First, I want to thank Data Doctors for this great information I will be posting today.
Many people believe "If I have security software in place, I shouldn’t get any infections." And the reality of it is that Nothing could be further from reality.
Anti-virus/anti-spyware programs as well as firewalls are of no protection if the user of the computer decides to click on links that generate malicious code or download and run questionable files. In other words - you infected your own computer and YOU allowed this bug to come into the computer! Your interactions can easily override the installed protection and in some cases, actually disable your protection programs, but make it look like they are still running.
The fake antivirus program scams actually started last year as “Antivirus 2008” and it was so successful that it lives on as many variations including “Antivirus 2009”. You may have also heard of such names as XP Anti Virus, or Vista Anti Virus. There are NO legit products on the market with these names. A clever author of malware discovered a sneaky way to fool folks into installing malicious software into their computers, THEN extract money from them by posing as a legitimate program for removing the malicious software. *If you have paid for one of these FAKE software's I suggest you contact your bank or credit card company IMMEDIATELY and have a 'watch' placed on your account and a charge back placed on the payment.
The reason that this approach has been so successful is that they very closely mimic Windows warning screens and legitimate antivirus programs. Virtually every legitimate antivirus company has a product called (insert company name here) Antivirus 2009, which further confuses the new user.
The most common ways to come in contact with this infection include maliciously coded websites that popup a warning message that you are infected, e-mail messages that trick folks into clicking on a link, websites that claim you need to download software in order to see a posted video and links or downloads that are spread through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook as well as all of the Instant Messaging systems.
At this point in time, any form of popup or error message that refers to Antivirus 2008 or 2009 (including System Antivirus, Ultimate Antivirus, Vista Antivirus, Pro Antivirus or XP Antivirus followed by a number) should be considered extremely suspicious.
If you ever see any reference to a virus that is not specifically from the product that you have installed in your computer for protection, you should consider it to be a fake (Windows, itself won’t ever alert you of a virus infection).
In the same token, any website that claims that you need to download a new video program or “codec” in order to view a video should be considered a threat. This is very important.
Users of file sharing networks are at a high risk of contracting malicious software as it’s often hidden within what appears to be a legitimate program (referred to as a Trojan).
The writers of malicious code count on users that are not really paying attention and at this point, they are fooling people by the millions around the Internet. This type of infection is amongst the worst that I have seen in my 20 years of servicing computers.
Getting rid of the code once it has infected your system can be very involved and is different for the various versions of the infections, so don’t attempt this without help if you are a novice.
Start by identifying the exact version of the malware that you have and placing it in quotation marks followed by the words ‘removal instructions’ in Google (Ex: “Antivirus 2009” removal instructions).
WARNING: There are so many people infected with this family of malware that many new scam programs that claim to specifically clean the code have popped up. Some appear to be free programs that will only scan your system for free, but charge you to remove the code and often they don’t even do that properly.
Since there are so many different variations of this infection, the exact steps are going to be based on the exact version of the malware that you have.
Restore points will not fix your computer.
Depending upon how long and which version of the malware you have, you may also need to run a Windows repair after you remove the code as certain Windows files can become corrupted as a side effect.
This is a big ugly BUG - I suggest you use a reputable computer repair service to fix this issue. If you attempt to do this on your own you run the risk of losing all of your valuable data, pictures and music.
If you are local to the Melbourne area I would like to suggest the Computer Care Clinic you can find them at www.computercareclinic.com - here you'll be offered a FREE diagnoses so you will know where you stand before you ever put money into the PC.
Here at Simply Seniors Computer Tutor - (www.sscomputertutor.com) 321-431-3866 we can also help as we offer a pick up and delivery service for your sick PC. No need for you to remember which wires connect to what way down there under your desk, No need for you to lift the heavy computer - as our technicians will handle all of that for you.
I hope this is helpful!