Our staff has been removing virus Removal, spyware Removal infections for years and have spent extensive resources learning about the wide variety of threats that are multiplying everyday. There are a lot of tricks of the trade that novice technicians or weekend techs are not aware of leaving long term damage and vulnerabilities behind. This can either allow the infection to reinfect the machine or new threats to have an easy opening to get in. Most of those places also do not warranty their work and that’s because it was not done properly.
Pittsburgh Virus Spyware Removal designed a routine of steps that works for every infection, it makes more work for us but it ensures that the job is done properly and is one of the many reasons we warranty our work. Even if you come in with an entirely different infection within the warranty period we will warranty it but we will check over your security to see how it happened and provide a solution to prevent it from happening again.
Before we start we backup the entire hard drive, this is done to protect your data. In the event there was any kind of data loss or deletion we can restore it. Our process starts with seeing if the computer boots into windows or safe mode and look for obvious signs of a threat or infection, if it’s confirmed, we will look up the most up to date removal instructions from well known sources. The next step is to scan for rootkits, these are threats that undermine the operating system often at the MBR (master boot record) and other times infecting necessary system files.
Some utilities are unable to remove infections but we have well researched and use the appropriate tools. Depending on the infection the next step can vary from restoring to a previous recovery point if available to deleting temp files and other folders that are often used as virus and spyware hiding spots. Once multiple scans have been completed and threats resolved we would check the integrity of system files while repairing any damaged ones. Then move on to checking every startup item removing things that do not belong. To ensure windows is secure we check your security solution making sure its up to date and not expired, making suggestions if necessary. Windows and program updates is the last step to help ensure we have eliminated security holes and vulnerabilities.
We are providing service for the following types of computer virus and spyware.
1. Trojan. Trojan is one of the most complicated threats among all. Most of the popular banking threats come from the Trojan family such as Zeus and SpyEye. It has the ability to hide itself from antivirus detection and steal important banking data to compromise your bank account. If the Trojan is really powerful, it can take over your entire security system as well. As a result, a Trojan can cause many types of damage starting from your own computer to your online account.
2. Virus. Looking at the technology 10 years back, Virus is something really popular. It is a malicious program where it replicates itself and aim to only destroy a computer. The ultimate goal of a virus is to ensure that the victim’s computer will never be able to operate properly or even at all. It is not so popular today because Malware today is designed to earn money over destruction. As a result, Virus is only available for people who want to use it for some sort of revenge purpose.
3. Worms. One of the most harmless threats where it is program designed only to spread. It does not alter your system to cause you to have a nightmare with your computer, but it can spread from one computer to another computer within a network or even the internet. The computer security risk here is, it will use up your computer hard disk space due to the replication and took up most of your bandwidth due to the spread.
4. Spyware. Is a Malware which is designed to spy on the victim’s computer. If you are infected with it, probably your daily activity or certain activity will be spied by the spyware and it will find itself a way to contact the host of this malware. Mostly, the use of this spyware is to know what your daily activity is so that the attacker can make use of your information. Such as if you browse on sex toys for a week every day, the attacker will try to come out with a sex toy scam to cheat on your money.
5. Scareware. Scareware is something that plant into your system and immediately inform you that you have hundreds of infections which you don’t have. The idea here is to trick you into purchasing a bogus anti-malware where it claims to remove those threats. It is all about cheating your money but the approach is a little different here because it scares you so that you will buy.
6. Keylogger. Something that keeps a record of every keystroke you made on your keyboard. Keylogger is a very powerful threat to steal people’s login credential such as username and password. It is also usually a sub-function of a powerful Trojan.
7. Adware. Is a form of threat where your computer will start popping out a lot of advertisement. It can be from non-adult materials to adult materials because any ads will make the host some money. It is not really harmful threat but can be pretty annoying.
8. Backdoor. Backdoor is not really a Malware, but it is a form of method where once a system is vulnerable to this method, attacker will be able to bypass all the regular authentication service. It is usually installed before any virus or Trojan infection because having a backdoor installed will ease the transfer effort of those threats.
9. Wabbits. Is another a self-replicating threat but it does not work like a Virus or Worms. It does not harm your system like a Virus and it does not replicate via your LAN network like a Worms. An example of Wabbit’s attack is the fork bomb, a form of DDoS attack.
10. Exploit. Exploit is a form of software which is programmed specifically to attack certain vulnerability. For instance if your web browser is vulnerable to some out-dated vulnerable flash plugin, an exploit will work only on your web browser and plugin. The way to avoid hitting into exploit is to always patch your stuff because software patches are there to fix vulnerabilities.
