Fake Antivirus Advisory & Rogue Programs Warning!!
Fake Adobe Flash Player & Java Update Warning!!!
Due to the recent trend of fake viruses and malware that I've seen lately on computers that I've serviced, I now find it necessary to publish an article on here about them. Did I just say "fake" viruses? Yes, I just did and I say "fake" because they're really not viruses at all. How can this be? Simple. What they are are rouge anti-virus and Internet security programs that you can get from e-mail attachments, or when you trying to watch that really important video and it gives you an error and tells you that you need to download a plug-in to view the video when all that plug-in really is is a rouge Anti-Virus program or you just happen to be surfing a site that you just don't want your spouse to find out about. There are even some rouge anti-virus programs that even go out of their way to make themselves look like Microsoft's Security Essentials software.
What these rouge programs do is they first scan your computer and then they tell you that your computer is inflected with this virus or that virus. The rogue program then offers you the option to remove the viruses in question that you don't really have in the first place, but will only do so if you buy a user license for the program. This is the key to this because not only are these rouge programs and their writers who design them trying to get your money, but they are also trying to steal your personal banking information and credit card information. Don't be fooled!! These rouge programs will also hijack your computer by running in the notification area and they will constantly prompt you to purchase a user license and eventually block legitimate Internet traffic from coming in over your Internet connection. Here is an Encyclopedia entry from Microsoft Windows Defender Security Intelligence about one I've recently seen quite a bit of lately.
Fake Adobe Flash Player Update Pages - Fake Java Update Pages
Another trend that I'm seeing online is the prevalence of Fake Adobe Flash Player Update Pages and Fake Java Update Pages. What happens is when your surfing, one of these fake pages will, all the sudden pop up and ask you to update either your Adobe Flash Player plug in or Java plug in. Don't fall for it!! Because once you do, you have just infected your computer with either mal-ware or viruses. Because both of these plug ins are popular for those who like to watch either movies or videos online, hackers routinely target Internet users by creating these fake pages and uploading rogue software designed to either infect or do damage to your computer's operating system which you then have to spend many valuable hours fixing yourself or retaining the services of a professional IT support technician. For everyone's connivance, I maintain a check for software updates page on this site that has links to all of the official software venders who provide these plug ins. The difference is, you initiate these updates instead of having them forced upon you by a rogue site.
I'm infected!! How do I remove a rogue program?
There are several options that you can try. If the program is not blocking your Internet connection, you can try using either Microsoft's Online Safety Scaner or Trend Micro's House Call Online virus remover tool and run an online scan on your system. If either detects the presence of a rouge anti-virus program running on your computer, they will both remove it. It is important to remember that either of these two online scanners are not meant to be a permanent anti-virus solution. If you need a permanent solution, keep reading this article. However, if the rouge program is also blocking your Internet connection, what you will have to do is go to another computer that isn't infected and download Microsoft Security Essentials or use Windows Defender which is built in to both Windows 8 and 10 or other reputable security software to a USB flash drive and then plug the flash drive into the infected computer and install the software and immediately have it scan your computer for infections. This is what I like to call the sneak and clean method because your installing the program from a removable flash drive and cleaning the computer out via that method. If this method does not work, then the problem is probably more severe and will probably require you to back up your data and reformat and restore your hard drive via your product recovery disc, operating system disc, or from the recovery partition on your hard drive. Most newer computers don't come with a set of product recovery discs anymore. What they do, instead, is create what is known as a recovery partition on your hard drive and they then give you the option of burning a complete back up or a set of product recovery DVDs when you first set up a new computer. If you have recently purchased a new computer and you are given this option at first boot up, then this is something that I highly recommend everyone do, because it can really save your butt later on. You can also contact the computer manufacture's technical support department and have them walk you through the step by step process to do this or if your recovery partition on your hard drive is still intact, then they can also walk you through the step by step process to restore and reformat your computer's primary hard drive partition via the recovery partition on your hard drive. If you have not made a set of product recovery DVD's and your operating system is also currently sold in retail outlets by Microsoft (currently Windows 7), then you can generally order the product recovery DVD's by contacting the customer service number of the company that manufactured your computer. However, if your operating system is one that is no longer sold by Microsoft in the retail sector (Windows 2000, XP, or Vista for example), then you will have to contact Restore Disks to order the product recovery discs for your system. I've had many people ask me why computer manufactures no longer supply product recovery DVD's with a new computer and instead make you burn them instead. The answer is simple. That's why computers are cheaper now then back when Windows 95, 98 and ME were in the picture. It costs the manufacture more to mass produce product recovery DVD's so they would rather the end users create and burn a set of them on blank DVDs instead. Some manufactures will even allow you to burn more then one set of product recovery DVD's to keep for back up purposes, but keep in mind that you can only use them to restore the hard drive on the original computer make and model that they were made on. You can not use them to restore a hard drive on a different computer make or model. This is due to Microsoft OEM licensing restrictions on computer manufactures.
What if this doesn't work?
Then you can either retain the services of a professional IT Support Technician or contact me for assistance. Remember that unless you are family or you go through mom, I do have to charge you for performing this service for you because you are involving my time, my educational background, and my many years of experience in providing this service to you.
How can I protect myself?
Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender in 8 & 10, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and CCleaner are my preferred methods of protection. However, if you are running an illegal copy of Windows Vista, 7, 8 or other Microsoft operating system that will not pass Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage validation, then the other software programs that I've listed here will be your only choice for Anti-Virus protection. Microsoft Security Essentials is no longer available for download on Windows XP since Microsoft ended support on XP. However, if you already have Microsoft Security Essentials, you will still be able to receive virus definition updates until July 2015.
Antivirus - Ad-Aware -
Avast Antivirus -
Immunet Antivirus - Panda Cloud Antivirus - ZoneAlarm Antivirus - ZoneAlarm Firewall -
360 Total Security - Sophos Home - Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - McAfee Stinger - AdwCleaner -
Microsoft Free Safety Scaner & Remover - Trend Micro's HouseCall Free Scan & Remover
Microsoft Security Center - Microsoft Windows Defender Security Intelligence - Yahoo Safety Center - Google Safety Center
You can also check your Internet Service Provider's technical support pages to see if they offer a free Internet Security Program for download. As of this writing, currently Comcast, Spectrum, Spectrum's Time Warner Cable Division, Cox, and SuddenLink make this option available free to their subscribers. AT&T also makes their Internet Security Suite available free to their subscribers also, but only to those who are on a 3 Mbps DSL speed or higher speed plan or on Uverse.
The important thing to always remember to do after you install either one of these programs is check them to make sure that your anti-virus file definitions are consistently up to date. Hackers are constantly releasing new viruses all the time, so that's why doing this on a regular basis is so important.
How to use the System File Checker Tool
Recovery Options in Windows 10
Page Contents: ©2018 Robert F. Stewart, Jr except hyperlinks which are © to their respective owners and are used by permission.
Last modified Tuesday April 24, 2018 05:01:55 AM US Eastern Time
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