Different antivirus software use different techniques to detect malware. However, a method that is very popular among these programs is signature based detection.
Signature based detection is simply a careful scrutiny of all the computer’s program’s contents for codes that have have some traits that are present in viruses.
This is usually done through some features of the antivirus software. These features enable the software to check the suspicious codes with a table that contains traits of identified and dangerous viruses.
The tables used for this purpose are referred to as virus signatures.
However, the table undergoes constant change on a daily basis. This is because while some viruses are being ejected from computers, thousands more are being created to replace them.
The normal duration for this update to take place is between 24 hours. If this is not done, some viruses will slip under the radar when the antivirus is conducting its scan.
Even this is not always effective because viruses that are not a day old are not identified by the antivirus.
To counter this, antivirus programs are then designed to observe the processes and behaviours of the computer’s programs. The observation is always geared towards the identification of unusual or abnormal behaviour.
The name of this technique is heuristics.
Other strategies used by the antivirus software include virtualized environments, system monitoring, and network traffic detection. All of this are in a bid to improve the software’s chances of combating viruses.
Even with all these precautions and procedures, the use of an antivirus software does not offer full protection to computers. Malware still infect computers on a daily basis all around the world.
Malware infections usually occur through three different methods.
These are responding to fake phishing emails, running a software that has not been updated, or mistakenly downloading a Trojan horse.
Your antivirus software will be more effective if you manage to avoid these modes of malware infection.
There are different ways to know if your computer has been hacked. Hacking is a serious criminal offence and if you have experienced it or are currently experience it, you should report to the appropriate federal authorities.
Fake Antivirus Messages
If you are currently experiencing a pop up message that constantly warns you of a virus present on your laptop, you have probably been hacked. If the message turns out to be false, you can be 100% certain that your computer has been hacked.
For you to determine that a message is fake, you should be able to recognize what a legitimate warning from your antivirus program looks like.
The fake warning will them proceed with a suggestion to scan your computer for malicious content. At this point, it is already too late, tour computer has been compromised.
Even if you click No, the scam will still go on anyway. For the uninformed, the scan will look legitimate and successful because it will reveal a list of viruses that your regular antivirus software was not able to discover.
The aim of this warning is to get you to buy the virus extermination software being advertised. At this point you would have been convinced that it is the real deal.
A link will be provided that will direct you to the site where the purchase will be made. The link will direct you to a legitimate and professional looking site that will feature a lot of other products and services for sale.
After a while, you will reach a screen where the final purchase will be made. Here, you will have to provide your credit card and other financial details.
Once you submit this, you should be aware that you have successfully supplied am hacker with all the personal and financial information he needs to access your funds.
What To Do
Immediately you see the fake pop up screen announcing the presence of a virus, shut down your computer.
When you turn it back on, you should switch it to safe mode, although this allows no network access. Then you should proceed to remove the software that you just installed. The uninstallation can be conducted like every regular one.
Even if the uninstallation is unsuccessful, you should still restart your computer. Then, you should restore it to the state it was in before the hacking.
If this attack had happened in the early days of antivirus technology, you would have had to format your computer and reinstall all the data and programs alongside a new Operating System.
Today, however, all you have to do is follow a few basic steps that will return your computer to its previous state.
Once the system reset has been established, you can then proceed to restart your computer via the usual procedure. Once it is fully ready, you then have to ensure that the fake pop up screen has disappeared.
After, you should then initiate a full system antivirus scan. This scan will remove whatever remnants of the malware that are left.
Unwanted Browser Toolbars
If you turn on your computer and discover that a new toolbar has randomly appeared out of nowhere, you should be aware that your computer has most likely been hacked.
The only exception to this is if the toolbar is familiar to you. You might have unknowingly downloaded and installed it while surfing the Web.
Also, this toolbar might appear as a result of a software that you recently downloaded or installed.
Before you install a software, you should first go through the accompanying licensing agreement. Some of them include clauses that allows the installation of another software alongside the original one.
If you are anything like most people, you do not take time to read licensing agreements, you just go straight ahead to installation.
This information is something that hackers act upon since it is common knowledge that a lot of people do not read licensing information. Therefore, you download malicious content alongside your software.
