The scariest threat out there for your computer

There is a serious threat out there to all of your data, and it’s growing bigger every day…

More and more hackers have come to realize they can make a lot of money every day, simply by denying you access to your computer and the data you have stored in it.

This scenario is unfolding right now somewhere in the world. Probably somewhere very close to you right now – maybe even someone you know.

This very moment, someone is clicking a link in a spam email that is unleashing a world of havoc and chaos within their computer.

In a few seconds, all their data will be encrypted and they will have just a few days to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get it back. Even with a backup – which most people don’t have – it will take hours to restore their computer back to how it was before this vicious attack.

There is a growing threat in the cyber world. Groups of remorseless hackers and cyber criminals are programming malicious software known as ransomware.  They’ve automated their attacks to the point of targeting anyone and everyone. But why do they do this?

An attacker’s estimated return on investment for exploit kit and ransomware schemes is 1,425%!!

There are two known types of ransomware in circulation:

  1. Encrypting ransomware: This type of ransomware incorporates advanced encryption algorithms. It’s designed to block access to media files and demand payment to provide the victim with the decryption key that will unlock access to the blocked content. Examples include Locky, CryptoLocker, CrytpoWall and more.
  2. Locker ransomware, which locks the victim out of the operating system, making it impossible to access the desktop and any apps, programs or files. The files are not encrypted in this case, but the attackers still ask for a ransom to unlock the infected computer. Examples include the police-themed ransomware (FBI, ICE, NSA, etc) or Winlocker.

The most widespread type of ransomware is crypto-ransomware or encrypting ransomware. The cyber security community agrees that this is the most prominent and worrisome cyber threat of the moment.

So what can be done to prevent this threat?

The first and most obvious thing is to make sure never to open an email with an unverified sender. Many emails disguise themselves as a company like FedEx or UPS. The emails look very official, but prompt you to check the attached file for information about the failed delivery of your package. Once you download this file, automated cyber-chaos is unleashed on your computer taking away all access to your most precious information. Also make sure you don’t download or open any attachments or click any links in emails from unverified senders.

The next thing you can do is to use an ad-blocker plugin for your browser. I personally use AdBlock for Google Chrome. I tend not to use any other browser because Chrome settings will cross over from one computer to another, keeping my life a little more simple. As I’m writing this, my AdBlock plugin has blocked over 75,000 ads and is being used by over 10,000,000 people. The numbers speak for themselves in reliability.

 

 

Make sure you have the most up to date version of your security software and make sure that it is set to check for updates every day. If an update requires you to reboot your computer, don’t put this off. Do this right away! All this is going to cost you is a few minutes of your time to make sure you don’t lose hours later on.

A paid version of security software is always better than the free version. I use AVG protection for all of my devices. AVG has security software for PC, Mac, and Android. The software for Mac and Android are free. The PC software has a paid version – AVG Internet Security. I highly recommend this software to protect your PC.

 

Make sure you have an active backup of all of your data. Cloud solutions for data backup are very affordable now and can save you thousands of dollars in a data recovery effort.  Carbonite is a leading provider of cloud backup and restore solutions for small and midsize businesses. They protect millions of devices and their valuable data for businesses and individuals around the world. Check out our page with Carbonite and see what plan is best for you

 

*Click on the logo to go to our Carbonite web page*

 

My computer got infected with ransomware… now what?

First of all, don’t pay the ransom. That may temporarily make your data available, but will NOT remove the malicious software from your computer, leaving you at risk to be exploited again.

We’ve recovered a great many computers infected with ransomware of all varieties with 100% success to date and zero data loss for our customers. Go to our contact page, and give us a buzz. We’ll be happy to get you back on track as fast as possible.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

I removed Malware and now all my personal files are gone!

The latest versions of Malware I have been witnessing is rather clever and tries to trick the user into believing that all of their files are deleted.  First off make sure you have removed all the infections by running your virus protection and following the Computer Solutions LLC’s malware removal instructions (see here).

Once you have removed the infections and your files are still missing, follow the instructions below:

1. Open “My Computer”

2. Select “C:/ Drive” (or main hard drive is different letter)

3a. For XP, go to C:\Document and Settings

3b. For Vista/Windows 7 go to C:\Users

4. Now you are looking at what should be where all your personal data is stored.

5. You might not see anything in here as the Malware infection has hidden all folders

6. TO UN-HIDE FOLDERS: Go up to “Tools”, then down to “Folder Options”.  (If you don’t see the Tools menu bar, press “alt” and it will show the menu bar. (SEE BELOW)

7. Scroll down to “Hidden files and folders”, and select “Show hidden files and folders” (SEE BELOW)

 

8. Press “OK”, now you should see your user folder (named your user name)

9. Right mouse click on your folder, select “Properties”.  Now un-check the box that says “Hidden”.

10. Press “OK” and select “Apply to all sub-folders and files”, let the process finish and you should have all of your documents back.

11. You might want to perform the same option described in steps 9 & 10 to default user, or all users to bring back all of your start menu items.

