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What is Malware
These days, the term malware refers to a large variety of software which all has one thing in common: it is unwanted software which someone else wants to run on your computer. This software infects your computer, making it behave in a way which you have not approved of.

Malware can sometimes include traditional viruses and worms, which are usually destructive in some way - these can delete files, wreck the operating system and change the behaviour of your computer.
Spyware has often been referred to as a virus, but this is not wholly accurate. Often the software does not duplicate itself like a virus, which is why it is almost never detected when a simple anti-virus program like the commonly used McAfee, Norton and Kaspersky anti virus scans are run.
 
Some modern trojan viruses and worms can give control of your computer to an attacker. Once hacked in they can then use your computer to send spam emails of themselves to all of the people in your address book or launch attacks on other computers. One of the newst types of Viral infection has been dubbed ransomware and can literally hold your personal data to ransom.

Ransomware
CryptoLocker is a ransomware trojan which targeted computers running Windows it it is believed to have first been posted to the Internet in late 2013.  CryptoLocker propagated via infected email attachments, often claiming missed parcel deliveries etc.  When activated, the ransomware encrypts certain types of files stored on local and mounted network drives (including all types of office documents emails pictures websites and accounting files) using RSA public-key cryptography, with the private key stored only on the malware's control servers. The malware then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment (through either Bitcoin or a pre-paid cash voucher) is made by a stated deadline, and threatened to delete the private key if the deadline passes. If the deadline is not met, the malware offered to decrypt data via an online service provided by the malware's operators, for a significantly higher price in Bitcoin.  Although CryptoLocker itself is easily removed with anti-malware tools, the files remained encrypted in a way which researchers considered infeasible to break. Many said that the ransom should not be paid, but did not offer any other way to recover the crypted files; others said that paying the ransom was the only way to recover files that had not been backed up.  Most victims claimed that paying the ransom did not lead to the files being decrypted in any case. The virus has changed significantly in the last five years and although some reports from 2018 say that certain files can now be decrypted from the FireEye, virtually all newer variants of the virus cannot.  Some of the  above information is from a cryptolocker wikipedia article.


What is Spyware
Spyware can monitor what you do on your computer it can log all of your keystrokes on your keyboard and all of your mouse-clicks on screen.  At worst this can lead to credit card fraud or identity theft.

What is Adware
Adware can show you unwanted advertising, this typically shows up as pop-up ads or an unwanted homepage or a combination of the above.  You will sometimes find that you are directed to a website that you did not intend to visit this is known as a browser hijack.

Malware PictureThere used to be clear differences between the groups above, but lately they can use similar infection methods to arrive on your PC. Therefore it is no longer useful to make a distinction between Spyware Adware Malware and Viruses.


How Does this nasty software get onto my computer in the first place?

Spyware can worm its way into your computer even if you are careful while surfing the Internet. Nowadays, it may invade your system if you simply visit a certain web site. Applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from media-supported sites. Many Viral programs pretend to be Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware or Anti-Spam so be extra careful when searching for these programs use PCFix recommended downloads here for safe use of the best crop of current programs.

MP3 File sharing networks like Imesh, Limewire, Frostwire ,UTorrent, Kazaa, Bearshare, Shareza and various media heavy Bit Torrent clients and torrent search engines like Pirate Bay All these sites are infamous for carrying spyware and virus infections or lonking to sites that contain the infections.. Many Free software applications appeal to teenagers and kids and they simply cannot resist loading up the latest software gadgets for messenger and the like notorious offenders are Messenger Plus Plugins- Adware is sometimes disclosed, but buried, at the end of a License Agreement or Privacy Statement that the criminals know will almost never be read and almost certainly not understood.

Once installed, the spyware can monitor your activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to the criminals. It has been discovered that on occasion, spyware authors will pay shareware creators to distribute the latest spyware hidden with their software.

SViruses and Spywarepyware is becoming ever more sophisticated and many applications are designed to spread themselves out through your PC's other Users, through your PC Restore points, and on through all the other computers on your home network, making it even more difficult to wipe them out completely.

You can find lots of further information on the various kinds of spy/ad/malware at Doxdesk or simply Google the term for malware tons of useful forum information

Removing malware from a computer can be very difficult, even for some experts. It is highly recommended that you contact PCFix if you suspect that your computer has been compromised in any way PCFix will give your computer a thorough clean up and provide you with all the tools you need to prevent your computer being re-infected in the future.

The best protection for your computer is a three-tiered approach: anti-spyware software, anti-virus software, and a firewall PCFix can provide all of these tools and they are all included at no extra charge call Steve now on 01204 883136.
 

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