In working with customers who have been hacked, infected with malware and the like I’ve come to know the antivirus software scene as … well a outdated bullshit. Yet we still need it, we feel unprotected without it. The truth is that some of the best software that worked for years is now vulnerable itself – as those years passed it was studied, tested and now they infect you via the “security software” which then itself may have it’s software replaced with malware. You won’t delete or remove it out of fear that it is protecting you but has become the home of the hacker on your computer. Its like a cyber-punk novel but this is the reality we face.
Someone like me is hired to fix this dillema and i’ll be honest – its not easy for any of us. We have to put in the time, fine new tools and manually search and destroy incursions. We have to rewrite your OS and clean away all the downloaded infections you have in your temporary directories. I once used Skype until the day a client, who was badly compromised called me on Skype and my Skype software got itself infected via the call. That was the last day I used skype which had been my friend for many, many years.
Its risky too – if I want to educate people who are searching for “how to remove malware” I will have to name which software or I might be accused of making false reports by commercial interests who are selling these programs that just don’t work. These antivirus/anti-malware don’t catch anything new, just old things that aren’t getting around any more. New attacks are tested by the hackers using this software so they know it won’t be detected. You’ll visit a website, open an email, read a PDF and they got you. Your firewall let it through, your scanner didn’t notice it and it wrote itself all over your system but you got no OS alert? How can this be? These are “exploits” and hackers are just people who run software designed to leverage those vulnerabilities and exploit you and your computer.
How do I remove malware? Which software should I use for anti-virus? Why Harden my windows computer? Watch this space … I’ll make a video blog to try and explain – you’ll see my face and I hope you’ll consider hiring my company to resolve this but if not I’ll try to steer you in the right direction. If you aren’t skilled enough you’ll more than likely damage your OS to the point of needing a reinstall – always back up first.