12. When you have all of your files un-hidden, you will want to repeat steps 6 & 7 in reverse order to re-hide hidden folders.

13. Done, you should be malware free and have all of your personal files back.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Intel Completes Acquisition of McAfee

SANTA CLARA, Calif., February 28, 2011 – Intel Corporation today announced the acquisition of McAfee, Inc. is complete.

As the Internet expansion pushes it way into our cellphones, cars, and living room, the rise of more and more malware infections is imminent.  The question of how to protect our information has been an ongoing battle within the tech world.  With the acquisition, Intel plans to move into the security industry and possible take a new look at the preventative measure in IT security.

Intel and McAfee believe today’s approach to security does not adequately address the billions of new Internet-ready devices, including PCs, mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines. With the surge in cyber threats, providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services. Together the two companies will work to help people more securely take full advantage of the potential of computing and connectivity (Ramirez, 2011).

References:

Ramirez, S. (2011, February 28). Intel completes acquisition of mcafee. Retrieved from http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2011/02/28/intel-completes-acquisition-of-mcafee

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Conflict With AVG Antivirus

Recently I have been recommending my clients purchase MalwareBytes Anti-Malware due to the amount of Malware infections going around currently.  I have had several clients have issues with their computer freezing up after purchase of MalwareBytes with the following system configurations:

Operating System: Windows XP

Anti-Virus Protection: AVG Free 2011

I have been doing some research as these both (AVG / MalwareBytes) are popular software which shouldn’t have any problems running together.  What I found is that there are steps you need to take within AVG prior to the install of MalwareBytes.

Exclude Files and Folders:

To exclude Malwarebytes’ from AVG (2011) Free:
Note: If not AVG, whatever your resident antivirus software is

  • Open AVG and click on Tools and select Advanced Settings
  • Click on Resident Shield
  • Click on Exceptions then click Add Path
  • Exclude the following directories:
  • C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
    Note: For 64 bit systems it would be C:\Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

  • C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes
    Note: For Vista and 7 users it would be C:\ProgramData\Malwarebytes

    Click on Add List then copy and paste the text inside the CODE box exactly as written into the AVG window. Select the entries appropriate to your version of Windows:

  • Windows XP:

C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbam.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbamgui.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbamservice.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\zlib.dll
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbam.dll
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbamext.dll
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\rules.ref
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbam.sys
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbamswissarmy.sys

  • Windows Vista and Windows 7

C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbam.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbamgui.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbamservice.exe
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\zlib.dll
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbam.dll
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\mbamext.dll
C:\ProgramData\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware\rules.ref
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbam.sys
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbamswissarmy.sys

Try that and let me know via email if that helps your situation, computersolutionco@gmail.com.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Skype Fake Malware Alert

Some users of Skype, regardless of operating system, have been receiving a chat message through Skype claiming you have a malware infection (see below).

– – – – –

ATTENTION ! Security Center has detected malware on your computer !

Affected Software:

Microsoft Windows NT Workstation

Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0

Microsoft Windows 2000

Microsoft Windows XP

Microsoft Windows Win98

Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Impact of Vulnerability: Remote Code Execution / Virus Infection /
Unexpected shutdowns

Recommendation: Users running vulnerable version should install a repair
utility immediately

Your system IS affected, download the patch from the address below !
Failure to do so may result in severe computer malfunction.

www.alertscan.net/?q=update
– – – – –

If you receive something like this through a Skype chat message, do not be alarmed. Instead, ignore it and block the sender. This is chat spam aimed at scaring users into purchasing an alleged antivirus product.

The purported remote virus scan performed by the site behind the URL is also a fake: it is a harmless movie, not a real scan. The “results” of this fake scan are also false.

That said, if you receive a chat message from an unknown user and/or an internet link that you’re not sure of, please err on the side of caution and do not click on such links.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

I removed a malware infection, but still can’t connect to the internet

So I have had several people follow my steps on how to remove Malware, click here for instructions, and email me that they removed all infections and the computer seemed to be working well again, but they were unable to connect to the Internet.

If this is the case, and you receive a “page not found” error (see below) it is likely due to the Malware making changes to your Internet connection settings.

These Malware infections will make changes to your “proxy settings” (proxy settings mean you use an intermediary computer before you connect to the internet) so that they can dictate what websites you can visit (usually they only allow pornography or the website to purchase their scam software).

So if you have removed some infections and now you cannot connect to the Internet, follow the steps below:

1.  Open Internet Explorer

2. Click “Tools” then “Internet Options”

3. On the top you will have seven tabs, select “Connections”

4. Select “LAN Settings”

5. This is where the proxy settings were before you removed the infections.  You will see an image like below, you will want to uncheck every box EXCEPTAutomatically detect settings”.

6. Once you have selected “Automatically detect settings”, press “OK” and then “OK” again.

Now you should have full connectivity back.  You should be able to browse the Internet now.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

System Defragmenter Malware Scam

What is System Defragmenter and why do you need to remove it?  This is malware (what is malware?) and is not a genuine system or disk defragmenter program and will try to trick you by telling you that you have various file errors on your computer. This malware will run a fake system scan to try to convince you that there are major errors on your computer that need to be fixed fast and that you need to buy the full version of this software.

