- Has your computer been infected with a virus, trojan or malware?
- Did it shut down or slow down your computer?
- Were you able to easily remove it?
- How do you remove malware?
Recently my computer got infected with malware so I want to share what happened and how I resolved the problem so you can quickly resolve it yourself (without costing anything but time) by referring to this article.
Here’s what happened…
So I turned on my computer one morning and immediately received a pop-up saying I had to renew my antivirus software. I thought that’s strange since I had recently renewed my McAfee subscription and the icon was sitting in my task bar. Why didn’t McAfee alert me to the infection and remove it automatically?
How the program affected my computer
Every time I tried to access a website, email or any other file on my computer a pop-up would appear saying…
“this file is infected…you want to active your antivirus software now?
or some similar message.
If I tried to surf to another website it would say it also was infected then asked me to purchase an antivirus suite to repair the computer. The bottom line was I could no longer use my computer..it had been taken over by a malicious program.
The cause and how it works
The program was an Antivirus Suite…a rogue anti-spyware program that got through the McAfee antivirus software installed on my computer (see image below). It’s a malware program that automatically installs itself without your permission. It won’t allow you to do anything until you buy the program (which I didn’t). Even though it says every file is infected these are false positives (fake) to scare you into purchasing the antivirus suite.
The Antivirus Suite will configure Internet Explorer and Windows Internet settings to use a proxy server which prevents you from updating anti-malware programs or visit any internet sites. Instead of panicking I discovered there is an easy and free method to remove the malware.
How to remove malware: (the Antivirus Suite)
1. Download a copy of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
This program will detect and remove malware from your computer. Antivirus Suite will prevent you from installing Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware so I downloaded a copy to my laptop then transferred it to the desktop using a flash drive.
2. Install Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
To bypass the rogue software you need to restart your computer in safe mode. To do this simply tap the F8 key on your keyboard as your computer starts back up. Use the arrows on your keyboard to scroll up to safemode and press enter. Now install the anti-malware by clicking on the file: mbam-setup.exe
3. Perform a full scan
Let Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware do full scan of your computer. This will take some time especially if you have Gigabytes of files. (It took about 2 hours for to scan all my files).
4. Remove malware
After the scan has finished a screen will appear displaying the infected files. Click on the “remove selected” button to remove all infected files and registry keys, then reboot your computer. You will no longer be infected because your computer is free of the Antivirus Suite malware program.
5. Reconfigure Internet Explorer settings
I discovered Internet Explorer didn’t work after removing the Antivirus Suite. This is because it configures Internet Explorer and Windows Internet settings to use a proxy server.
To resolve this problem open Internet Explorer, go to tools, internet options, connections tab, click on LAN settings and un-check everything in there. That will fix it.
6. Install reliable Internet Security software
Since I use Comcast as my Internet Provider they give you a free subscription to Norton 360…which provides an all-in-one Antivirus, Internet Security, PC Tuneup & Backup program. First uninstall the Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware program (start-control panel-add or remove programs) so it doesn’t interfere with the Norton 360 installation. During the installation it automatically removes McAfee (my previous antivirus software). Now I can safely surf the internet again.
7. Keep security software subscriptions updated
I mistakingly thought I had purchased full security protection when renewing my McAfee subscription (it appeared to be a good deal). When I contacted tech support they said I only purchased personal firewall protection however the software on my computer showed I had full protection. This meant:
1. The Antivirus Suite malware was able to bypass McAfee or
2. I only had personal firewall protection (not virus, trojan, malware protection).
This prompted me to remove McAfee and install Norton 360. I also recommend running Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware every month or 2 to detect and remove any malware your security software hasn’t detected.
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