Billy has been getting calls from his customers saying that his website is infected. Leo says that can be a serious warning. When Google crawls websites, they make a note if a site is infected and redirect visitors to a warning message. If he's running Wordpress and doesn't keep it up to date, it can easily be breached and infected. Even plugins are vulnerable. He should be sure to have his website updated completely. He should get his site cleaned up, which may take a good SysAdmin. Once Google sees it's cleaned, it could take a few days or even weeks before they take the warning down.
Patrick got bit by the FBI virus which theatens to prosecute you. Leo says that is ransomware scam which says if you send a MoneyPak card to them, they'll unlock your computer and leave you alone. It's designed to use fear and make people act without thinking and just pay them. And it's costing people millions annually. If you get any virus, the only real way to get rid of it is to backup your data (if you can) and then format the hard drive and reinstall Windows from a known, good source. DO NOT EVER PAY A HACKER TO UNLOCK YOUR COMPUTER!
Greg keeps getting viruses on his computer, and wonders if there's a PC cleaner that would take care of this. Leo says no, there's no cleaner that will successfully remove all malware. Greg says he has a computer guy that cleans the viruses off, but they keep coming back. That raises concerns that the technician isn't getting them all. Once the wall has been breached, viruses can be inviting others in. Greg says that his technician has been reformatting and reinstalling the operating system, which is good.
Derek was on a file sharing site, he downloaded a file, and the next day his computer was unusable. It just would boot up to a random pattern. Leo says that often, malware is distributed via filesharing sites. So it may be malware. Malware would typically lock the user out and then try to extort money to unlock it. This isn't what it's doing, though.
Josh is trying to boot up his mother's PC and it seems to be locked. Leo says it sounds like the BIOS lock is engaged, but it wants him to buy a MoneyPak card and send it to the Department of Justice.
Tony wants to know if internet enabled TVs are secure. Is there an antivirus for them? Leo says that internet TVs work on a heavily sandboxed and modified version of Linux and it's very unlikely that a hacker could install something onto a computer's system. Linux isn't really on a hacker's radar. So there's little to worry about.
Allison's Yahoo mail got hacked last weekend, and she spent all weekend with technicians to fix it. She's worried she lost all her contacts. Leo fears that the technicians that charged her $200 to fix it were actually hackers pretending to be Yahoo customer support. Leo thinks they probably made her situation worse by installing key loggers and other exploits that'll turn her computer into a botnet zombie.
Steve has a Mac and wants to know if he really needs an antivirus utility. Leo says that the bad guys have slowly begun to write exploits to take advantage of the Apple platform. This wasn't the case a few short years ago, but as Windows users have gotten better at locking down their systems, the hackers have to go somewhere. So the short answer is yes.
Leo recommends Eset's CyberSecurity for the Mac. (Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).
Jeffrey has been on a dating website and now he's having trouble connecting to the internet. He has been getting notified that his cookies were disabled. Leo says it's DNS malware that has redirected traffic through the DNS servers to control what he sees. It could have impacted his computer, or his network's router. Since Jeffrey has only seen it on his computer, that's an easier thing to repair. He should backup his data, and then format his hard drive and reinstall his OS from a known, good source.
David's computer runs Windows 7 Home Premium. Lately, he's getting a lot of failure messages. He ran MalwareBytes and has stopped malware that was running. Leo says that Malware Bytes may have taken out system files that the malware has attached it to. Leo suggests using the recovery discs that David can burn from his computer and then just start over. Back up the data, then restore from those recovery discs. That will format the drive and re-install Windows.