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.
Joe got bit by the FBI Moneypak virus. Leo says it's a well known ransomware exploit, and all viruses require the user to be complicit in the infection. So, Joe probably went somewhere or downloaded something that enabled the virus to get on his system. Unfortunately no repair can fully remove everything and it's likely what he tried just got rid of the notification and not the actual malware itself. That virus may have invited many other malware exploits to the party, too.
Steve Gibson joins Leo to talk about the UPnP bug. It's one of the most nefarious exploits out there and the media isn't talking about it because it's just too "geeky." Security groups scanned over 4.3 Billion routers connected online, looking for a vulnerability. There are hackers probing as well. It's stunning that over 81 million are vulnerable due to a bug in the router software that will give hackers access to their personal networks. Steve advises turning off UPnP in the router settings.