How to Get Rid of Renegade Antivirus Software
How to Recognize The True Value of Antivirus Software
You access your favorite social network to interact with friends. In your inbox you notice a message. The message has a link. It is a video. Upon opening the link there is no video. Then sometime while operating the computer you get a notice the antivirus component to the security software has expired and the computer is at risk. In the past you have ignored this warning because the firewall function was thought to be adequate. Besides the scanning portion of the software, has always slowed down the system.
You go to close the popup window harboring the alarm. Upon closing one window another with a heighten state of alarm restating the need to upgrade the security software comes up. There are three or four popup windows in total. The solution according to one window suggests the need to upgrade your antivirus spyware. A Red flag goes up when you see a request for credit card information. So instead of making a purchase you decided to go back and search the web for alternatives.
Finally a site that appears to be compatible with your exiting security center comes up. There is an option for a free download. The site looks very official so you downloaded the free software. As it turned out the software has limited functionality and it is a temporary evaluation version. After you run the software it lists what your system is infected with. To proceed and get a version that would actual removes the bugs you are required to register the software. Of course to register the software this requires a purchase and the use of a credit card, another red flag.
So now the goal is to uninstall this software from the computer because I have no intentions of paying for antispyware when I know it should be available on the internet somewhere for free. So off to the Control Panel I go. After opening the “add and remove function” I distinctly remember install two applications, one from the original alert and another from the search. However I only find one. So I highlight the application and hit remove. After trying a few times finally I decide to read things more closely. There in the fine print on the screen it states, this is a limited time evaluation version and the uninstall function has been disabled.
Now every time I turn on my computer there are popups that tells me the system is at risk. But I was steadfast about finding free antivirus software. So I continued the research and found a host of sites that offered free software, the first half dozen or so said they where free but they lied. They were either 30 day trials with a request for you to register and of course registering requires a credit card. Finally after much hard work and many hours online I ran into another problem. For lack of something better, I’ll call it the Infamous Red Page. The Red Page says. “Site has been blocked because it has been determined to be infected.” It goes on to say the site has been reported as unsafe with the following message, “We strongly recommend you discontinue use of this site and register your computer’s security software.” You are given an option to ignore the warning and continue but when you chose the option it takes you in a circle back to the Infamous Red Page.
Let me recap. Here is roughly the sequence of events. I opened a suspicious video on Facebook, not a video mind you. Got an at risk computer alert shortly there after. Tried to initially install some recommended security soft at the very beginning, in fact it was not legitimate but a scam. Someone was tying to get a hold of my credit card information. You think you are purchasing a legitimate antivirus solution. In fact what you have bought is a scam. By the way this first install software that I could not find. It was hidden as an upgrade. Found it by turning on the programs and upgrades option from the, add and remove function on the control panel. However the second download still remains.
The dilemma I found myself in is called a Rogue or Renegade Antivirus Total. I contracted it when opening the video sent by someone who managed to highjack the photo and message page of a friend on Facebook. It seems highjackings of this type have become common place. The virus seemed to work on three levels. I am not an expert but the stealth part of the program appears to be hidden in the form of a worm. The FREE software I found that eventually got me out of the fix identified it as the Net-worm.koobface. The other two viruses were identified as RogueAntiSpywareTotalSecurity and Trojan.DNSblooker.
I suspect the Trojan.DNSblooker virus was responsible for the “Red Page” and it prevented me from accessing certain internet sites. The only pages in hindsight that seem to be immune are Home Pages capable of having default settings and those sites that are password protected. The Rogue Anti Spyware Total Security virus is very tricky. It fools you into believing your anti virus software needs to be upgraded. It takes you to a site for all intents and purpose looks legitimate. You think you are purchasing a defense against a nasty character when in fact you are giving up more personal information including your credit card. Cleaver littler buggers aren’t they?
Once these viruses are on your computer because they are imbedded in a worm they are hard to get rid of. The evaluation version of the antispyware may have a limited life but until the expiration the best I can do is quarantine it. Under quarantine hopefully the Fire Wall will be able to block it from being mischievous.
The question you may ask is why can’t I get rid of it? If you are tricked to the point where you have opened the site and downloaded the software, it’s classified as a trial version and has the uninstall application disabled. A logical next step might be in order to get rid of the thing, register the software but this is the last thing you want to do. Also until you find a way to quarantine it do not execute any commands related to the popups. Just close the window until you are able to get rid of the thing.
One way to fix the problem is to log into your Google account. If you do not have a Google account, I suggest you get one. Under Google Settings there are some products. One such product is Google Pac. One of the items or features of Google Pac is Spy Doctor. Follow the instructions on how to download the FREE version of Spy Doctor. As Google Pac downloads it is able to push aside the other Security Center and free up your computer from the blocking virus.
Once Spy Doctor is loaded you will be able to run a scan, quarantine and disinfect the three viruses mentioned. There is a caveat Spy Doctor may also ask you to upgrade to the more completed package. This is going to cost money. In my case I elected to forgo that option. Bottom line these social network sites are not perfectly secure. There are some pretty nasty people out there. They have no better thing to do than to make life miserable for the rest of us either because of competing networks, industrial sabotage or international squabbles or because they are an aspiring cyberspace thugs trying to make a name for him or herself. So be safe out there.