Possible Error Messages:

– Caution! 30% of your hard drive has been damaged and the information stored on it may be unrecoverable

– The temperature of your hard drive is reaching critical levels due to un-optimized files and hard drive damage. Immediate action is necessary to preserve the rest of your information.

– Your PC is in danger of crashing due to abnormal levels of heat buildup. You must improve your hard drive efficiency to decrease the temperature before it’s too late.

How to Fix:

1. Restart Your Computer and as soon as it turns back on (when you see the Dell, Gateway Logo, etc.), called the BIOS screen, press “F8″

2. When prompted how to start windows, select: “Start Computer in Safe Mode with Networking” (see image below)

3. Open your internet brower once Windows loads and download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware by clicking here

4. After downloading and installing MalwareBytes, select “Run Full Scan” (see image below),  and remove all infections upon completion.

Your computer should be fixed now but if for some reason the problem isn’t corrected, you should contact a service professional as the program can set up its installation in the startup folder so meaning it will re-install every time you load windows.

I hope this helps as the amount of Malware Scams are continuing to grow rampant.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Help! My email is sending out junk email to all of my contacts

So you receive a phone call from a friend or family member saying that they received an email from you with only a link, or even worse saying you are stuck in a foreign country and need money.  How do you stop your computer from sending these rogue emails?  You don’t want your email address to be marked as a spammer and de-activated as well.

These are not viruses but malware (bad software) infections that will go through your address book and email everyone and try to infect their computer and start the cycle all over again.

If your computer has been sending these rouge emails, follow these steps:

1. First off, tell the people that have been getting these emails not to click on the link or follow any instructions provided in the rogue emails.

2. Download MalwareBytes on the infected computer.  – Click here to download

3. After downloading and installing MalwareBytes run a “Full Scan”

4. Upon scan completion:

4a. Remove all infections

4b. After removing infections, change your email password (highly recommended)

5.  Complete!  Your email should be clean now and you won’t be sending spam anymore.

To prevent this from happening in the future, you can always purchase a license for MalwareBytes so that it provides “Real Time Protection” and is only $24.95/year, or just make sure to update and scan with your antivirus and Malware or Spyware software regularly.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Microsoft Security Essentials Malware

Initial Symptoms:

Microsoft warns of the fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert that was discovered to pretend as a security tool from the software giant. In fact, it is a fake program trying to scam computer owners into purchasing their fake “anti-virus” programs. Microsoft Security Essentials Alert malware (meaning bad software) is introduced in an alert message reporting various threat details (see image 1). It will give an option to fix the computer and remove the threat by providing a “Scan Online” button.

Image 1 (Initial “Fake Infection” Screen)

Image of Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert

Clicking on “Scan Online”, will load a new window that display a number of available programs. There are actually so many legitimate programs present on the choices but mixed with rogue ones. Noticeably, only those fake programs are executable including Red Cross, Peak Protection, Pert Detector, Major Defense Kit and AntiSpy Safeguard (see image2).

Image 2 (What is shown after you select “Scan Online”)

Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Programs

Removal Instructions:

1. If possible: Open your internet browser and download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware by click here.

  • 1a. After downloading and installing MalwareBytes, select “Run Full Scan” and remove all infections upon completion

2. If you can not open any programs due to restrictions this malware makes:

  • 2a. Restart Your Computer and as soon as it turns back on (when you see the Dell, Gateway Logo, etc.), called the BIOS screen, press “F8”
  • 2b. When prompted how to start windows, select: “Start Computer in Safe Mode with Networking”
  • 2c. Open your internet brower once Windows loads and download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware by click here
  • 2d. After downloading and installing MalwareBytes, select “Run Full Scan” and remove all infections upon completion

Your computer should be Malware free!!!  You can update/scan with MalwareBytes whenever you feel necessary, or,  if you purchase a license for this software it will provide real-time protection and prevent these sorts of intrusions from getting into your computer.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Dangerous ‘Dislike’ Scam Spreading on Facebook

It seems that everyone uses FaceBook these days and due to the billions of users there are a growing number of security threats to be aware of.

There are many opportunities to “Like” content on Facebook — and increasingly on sites all over the web — but Facebook doesn’t offer a “Dislike” button that people who don’t like a status update or a New York Times story can click to express their opinion. Facebook wants you to remember this.

That’s because a bogus Dislike button is appearing as an option on status updates. When a user clicks this nefarious button, he or she may wind up with more reason to dislike the page: The scam steals their identity or hijacks their account.

FaceBook Security and Computer Repair Durango CO

“Beware of the fake Facebook ‘Dislike’ button. As always, we advise you not to click on suspicious links on Facebook,” Facebook said in a security post. “We’re working hard to stop these from spreading. If you see one, report it to us, and warn any friends who might be affected.”

So be careful and we will attempt to bring to light more FaceBook scams as they are becoming more and more commonplace.

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X