11. Botnet. Botnet is something which is installed by a BotMaster to take control of all the computer bots via the Botnet infection. It mostly infects through drive-by downloads or even Trojan infection. The result of this threat is the victim’s computer, which is the bot will be used for a large scale attack like DDoS.
12. Dialer. This threat is no longer popular today but looking at the technology 10 years back or more where we still access the internet using a dial-up modem, it is quite a popular threat. What it does is it will make use of your internet modem to dial international numbers which are pretty costly. Today, this type of threat is more popular on Android because it can make use of the phone call to send SMS to premium numbers.
13. Dropper. Looking at the name, a Dropper is designed to drop into a computer and install something useful to the attacker such as Malware or Backdoor. There are two types of Dropper where one is to immediately drop and install to avoid Antivirus detection. Another type of Dropper is it will only drop a small file where this small file will auto trigger a download process to download the Malware.
14. Fake AV. Fake Antivirus threat is a very popular threat among Mac user about 10 months ago. Due to the reason that Mac user seldom faces a virus infection, scaring them with message which tells them that their computer is infected with virus is pretty useful where it results them into purchasing a bogus antivirus which does nothing.
15. Phishing. A fake website which is designed to look almost like the actual website is a form of phishing attack. The idea of this attack is to trick the user into entering their username and password into the fake login form which serves the purpose of stealing the identity of the victim. Every form sent out from the phishing site will not go to the actual server, but the attacker controlled server.
16. Cookies. Cookies is not really a Malware. It is just something used by most websites to store something into your computer. It is here because it has the ability to store things into your computer and track your activities within the site. If you really don’t like the existence of cookies, you can choose to reject using cookies for some of the sites which you do not know.
17. Bluesnarfing. Bluesnarfing is all about having an unauthorized access to a specific mobile phones, laptop, or PDA via Bluetooth connection. By having such unauthorized access, personal stuff such as photos, calender, contacts and SMS will all be revealed and probably even stolen.
18. Bluejacking. Bluejacking is also uses the Bluetooth technology but it is not as serious as Bluesnarfing. What it does is it will connect to your Bluetooth device and send some message to another Bluetooth device. It is not something damaging to your privacy or device system compared to the Bluesnarfing threat.
19. DDoS. One of the most famous thing done by Anonymous, which is to send millions of traffic to a single server to cause the system to down with certain security feature disable so that they can do their data stealing. This kind of trick which is to send a lot of traffic to a machine is known as Distributed Denial of Service, also known as DDoS.
20. Boot Sector Virus. It is a virus that places its own codes into computer DOS boot sector or also known as the Master Boot Record. It will only start if there it is injected during the boot up period where the damage is high but difficult to infect. All the victim need to do if they realize there is a boot sector virus is to remove all the bootable drive so that this particular virus will not be able to boot.
21. Browser Hijackers. A browser hijacker uses the Trojan Malware to take control of the victim’s web browsing session. It is extremely dangerous especially when the victim is trying to send some money via online banking because that is the best time for the hijacker to alter the destination of the bank account and even amount.
22. Chain Letters. When I was small, I got tricked with chain letters written by my friend. But chain letters does not stop at that era. It brings to adult life as well where people like to send chain letter such as Facebook account delete letter. It usually says if you don’t forward that particular message or email to 20 people or more, your account will be deleted and people really believe that.
23. Virus Document. Virus today can be spread through document file as well especially PDF documents. Last time, people will only advice you not to simply execute an EXE file but in today’s world with today’s technology, document file should also be avoided. It is best if you use an online virus scanner to scan first before opening any single file which you feel it is suspicious.
24. Mousetrapping. I am not too sure whether you had encountered a Mousetrapping Malware before where what it does is it will trap your web browser to a particular website only. If you try to type another website, it will automatically redirect you back. If you try clicking forward/backward of the navigation button, it will also redirect you back. If you try to close your browser and re-open it, it will set the homepage to that website and you can never get out of this threat unless you remove it.
25. Obfuscated Spam. To be really honest, obfuscated Spam is a spam mail. It is obfuscated in the way that it does not look like any spamming message so that it can trick the potential victim into clicking it. Spam mail today looks very genuine and if you are not careful, you might just fall for what they are offering.
