Is your computer booting up slowly, displaying cryptic error messages, transferring between programs at a snails pace?
If this describes your computer’s current situation you could have picked up a virus or some other type of mal-ware while using your computer on the internet.
Fortunately, unlike a zombie, an infected computer can be cured. To pinpoint the problem, we run a computer diagnostic on your hard drive scanning it for viruses and other forms of malware and also checking it for mechanical problems such as bad sectors on the hard drive, or hard drive platters not spinning properly. These different problems can each cause performance issues retrieving data quickly and running the computer smoothly and efficiently. Once the diagnostic is complete we know what the problem was and we can recommend a proper course of action to correct the problems.
Different Types of Viruses
A computer virus is a type of mal-ware that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive. When this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be infected. Viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying annoying and repetitive commercial messages, spamming their contact list with unwanted e-mail, or logging their keystrokes. The defining characteristic of viruses is that they are self replicating computer programs which install themselves without the user’s consent.
Malware: Viruses, trojans, spy-ware, key loggers, and ransom ware. What is Mal-ware? Mal-ware is a term that is used for all types of malicious computer software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to other networked computer systems. Many early infectious programs, including the first Internet worm, were written as experiments or pranks. Today mal-ware is used primarily to steal sensitive information of personal, financial, or business importance by black hat hackers with harmful intentions. Mal-ware is also often used against individuals to gain personal information such as social security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, and personal or business mailing lists. If left unguarded, personal and networked computers are at risk against these threats. Since 2003 the majority of the malware activity has been designed to take control of users’ computers for black market exploitation. Infected zombie computers are used to send email spam, to host contraband data such as child pornography, or to engage in disruptive denial of service attacks as a form of extortion.
The most common type of mal-ware currently found on the Internet is the Trojan horse. For a malicious program to accomplish its goals, it must be able to run without being detected, shut down, or deleted. When a malicious program is disguised as something normal or desirable, users may willfully install it without realizing it. This is the technique of the Trojan Horse or Trojan. A Trojan horse is any program that invites the user to run it, concealing harmful or malicious code. Once installed the malicious portion of the software takes over.
Spyware is mostly used for the purpose of tracking and storing Internet users movements on the web, serving up pop-up ads to Internet users. Whenever spy-ware is used for malicious purposes, its presence is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect. Some spy-ware, such as key loggers may be installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer intentionally in order to monitor users. Spy-ware can collect almost any type of data including personal information like Internet surfing habits, user logins, and bank or credit card information. Spy-ware can also interfere with user control of a computer by installing additional software or redirecting Web browsers.
Ransom-ware is currently a very common form of mal-ware used in the “FBI Virus” scam. Ransom-ware comprises a class of mal-ware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom be paid to the creator of the mal-ware in order for the restrictions to be removed. Ransom-ware payloads especially ones which do not encrypt files, use elements of scare ware to coax the user into paying for its removal. The payload may, for example display notices purportedly issued by some branch of law enforcement agencies which falsely claim that the user’s system has been used for illegal activities, or contains illegal content such as pornography or unlawfully obtained software.
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