My PC has a Virus, at least I think it does.

This is going to be a tough neighborhood for you. Online you should find

thousands of helpful tips, millions of viruses and hundreds of experts.

First of all let me explain to you why this neighborhood might be a little rough on you.

If you have not done the following you might be a service call.

  • Installed and updated a proven antivirus software application.
  • Configured your Antivirus software to do its job on live files, monitor in real time your web browsing and set the scheduled update and scan times. (Note, if you set scan times you do need to have your computer powered on. Ask if you must but I've seen scheduled scan time settings that did not have "If missed scan at next start up".)
  • Installed or configured your popup blockers.
  • Installed or configured your firewall.

Ok, if you have done all that I've listed above you're most likely here because you have a new virus or your current antivirus just expired and dropped all its protection at that time.

Regarding Antivirus applications and how they expire. You must be aware of how your AV (antivirus) warns you that it's out of date or expired. McAfee will show the icon but only offer a couple of times (from what I have seen) a reminder that you are no longer protected. Because you are so used to seeing that little icon you might have thought your protection was active. Think again, it wasn't.

AVG paid version demo that most download needs to be paid for or manually switched over to the free version. You will see a few warnings and then a out of date may or may not appear. The key is to remember if you paid or not after your first 30 days. If you know you only want the free version then download that from the start. If you are in a demo and would like to convert the paid version to free then open your control panel, add remove programs and uninstall the application. During the uninstall process AVG will ask you if you would like to continue with the Free version. Select that and continue.

Other applications offer different methods it's up to you to learn your software.

No matter what Antivirus software you use there are going to be settings and configurations that have to be done. I would guess if you just downloaded the software and didn't set any of the applications settings you're going to see a virus soon enough. Scheduled Scans, Scheduled Updates, What to Scan all need to be setup.

I'll do my part and make a few videos of software I use which will be Microsoft Security Essentials (Defender Project) and AVG (Still best in my book), for all others you can search YouTube.

The best antivirus defense is a great defense that hits hard at the start up command and doesn't stop until your power off your computer.

Follow this link or click the next menu link. Setting up my AntiVirus Software. (Antivirus Setup)

Technical Note and Offer: I do virus research on the delivery methods only. I've reported to a few IT Administrators about their servers and the possible infections they might have. I'd like to offer a clean up of one system that has unknown issues but can show traffic patterns that match Zeus style or class one viruses. Controlled systrems are welcome. I'll do my part to identify the access point and the application if you need a hand and are local. No charge if it turns out to be a class one before it encrypts the system.

 

What you should know about Antivirus software applications.

Being a technician that works on computers that have been infected by viruses gives you a completely different view of what to do regarding prevention, detection and removal.

Many businesses work the virus removal process as their number one source of income. In my business I'd rather setup a new network or server before spending hours hacking away removing a virus and all traces of it on your computer.

But, because viruses and computers are something I have to deal with I will keep working to remove them from computers.

We will be working with AVG and Acronis in the near future which are our primary software suppliers for our number one solution regarding computer viruses. Our reviews will be limited to only software we have tested with live viruses. We have tested most all the big names in the anti-virus industry and have concluded by experience that only 2 companies are what we recommend to our clients. AVG and CA (eTrust). Others we have tested are best not reviewed due to the findings.

To learn about viruses you can search "What is a Virus" or "How do viruses work" here we are going to detail what you might do to reduce the impact of when you are infected by a virus.

Microsoft announced years ago that the best solution to recover from a virus is to reinstall the operating system. That requires you to format and reinstall your software. This we see is not an option for many and not what we want to do. Servers could take 20 hours reinstalling software and weeks of configuration if that practice of formatting and reinstalling software was practiced.

The rules: "Antivirus applications are Detection and Removal of Known Virus applications."

What this means is your antivirus software is only as good as its virus database.  How often is that database updated? Well, if you use AVG Free you might get updates every 4 hours or at least once each day. The Paid version home personal edition offers every 2 hours I believe the business version follows the same time.

Basically your computer can be infected by an unknown virus for months before the virus is discovered. A Jewelry store had a point of sale terminal (credit card terminal) infected with a Trojan virus for 6 months before the anti virus software (not AVG) detected the virus. This virus was very specific and it had one process to run. Copy and send card information. Once the virus was detected the virus program launched another virus called RANSOM. The ransom virus encrypted all data files, word documents, config files. Basically everything on the computer that was work related was no encrypted and nothing could be restored. The Ransom message read "Send $400.00 to XYZ and we will send you the key code."

It was one big mess but the issue wasn't the ransom virus it was the idea that the virus installed and ran undetected for 6 months. How could this POS system be protected? Number one, don't allow it on the internet. If you need to process cards over the internet use a VPN Thick client. We will talk about this in another article soon.

Now you know that Antivirus programs are good only to detected and can only detected known viruses maybe now you need to know AVG states on average there are 30,000 new viruses introduced daily. Most are only copies over older viruses with slight changes but AV data has to be updated when they are discovered.

The tunnel looks dark when you think about your computer being infected from downloading some mp3 file. But it happens.

We have solutions but they only work if you use them.

Role in on top of your Antivirus application a good backup and recovery process. Not System Restore or Microsoft Backup.

Our main customers and our own workstations are setup with AVG Business Security Suite 2011. We use this software that costs a bit more than the full paid version of AVG Personal Security 2011 because the application removes registry entries made by the virus application.

But that isn't enough, when we know viruses can be running for months without detection we need to know how far back this virus was installed.

Acronis Backup and Recovery is our primary software application for system recovery. This software is installed by us in nearly all of our system recovery machines, EOC systems and Mission critical systems.

POS systems should be running this software for a couple of reason. The first is discovery, AVG can scan within the backup archives and detect a virus. The archive will show you the date then you can create a risk report from that date. Home users can do the same with the Acronis 2011 home edition.

The bottom line and best defense when it comes to viruses is to have recovery information that is up to date. Infected 5 minutes ago? Recovery your system from 10 minutes ago. Was the only folder infected your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 then recover only that folder.

We have system recovery plans and procedures that everyone can use. Feel free to post comments and ask questions using our comment box.

We are currently working with a couple of suppliers to get bundled pricing on our current solution. If all works out well this data recovery and anti virus detection solution should be very affordable. Especially when you compare the time lost due to infected files or a corrupted computer system.

Don't format and restore until you've exhausted all other options. Call us we can help.


Some resource links for Badware website reporting.

http://www.stopbadware.org/home/

http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/report_badware/

http://www.microsoft.com/Security/portal/

When your computer gets a virus many think about the antivirus program that they forgot to renew seconds later. Or for those that thought it would never happen to you we want to welcome you to a new world, the virus world.