malware

Is Java's Kommodia safe to install?

Mark from Santa Ana, CA

Episode 1165

Mark hears that when downloading Java, junkware downloads with it. Leo says that Java is now being bundled with adware, so he should make sure he unchecks the option. Better yet, he shouldn't download and install Java unless he needs it.

He should also make sure that it doesn't load automatically in his browser, which is a security issue. Java uses Kommodia, which actually breaks the encryption technology of a browser. So Marks' wife should remove it immediately.

A Strong Message Needs to be Sent to Lenovo Over Superfish Malware

Episode 1164

With news that Lenovo has been caught using man in the middle attacks to insert adware into user browsers, Leo says that we must send a strong message to them that this is unacceptable. Lenovo claims the Superfish "add-on" was only added to consumer products to provide targeted ads in browsers, but Leo says it's malware and it deliberately violates the trust between consumers and manufacturers.

Lenovo Gets Caught Putting Malware on Its Laptops

Episode 1163

After getting caught putting a piece of malware called Superfish on all their laptops, Lenovo has offered apologies and released a removal tool with which to remove it. Leo says that Lenovo had been putting malware on its machines that makes it possible for a 'man in the middle attack' to reroute customer's personal traffic to Lenovo so that it can insert ads. Leo says that's inexcusable and nobody should ever buy a Lenovo brand computer again.

Hackers Steal Millions from Banks

Episode 1162

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.

Is removing a virus the same process on the Mac as it is on the PC?

Jay from Providence, NC

Episode 1159

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.

How can I get rid of Dropper GEN?

Episode 1154

Don from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Virus Detected

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.

How can I get rid of a hacker who's stalking me?

Episode 1151

Karen from Sun City, CA
Hacker

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.

Is the new Bitdefender Box legit?

Episode 1151

Tom from Warren, OH

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.