Posts Tagged ‘spyware’

Malware Ransomware and Data Theft

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

It’s in the news, in the papers, talk is all around – the latest threats are no longer simple viruses and nuisances, today’s primary threat is malware and ransomware. While performing Virginia beach computer repair and Chesapeake computer repair, we have recently come across these cutting edge malicious programs on several computers. The goal of these infections ranges anywhere from simply disabling a computer system to requiring the user to pay criminals to unlock their screen (such as in the fake FBI virus), to secretly stealing companies’ design information to send overseas to China or to a competitor.

While these infections are bad, the most serious kind is the infection that is silent and sits in the background capturing every keystroke and screenshots of what the user does on his/her computer. Some can even turn on the built-in webcam and send a live video feed from your computer to cybercriminals. How can we protect ourselves against these threats? Surfing unknown sites, looking for ‘free’ programs, and such can open the door to a computer infection that takes over your entire computer. All it takes is one wrong click and your computer may be infected. Many of our competitors charge their customers to ‘clean’ their computer, only to have the infection return at a later date. We know how to completely remove these infections and unlike our competitors, we can usually show you exactly when and where it came from.

Where do these infections come from? The majority of these newest infections come from China or Eastern Europe. We have seen programs written in Russian, Chinese, as well as other overseas languages. The language of the infection doesn’t matter as much as the payload, or dangerous part of the program.

If your computer is running slow, doing strange things, crashing, or doing other abnormal things, let us ensure it is clean and bring it back to optimum health!

Are All Antivirus Programs the Same?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

In today’s world of computer repair we deal with numerous threats from malware, spyware, ransomware, viruses and others that require most of us to run antivirus / antispyware programs. While most other companies only sell the programs that bring the highest profit, we recommend you take a deeper look at what each program does and how it affects your system. Contrary to popular belief, the most well-known names do not necessarily mean the best performance. On the contrary, some of the least-known ones work the same, if not better. Many factors should determine which antivirus program you choose,  some of which are:

  1. Protection
  2. Compatibility
  3. Speed (Does it slow your system down?)
  4. Price

Some big names such as Symantec Endpoint Protection have the most media exposure, but our experiences have shown it can bring an entire network to it’s knees, including servers. We had one network in Virginia Beach that called after another company installed SEP and they were completely down. Removing the Endpoint Protection was the solution! Symantec’s home product, Norton 360, can be compared to a virus, in that it slows the system down to an unusable state. One user in Chesapeake had this program on her desktop machine. Removing and replacing the program with another antivirus program was comparable to a memory upgrade! Mcafee and other big names may work in some applications, but for the majority of users, it is not the best choice. Virus creators are always targeting the well-known protection programs as well, and we have seen many current malware programs that instantly disable both Symantec and Mcafee, then proceed to infect the computer, unrestrained. What can be done to avoid this? We believe using a lower-profile antivirus solution, combined with a layered approach helps. Still, in some cases, we recommend others based on specific needs. Watch out for antivirus programs that say they are free as well. There are many ‘fake’ programs out there that infect your computer instead of protecting it, or generate popups on your screen every few minutes. The moral of the story: Don’t be sold on a brand name. Dig a little deeper to see which solution is best for you. This requires research and taking many factors into account. What works on TV does not work for everyone. One size does not fit all!