What is malware?
Malware is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs. It can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software. [Source: Wikipedia.com]
How did I get infected?
It is difficult to track down the source of an infection. Most infections are actually given permission to run unknowingly by the user. It is recommended to keep User Account Control turned on and never give access to something you do not trust or did not open. Many other infections come via exploits in your browser or browser plug-ins on websites you visit. Always be very careful what you install. Make sure you trust the source implicitly. When downloading programs, always use the publisher’s website directly.
How to help prevent future infections:
Be very careful what you download and install. Keep your software up-to-date. Make sure Windows is kept up-to-date as well, including Windows 10 feature updates. Many Windows updates patch exploits and vulnerabilities in your operating system. Most infections are active because the user has unknowingly given it Administrative permission to install and run. The first line of defense starts with you.
Here are some steps you could take to potentially clean up.
Please note there could be risks here if you do not read carefully or know what you are doing. Take care.
1 – In the settings page of your web browser, remove any suspicious looking extensions and check out your installed search engines and home pages.
2 – Run rkill. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to finish. Do not reboot when done.
RKill is a program that was developed at BleepingComputer.com that attempts to terminate known malware processes so that your normal security software can then run and clean your computer of infections. When RKill runs it will kill malware processes and then removes incorrect executable associations and fixes policies that stop us from using certain tools. When finished it will display a log file that shows the processes that were terminated while the program was running.
As RKill only terminates a program’s running process, and does not delete any files, after running it you should not reboot your computer as any malware processes that are configured to start automatically will just be started again. Instead, after running RKill you should immediately scan your computer using some sort of anti-malware or anti-virus program so that the infections can be properly removed.
3 – Download a copy of Malwarebytes. Turn on the “Scan for Rootkits” option. Then, run a “Scan”
Successfully removes the vast majority of infections
Has an industry-leading, lightning fast scanning & heuristics engine
Has built-in repair tools to fix damage done by malware
4 – Run ADWCleaner using the “Scan Now” button.
Removes majority of adware, PuPs, Toolbars, and Browser hijacks
Scans for bloatware & pre-installed sofware and lets you quarantine any or all of it.
Fixes proxy settings changed by malware
Removes certain non-default browser settings