can be hidden in illicit software or other files or programs you might download.

To help avoid computer viruses, it’s essential that you keep your computer current with the latest updates and antivirus tools, stay informed about recent threats (subscribe to our updates), and that you follow a few basic rules when you surf the internet, download files, and open attachments.

Once a virus is on your computer, its type or the method it used to get there is not as important as removing it and preventing further infection. That’s what we at DESC Computers can do for you.

spyware.jpgWHAT IS SPYWARE ?

Spyware is not a computer virus. Spyware can get embedded into your computer by various ways (see below). Spyware ranges from the relatively harmless type, that show adverts (adware), to the very bad type that can log every key press you type, to scanning all your files and sending confidential information over the internet. Most virus checkers DO NOT detect spyware, let along try to remove it.

How did I get this spyware on my computer ?

The Drive by… 
An innocent looking popup appears on the screen saying “your PC could be infected – Click here for virus removal”. Unbeknown to you, this redirects you to a website, that then infects your computer with spyware

The Enticing Sweetener…
You visit a website and see “download our toolbar to get the weather/time in 38 countries”. A toolbar installs itself in internet explorer.

The Cool Tool
Your teenager son/daughter often chat online using Facebook. Their friends suggest downloading the latest ‘smiley cursors’.

The Funny / Joke email
A friend often sends you funny emails, sometimes with attachments. A lot of these funny emails are not very funny when they infect your computer with spyware or even a virus.

The Must See Video
You visit a site to see a video, the site informs you to click here to update your video player / codec / plugin. Facebook is a great target for these videos.

First signs of spyware

  • The first signs of spyware is the dreaded pop-ups. While browsing the internet, these windows popup displaying adverts. As things get worse, the adverts increase.
  • The next stage of spyware is the homepage hijack. Unrequested by yourself, your home page changes from Google/MSN, to pages filled with adverts for casinos, p0rn, gambling etc.
  • Then there’s the toolbar installation. A toolbar appears, within internet explorer, helping you to search the internet. You cannot simply remove it.
  • The final stage of spyware is where your computer will either not startup, not connect to the net, or grind to a halt, as it’s so infected with spyware.
What Does Spyware Do ?
 Can’t I just leave this spyware on my PC, it’s not doing any harm?

Sure you can leave it alone, but I guarantee that it will just get worse, until your PC is unusable. The more harmless spyware just pops up adverts. The worse cases of spyware actually record every key press you make and send those details back to seedier sides of the internet. If you suspect you have spyware, then I’d avoid logging into anything that you’d like to keep private (online banking, using a credit card, email)

Can I not just remove the spyware myself ? 
It used to be relatively easy to remove spyware. These days it’s getting harder and harder. The spyware / adware / malware is getting more and more sophisticated with how it buries itself deep within your computers files. You can try to remove spyware yourself, but you’re better off calling us in. The sooner you call DESC Computers the quicker we can remove spyware

Wtrojan.jpgHAT IS A TROJAN ?

Trojans are malicious programs that perform actions that have not been authorised by the user. These actions can include:

  • Deleting data
  • Blocking data
  • Modifying data
  • Copying data
  • Disrupting the performance of computers or computer networks

How Trojans can impact you

Trojans are classified according to the type of actions that they can perform on your computer:

  • Backdoor
    A backdoor Trojan gives malicious users remote control over the infected computer. They enable the author to do anything they wish on the infected computer – including sending, receiving, launching and deleting files, displaying data and rebooting the computer 
  • Exploit
    Exploits are programs that contain data or code that takes advantage of a vulnerability within application software that’s running on your computer 
  • Trojan-Banker
    programs are designed to steal your account data for online banking systems, e-payment systems and credit or debit cards 
  • Trojan-Downloader
    Can download and install new versions of malicious programs onto your computer 
  • Trojan-FakeAV – VERY COMMON
    Programs simulate the activity of antivirus software. They are designed to extort money from you – in return for the detection and removal of threats… even though the threats that they report are actually non-existent 
  • Trojan-GameThief
    This type of program steals user account information from online gamers 
  • Trojan-IM
    Programs steal your logins and passwords for instant messaging programs – such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Messenger, Skype and many more 
  • Trojan-Ransom – CRYPTO LOCKER
    This type of Trojan can modify data on your computer – so that your computer doesn’t run correctly or you can no longer use specific data. The criminal will only restore your computer’s performance or unblock your data, after you have paid them the ransom money that they demand 
  • Trojan-SMS
    These programs can cost you money – by sending text messages from your mobile device to premium rate phone numbers