Virus, Spyware and other Malware Removal
Computer viruses, spyware, and other malicious, unauthorized programs running on computers are collectively referred to as "malware." In a nutshell, this term includes malicious programs that infect your computer and cause it to do things like harvest users' personal data, track their keystrokes, encrypt their data and hold it for ransom,send spam, run incessant advertisements, redirect browser requests to other sites, infect other computers, or otherwise malfunction.
Starting around 2002 and continuing to the present, malware-removal has been one of the most in-demand jobs that Computer Port and other companies perform. It's not an easy job because hundreds or thousands of new malware programs and variants are released "into the wild" every day; and because most antivirus programs are blacklist-based, there will always be some unlucky users whose machines are infected before the signature files can be updated. The virus has to exist before virus scanners can recognize it.
There are many kinds of malware programs, but they all fall into one (or sometimes more) of the following categories:
- True Viruses
- Advertising Spyware
- Spyware Downloaders
- Remote Access Trojans
The most common malware programs affecting computers at present are advertising spyware, remote access Trojans, and ransomware. These programs take skills honed by former "script kiddies" and apply them to making money. True viruses are still out there; but advertising spyware, RATs, and ransomware are becoming much more common.
Advertising spyware is malicious software that installs itself on your computer and keeps track of your activities so it can determine which advertisements you are most likely to respond to. It then causes ads of this type to be displayed on your Web browser, or automatically opens windows to advertisers' sites. Sometimes these programs can also change your Web browser's home page ("hijackers") or replace legitimate ads on sites you visit with their own ads ("parasites").
Some very creatively written spyware programs use "rootkit" technology to stealth their presence and operation. These programs are extremely difficult to remove and require professional help.
Remote Access Trojans
RATs are programs that allow your computer to be controlled by another party, or make it part of a network of computers performing malicious work. In most cases, RATs are used to enable spammers, identity thieves, and other criminals to utilize other people's computers to do their dirty work. In addition to harnessing the power of many more computers than they actually own, using RATs enables these criminals to avoid detection, because the malicious activity will trace back to the infected computers, not to themselves.
Ransomware encrypts all of a user's data (including unprotected backups) except the minimal files necessary for the user to log into the computer. It then presents the user with a message that includes a ransom demand. Typically the demand will be to pay some amount of money using Bitcoin or a credit card in return for a key to decrypt your data. If you pay the ransom, you may or may not get your data back; and if you pay using a credit card, it may or may not be used for identity theft.
Virus, spyware, and other malware removal is highly skilled work requiring specialized software and up-to-the-minute knowledge of the latest malware trends. Computer Port is proud to offer the finest malware removal services in the Port Washington area.
To make an appointment, please contact us. Or if you prefer, simply stop by. We're always happy to see you!