What To Do
A lot of browsers give you the ability to remove toolbars. Scrutinize your toolbars and remove anyone that looks suspicious.
If the compromised toolbar is not being displayed in your toolbar list, you should check your browser settings to find out if it has the option of returning the browser to its original default settings.
If you try this and it is again unsuccessful, you can them proceed to reset the whole computer to its original state. This is why it is advisable for you to have a reset and backup option for your system.
Another method that can be used to avoid malicious toolbars is by ensuring that every software installed in the computer is updated regularly. You should also carefully examine any offer you come across online that advertises free software available for download.
Passwords Changed Inexplicably
If you ever try to login to your online account without any success, it is possible that your account has been hacked.
This is because often times, hackers change the passwords to whatever account they access. If this is not the case, then it is possible that tour ISP, also known as Internet Service Provider, has been compromised.
It is possible that the hacking is as a result of you responding to a phishing email with your log in details. This phishing email might appear to be from the account whose log in details is eventually changed.
If this is the case, then it is possible that the cyber criminal or hacker has utilized the log in information you provided to access your account and change the password to something else.
With this kind of access, he can retrieve whatever information is contained in this account. If this account contains sensitive financial information like your internet banking details or credit card details, the hacker can use it to steal your hard earned money.
What To Do
You must report the situation immediately to your ISP (Internet Service Provider). When you do this, you should regain access to your account within minutes.
If the log in details that the hacker has access to is what you use for your other accounts on the Web, you must change the passwords immediately.
But most importantly, you must pay attention to your conduct on the Web. You should never ever provide your log in details to just Amy company that requests via email. The truth is, no reputable website will ever request you to submit your log in details through an email message.
Whenever you see something like this, you should know better than to click on the attached link. You should rather visit the website the usual way, through their proper URL. You can them log in with your correct details.
Also, you should report the phishing email to the appropriate authorities. You can contact the Internet Service Provided (ISP) through email or a telephone call.
To Protect Or Not To Protect? 5 Simple Tips For Getting Rid Of Trojan Horse ( Malware)
The Trojan horse is a very popular sight to cyber security experts. It is one of the most insidious and prolific Malware programs that are available on the internet nowadays.
Although this program might appear innocuous on the surface, you should do well to note that the program is one of the most dangerous Malware available.
Recent studies have revealed that the Trojan horse malware, commonly referred to simply as Trojan, is one of the most popular available today and it accounts for more than 60% of the total population of computer malware in the world.
It usually camouflages as a profitable software to innocent users of the internet who will them proceed to download it.
The mode of operation of the Trojan program is quite unique in comparison to other worms or viruses. This is because it is not self replicating. Its main strength is the fact that it can remain incognito for a long time.
The program is usually very quiet but once it is downloaded, it will unleash its full destructive power on the computer that is unlucky enough to host it.
The program also follows the usual means of operation of other Malware programs. This is because it has the ability to update, restart, delete and wholly shut down computer systems. It can also function as a form of backdoor and it gives hackers the ability to remotely access computer networks.
With this kind of access, hackers can freely access and utilize financial data. The name of the program is derived from ancient Greek mythology.
According to the myth, the siege of Troy by the Greek army was resolved through the use of a big wooden horse.
The wooden horse was meant as a sign of gift between the warring nations but secretly, it housed Greek soldiers.
The Trojans were happy at this seemingly peaceful gesture and they accepted the gift. They brought the horse into the city.
Come nightfall, the soldiers came our and attacked the city. They then opened the gates for their companions waiting outside the city walls with their weapons at the ready.
The much larger force was able to lay waste to the whole of Troy in just a matter of hours and, just like that, a seven year war was violently and cunningly ended.
This is the exact premise that the Trojan horse software works on. However, there are some strategies that can be adopted in dealing with this threat.
- Uninstall the Malware program. This can be done through the add/remove option on your computer.
- Restore your computer to a previously healthy state via the system restore option.
- Install a good anti malware program.
- Ensure that your system is up to date.
- If these measures do not work, reboot tour system and select the Start In Safe Mode option.