Malware is a form of code that embeds itself within a computer system to cause harm, over the last few months we have had many jobs where we have had to do malware removal in Derby. Malware is a term that is often misunderstood, and one that user’s believe to be separate from other forms of code. Malware, however, is just an umbrella term, and means Malicious Software. This refers to all of the popular terms of malicious code we have heard of, from viruses to trojans, spyware to adware, and scareware to ransomware.
In short – any form of harmful code can fall under the term malware. (If you have an urgent problem with malware please contact Derby Computer Repairs straight away so we can look at fixing it for you)
In general, malware is often encountered via installing suspicious software, or by installing fake drivers in order to operate a certain executable. However, malware can also be found present within official software, especially code that can limit use, such as code that allows playback of music and movies, but prevents copying and re-distribution.
When it comes to PC Repair, users are often convinced that their machine has been infected by a form of malware, due to slow downs and juttery programme use.
Sometimes, this is certainly the case, but in the majority of cases, slow downs and system failures are often caused by hardware faults and out-dated drivers.
To diagnose such issues, and to eliminate the possibility of malware being present, a professional has to make a number of system checks – from hardware performance to software execution. A stable system will run flawlessly, whereas a corrupted system (via malware) will produce flaws at expected times. A system with hardware failure will produce completely random results, often removing the possibility of malware infection.
Malware can be spotted more easily when security software fails to function properly. Anti-virus software may fail to boot, or fail to update, or fail to correctly scan. This is the first and foremost indication that malware is present within a system. It is also common sense – in order for an infection to thrive, it must attack the software that aims to destroy it. Malware can easily contain code to target the most common of anti-virus applications.
Another common giveaway that malware may be present is the built in security software failing to detect or to repair the system. More advanced users will know that MSCONFIG and System Restore will fail to run correctly and fail to restore the computer to a previous date. Errors may also be present on the config log.
Random pop-ups are also a huge factor in malware, and a clear sign that the system has been infected. In most cases (but, by no means all), these pop-ups often request payment for fixing a system that is dying. They are, in many ways, false advertising and used with the intent to scam.
The home page of a browser can be changed with malicious code, or – in other cases – the results returned are fictitious and manipulated. This is another tell-tale sign of malware, and particularly spyware.
Computer slowdowns are common with certain forms of malware. Internet connections can also be slowed, especially when malware is using your system as a host. However, as stated above, it is often not a malware issue when slowdowns are present, but checks should be made, all the same.
When malware has been determined to be the issue, most anti-virus software programmes can route out the problem during a full system scan.
However, when the anti-virus application itself has been targetted, a new approach to rooting out the evil code is needed. This is often performed via Linux based software. Programmes such as Dr. Web and AVG Rescue CD are often considered big contenders in this field. They are able to run completely independently of the Windows operating system and outside of the hard disk’s boot sector, thus enabling themselves to get around the barriers set up by the malware infection.
Malware, of whatever type, is a nasty thing. Some are more malicious than others – some may just throw annoying ads, while others want to view our bank login details. Fortunately, modern anti-virus software, when regularly updated, can prevent a malware attack in its tracks, but, it’s still reassuring to know that – even when these applications fail – there are still alternatives to definitively destroy such dark code.
We have a team of experts on hand to help if this has happened to you. If you need malware removal in Derby or surrounding areas, give us a call today and we will help you get your computer back in a healthy state.