Back in 2013, in what has been the largest hacking theft in history, hackers used malware to break into the computer networks of several major banks and stole over $300 million worldwide, and could actually be three times as large, the largest theft in history. No bank has come forward claiming they were victims and security firm Kaspersky has been retained to investigate. Leo says these attacks happen all the time and that Banks cover it up to prevent clients losing faith in the institution. How did it happen? It appears to be the old phishing scam with bank employees as the target.
Jay wants to know if removing viruses is the same between Mac and Windows. Leo says that there's a debate that Macs are either more secure, or are a smaller target because there are fewer of them. Leo says that malware writers are going to write for the largest segment of computers. But OS X is based on Unix and that's more secure than Windows. OS X also has an administrator requirement when installing software.
Don runs Windows 7 on his laptop, and was running Avast AVS which found a "Dropper GEN" virus. Leo says it's a nasty trojan virus. It's a dropper package which goes out and gets more malware. So if it's a true dropper, Don has problems. Don should try running a second screening using Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (Start-Run-MRT.exe-Enter). He could also try Eset's online antivirus screener as well, and Eset has a removal tool that also removes itself when it's done. Don tried running Kaspersky and it didn't' see it. Leo says that could mean it's a false positive.
Karen is having an issue with an online stalker who has hacked into her computer and has been deleting her files and other things. Leo suspects that Karen isn't really being hacked unless she has incurred the wrath of someone who can do that. More likely, what may be happening is that she's got malware and she probably should format the hard drive and reinstall Windows from a known, good source.
Glen got a popup saying his computer has become encrypted, and he keeps getting popups saying it's been infected with adware. Leo says it's bogus and isn't the CryptoLocker encyption scam. It's just a scam trying to get him to call to give them his credit card and remote access control to his PC.
Tom saw a new box from Bitdefender at CES that promises to be in between the internet and the computer and cleanses all traffic. The box connects to the router and it will prevent malware from getting through. They plan to ship it for $200. Leo says the premise of this is good, but may not necessarily be better than a software antivirus because if software doesn't know about a virus, neither will the physical box. We can't even be sure it will ship at all at this point either.
Ryan has a new Dell Inspiron 1440 laptop and he's managed to get a virus on it. Leo's guessing that it's due to downloading a mod for Minecraft, and it's likely Conduit. This isn't technically malware, but it's still annoying to get rid of. Leo's been there and he can get rid of it.
Neil got a popup from the FBI saying that if he pays a fine of $300, he'll be cleared of any charges from "online porno" that he's never done. Leo says that it's called the FBI MoneyPak Scam and it's a scam designed to get users to pay up out of fear. Leo says it's easy to fix by simply backing up his hard drive and reinstalling Windows. That's the only way to be sure he's free of it. But under no circumstances should Neil pay up. The FBI wouldn't offer a "get out of jail free card" with an anonymous payment from 7-11.
Mary wound up getting a program called Trovi installed, and she can't get rid of it. Trovi is a lot like Conduit, and it's a browser hijacker that often comes with free software. Some don't think it's malware, but if it tricks the user into installing it and makes it difficult to be uninstalled, then it's definitely malware. And shame on CBS, which owns download.com, for allowing this junk to be installed onto people's computers. Mary can remove it in Add/Remove Programs, but she'll also have to change her browser settings or it could come back.
David's computer started to get the dreaded bluescreen of death and he took it to the Geek Squad to get it repaired. They said it was a virus and sold him WebRoot. Leo says that the Geek Squad couldn't have been more wrong and just sold him an antivirus software he didn't need. Almost always, the problem with BSOD is either a driver or hardware issue. BSODs only happen as a result of accessing ring 1 memory on the computer and that's only drivers or hardware. Malware won't result in a BSOD.