Monday, March 2, 2009

Beware: anti-virus-1

Dealing with viruses, trojans and malware that plug up your computer, spy on your activities and attempt to get passwords and credit card information is not my favorite activity. I encountered a sophisticated virus yesterday that in the end cost extra to purchase spyware protection.
Anit-virus-1 masquerades as a legitimate windows protection page on your computer and installs itself on the tool tray opening dialog boxes that inform the user that their computer has been infected. The user is prompted to install the software and then prompted to purchase additional protection. (This is where they get your credit card information.)
To read more about what this software and see the windows this malware generates on your computer, check this blog.
I was fooled by this to the point of installing the software, but immediately became suspicious after checking with a free version of Norton Utilities. I did not get to the point of entering credit card information.
We are thinking that this spyware attached itself through a jokes website. Unfortunately the result was not quite so funny.
My advice is to stay away from Horoscope sites, joke sites, poker/gambling sites and any site that includes an abundance of advertising. If you are seeing advertising pop-ups when you open a site, it is probably not a good place to be.
If you see any of the windows listed in the blog link above, your computer is infected and you will have to install spyware software that will remove it.
I did a little bit of research and ended up buying spyhunter3 which appears to have done the job. The video below is posted on the Enigma Software website (producer of spyhunter3).
It's important now more than ever to be able to differentiate between what is real and what is fake. We are bombarded with so much information on the Internet......just like TV, we need to be selective.

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