The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116689   Message #2534331
Posted By: Joe Offer
07-Jan-09 - 03:01 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Antivirus 2009 Scam/Antivirus Plus Infection
Subject: RE: Tech: Antivirus 2009 Scam/Antivirus Plus Infection
Hi, Tootler -

I combined your message with information from another thread. I'm not completely sure how the process works, or how to deal with these false avtivirus programs. I had to reinstall Windows XP to get rid of the "Antivirus" malware that hit a computer where I do volunteer work. No removal tool seemed to touch it - but that was quite some time ago, and maybe there a better removal tools available now. The computer that was hit did not have up-to-date antivirus software, and our computers were being maintained by the brothers and boyfriends of our college interns. After that mess, I took over maintenance of our computers.

As I understand it, these false antivirus programs are installed by a trojan horse or worm, one of the two. The programs then regularly flash a notice that your computer is not protected, and give you a link to a site where you can buy antispyware or an antivirus program. I can't imagine that you will actually get what you pay for, or that you will pay only the amount they tell you they will charge. Quite likely, following the link will allow them to steal your credit card and personal information.

Whatever the case, these false antispyware programs are a real mess to deal with, and it's far better to keep your computer protected with an up-to-date, reputable antivirus program that will not allow these programs to install themselves. Many Internet providers will give you Norton or McAfee antivirus for free - AT&T and Comcast now offer McAfee Internet Security Suite, although I'm still running the Norton Internet Security that AT&T formerly provided (and still continues to update for free).