Virus's and malicious programs are constantly being developed. Even with the latest updates on the best virus checker there is still a 2 week window for virus's to invade your windows installation without any notice.
Most infections we see at the moment are actually malware (malicious software) used to retrieve credit card details from unsupecting users.
The software is installed into windows usually after:
The most worrying types of malware we see at the moment are rogue virus scanners distributed by criminal gangs. These applications bury themselves into the windows installation and start up every time with windows. The software looks like a trust worthy virus scanner called Security Tool (we have even seen them disgused as AVG and McAfee).
The rogue virus scanner pretends to scan your computer for virus's and then builds up a list of infected files or even hardware problems with the computer. The system then fools the user into thinking that the software can simply remove the virus's and correct any hardware problems but to do this the user must upgrade to the full version. This software is usually priced at £40 and once the user enters their credit card details into the software the personal details are sent to a fraudulent database on a website running on a web server usually in a different continent. The loss of the £40 is not the worry here, criminal gangs will then attempt to take other payments from card, usually starting with a small 'test' payment and then esculating into large payments.
We have had a few cases of customers getting quotes over the phone for hard disk replacements which actually turn out to be fake hard disk errors thrown up by software as described above.
We can usually manually remove malicious software manually (not using any other anti-spyware removal programs which often cause more harm than good). We use techniques developed by our own experience sometimes using trial and error. When we see the same virus for the second time we can usually remove it very quickly. Malicious software is usually constantly being upgraded by black hat programmers and loopholes we use to remove the software from the system get closed. We must then attack it from another angle. We have seen 8 different versions of the 'Security Tool' malware each more advanced than its predecessor.
Sometimes malware can damage windows to a great extent. It has had free roaming of the operating system, changing any file or registry value that it wishes. The only realistic option in this case is a hard disk format and full reinstall. You can often spend more time repairing a tired old windows installation than to perform a full reinstall.
Common Malware infections:
We charge £35 to remove up to 5 virus's. We will install Google Chrome which must be used from then on. Internet Explorer is usually the route of such problems and using this brower again will result in the virus coming back. A full reinstall is the most guarenteed way to make sure that a computer is clean and we recommend this if we find 6 or more virus's, this service is £59.