26. Pharming. Pharming works more or less like phishing but it is a little tricky here. There are two types of pharming where one of it is DNS poisoning where your DNS is being compromised and all your traffic will be redirected to the attacker’s DNS. The other type of pharming is to edit your HOST file where even if you typed www.google.com on your web browser, it will still redirect you to another site. One thing similar is that both are equally dangerous.
27. Crimeware. Crimeware is a form of Malware where it takes control of your computer to commit a computer crime. Instead of the hacker himself committing the crime, it plants a Trojan or whatever the Malware is called to order you to commit a crime instead. This will make the hacker himself clean from whatever crime that he had done.
28. SQL Injection. SQL injection does not infect the end users directly. It is more towards infecting a website which is vulnerable to this attack. What it does is it will gain unauthorized access to the database and the attacker can retrieve all the valuable information stored in the database.
So you can see you surely get your $100 worth, most machines see multiple hours worth of work doing years worth of maintenance and we warranty the work for 30 days.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about spyware for small businesses can help you understand the risks, prevention, and removal of spyware. Here are 20 common small business computer spyware FAQs:
- What is spyware, and how does it differ from other types of malware?
- Spyware is a type of malware that secretly collects information about a user’s online activities and sends it to a remote server, often without the user’s consent.
- What are the risks associated with spyware for small businesses?
- Spyware can lead to data theft, privacy breaches, financial losses, and compromised business operations.
Detection and Prevention:
- How can I detect spyware on my small business computers?
- Look for signs such as slower performance, unexpected pop-up ads, changes in browser settings, or unexplained data usage. Use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware software to scan for spyware.
- What are some common sources of spyware infections?
- Spyware can come from malicious websites, email attachments, freeware or shareware downloads, and infected advertisements (malvertising).
- How can I prevent spyware infections in my small business?
- Train employees on safe browsing habits, keep software and operating systems up-to-date, and use reliable antivirus and anti-spyware software.
- What should I do if I suspect spyware on a business computer?
- Isolate the affected computer from the network, run a thorough spyware scan, and follow removal instructions provided by your antivirus software.
- Can I remove spyware manually, or should I rely on antivirus software?
- While some experienced users can remove spyware manually, it’s often safer and more efficient to use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware tools.
- How can spyware impact my business’s data security?
- Spyware can steal sensitive data, including customer information, financial records, and intellectual property, which can lead to legal and financial consequences.
- Can spyware lead to business downtime or operational disruptions?
- Yes, spyware can slow down computers, disrupt network activity, and lead to system crashes, causing business interruptions.
Legal and Compliance:
- Are there legal consequences for businesses if they have spyware on their computers?
- Depending on your location and the nature of data collected, your business may be subject to data protection laws and face legal penalties for non-compliance.
- How can I educate my employees about spyware risks?
- Provide training on recognizing phishing emails, avoiding suspicious websites, and the importance of not downloading software from untrusted sources.
- What steps can I take to protect sensitive business data from spyware?
- Use encryption for sensitive data, implement access controls, and regularly backup critical information to minimize the impact of data breaches.
- Is there a recommended schedule for scanning for spyware on business computers?
- Regularly schedule spyware scans, and consider real-time protection features in your antivirus software.
- Can mobile devices be infected with spyware, and how can I protect them?
- Yes, mobile devices can be vulnerable. Install reputable mobile security apps, keep operating systems and apps updated, and avoid sideloading apps from untrusted sources.
- What should I do if I believe my business has been targeted by spyware due to a cyberattack?
- Immediately report the incident to your IT department, cybersecurity provider, or law enforcement authorities.
- Should I consult with legal counsel if my business has been impacted by spyware?
- In cases involving data breaches or legal implications, it’s advisable to seek legal guidance to understand your responsibilities and potential liabilities.
- Is data recovery possible after a spyware attack?
- Data recovery may be possible depending on the extent of the attack and the availability of backups. Consult with IT professionals for assistance.
- Is it possible for spyware to return after removal?
- Yes, some spyware can be persistent or reappear. Continue to practice vigilant cybersecurity measures and keep software up-to-date.
Incident Response Plan:
- Should my small business have an incident response plan for spyware attacks?
- Yes, having a well-defined incident response plan can help your business respond effectively and minimize damage in the event of a spyware attack.
- Should I consider regular security audits for my small business to detect spyware vulnerabilities?
- Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments can help identify weaknesses in your security infrastructure and protect against spyware threats.
These FAQs can serve as a valuable resource for small business owners and IT professionals to understand, prevent, and address spyware-related issues effectively.