Virus and Malware Removal
Is your computer acting strangely? Does it seem slower than normal? Are programs freezing or randomly closing more than you would expect? Do websites look different from what you're used to, perhaps with extra advertisements on them? Are you being forced to use a search engine you've never heard of, instead of Google or Bing?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, there's a chance you may have picked up a malware infection. Tromley Computer Services can help. We can remove your malware, put tools in place to protect you, and teach you how to avoid being infected in the future. Click this button for help now:
But I have an Antivirus! How am I infected?
The vast majority of malicious programs written in the past 5 years have been malware instead of viruses. The programmers that write malicious software do so because they can make money, and as a result they have an incentive to maximize the potential number of people that can be infected by their programs.
Since Windows 8 was released, Microsoft has really upped their antivirus game, with the inclusion of Windows Defender in Windows 8, and the release of Microsoft Security Essentials and the Microsoft EMET toolkit to protect Windows 7. Also, the quality of free antivirus solutions has improved substantially.
Since everyone has an antivirus program now the only viruses that are successful in infecting people are ones that prey on vulnerabilities that were discovered very recently. After a few days of a virus being in the wild antivirus software companies have the opportunity to analyze the virus code, and update their software to detect it, rendering the virus ineffective.
Additionally, a larger percentage of users are using Macs now. There is a misconception that Macs are somehow immune to viruses, but this is not the case. There is nothing inherently more secure about Mac OS X than Windows, in fact in many ways the constant hammering by malicious actors and the consistent security patching has made Windows a more secure platform overall. Rather, the lack of OS X viruses was due to the negligable number of Mac users in the market. It just wasn't a large enough target to justify investing the resources to write viruses and infect those systems. After more people started using Macs a few years ago it began to look as though we were going to see a bunch of Mac viruses, but then the great malware shift happened.
If writing a virus is no longer an attractive proposition for a malicious programmer, what do they do instead? They write malware.
Malware, also known as spyware or adware, is a relatively new phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common. It takes many forms, from browser hijackers to adware injectors, to proxy servers that modify the appearance and functionality of websites seamlessly without the user's knowledge. Malware can change your search engine, and disable your ability to change it back. It can monitor your keystrokes and save your passwords. It can even take over your computer and turn it into a member of a network of infected computers called a botnet, which can then use it to send out spam email or mount denial of service attacks on websites.
Programmers write malware, and then sell access to their infected machines to companies who advertise directly to users, or pay to have their search results moved higher in search rankings.
Malware primarily targets the web browser. Most commonly, since it is preinstalled on every Windows system and is frequently not updated by its users, malware targets Microsoft Internet Explorer. It also targets Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
Since Chrome, Firefox and Safari exist in OS X as well as Windows, malware authors get the added benefit of being able to infect both platforms without much extra effort. Mac users are no longer safe.