TAG: Virus

Administrative Rights and Viruses

This is strange and confounding, but seemingly something that clearly makes sense when put up to basic scrutiny. The pitch, as Karl Palachuk puts it, is that Windows users who are not locally administrative users cannot be infected with viruses. This is an absurd and wrong line of thinking from someone who professes to have been in the IT industry for more than 25 years. But, we can all be wrong, so I say own it Karl. I’m a little surprised no one has actually discussed this much up until now. 

Thoughts On The Cryptolocker Virus

CryptoLocker's Main Screen and IconI’ve recently heard of a brutal new kind of malware. While it is considered part of the ransomware group of viruses, Cryptolocker appears to carry a more unique payload. Once Cryptolocker infects a Windows PC, it encrypts a number of files on the local computer and expects payment for a decryption key. Right now, this software appears rare, and reports are out there, I hadn’t gotten my hands on a computer with it until today. What follows are some thoughts and observations.

Basics: 2 Utilities You ALREADY Have On Windows That Can Fight A Virus

XP-Infected-EditionRight now, one key reality of supporting Windows computers is that they get viruses. There are more viruses for Windows than on any other computer Operating System that you can get. So, it should come as no surprise that I’m quite interested in what can be done to combat threats on a Windows computer with tools you already have. Today I’m going to look at three tools you’ll find on most any Windows flavour out there: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Namely, wmic and taskkill. This is going to be more of a beginning overview of how you might use these tools to identify and stop a rogue application on your computer

Malware: A Fast Way To Clean Up The Group Policy Mess After A Virus

So, you’ve cleaned an infected Windows PC and yet some stuff still lingers. You can’t right click on the desktop, you can’t get into task manager and you just know that a host of other policy related stuff is going on. Often, with Virus Scanners, they’re adept at removing files and folders, but they’ll leave behind things like registry settings (often taking the form of Group Policy changes). These settings can be just as harmful as the initial infection itself.

I’ll show you the fastest way to get past all of that and get your Windows PC to a point where you might be able to use it or do a deeper virus scan . Please do note, this article references editing the Windows Registry. This is dangerous and can cause some serious trouble if you aren’t careful. Do not undertake registry changes lightly. Always backup your registry before starting.

How To Remove Smart Fortress 2012 And Similar Scareware

It struck me how obvious this was when I heard a customer mention the name of the virus: “Smart Fortress 2012”. I thought, this is another one of those fake malware applications that I’ve seen time and time again. Since this user’s computer was infected while running an up-to-date version of a virus scanner, it proves the general ineffectiveness of most of these applications. I thought that it would be a good idea to explain how I go about removing these things – but with the fact that they’re all the same, you can’t follow instructions exactly. No two of these things are created equal. My hope is that, if you get a virus that acts like this, you can use some of these tactics to get rid of the program yourself.

Fighting Viruses: The Free Prockill Utility Helps

When I made the Process Killer utility, all I intended it for was to include it with an installer to stop processes before the process started. This worked well, so prockill lived on. As I would work in the field, I would come across computers infected with viruses that would restrict execution of utilities like the great Process Explorer or PsKill to kill the threat. Given their well-known nature – the viruses tend to kill them before you can use them to help. Enter the Process Killer tool to help you kill that virus.

Blogs Of The Past: The Spyware & Adware Problem

This little gem was written in January of 2003 on my web page (when it was on the domain calwell.ca). The article was more of a response to the large number of infections I had to clean from customer’s PCs. These things were a big problem then, because many of the Anti-Virus programs of the time did not detect Spyware or Adware. That was bad enough, but even worse, the line between what was Spyware and what was legit was extremely gray. The more common scenario was software slowing a user’s computer to a crawl. Here’s a look at a Blog from The Past –  The Spyware/Adware problem… As always, my comments of today are included in red.

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