malware

Why can't I get back online after removing malware?

Ed from Philadelphia, PA

Episode 1186

Ed has discovered malware on his computer so he took it off and now he can't get on the internet. Leo says that Malware comes through any browser and when you get malware, or in this case adware, removing it can be problematic. Installers will attach the malware or adware to a critical system file and then when you remove it, you also remove the critical files for your system.

Has my bank account been hacked by a popup?

Diane from Encino, CA

Episode 1185

Diane got a popup that said she had a virus. She knew it was a scam and closed out her Safari browser and turned off her computer. Then she got a bank notice that her account was compromised. Are those occurrences related? Leo says probably not. Just because a popup tells her she's infected, it doesn't mean she is. The popup was designed to get her to call someone so they can socially engineer her to install something. The bank notice probably was the result of someone who she gave her card to at a restaurant copying her information. Her Mac is safe.

Did I get bit by malware?

Sam from Hemmit, CA

Episode 1185

Sam clicked on a bad link and how he has malware. It has locked his browser. Leo says that uninstalling his browser and reinstalling will be of limited value. He can run Malware Bytes, but he'll need to make sure he uses the official version because there are counterfeits out there. Leo says that it's likely a browser hijacker object is in the mix, which will then popup ads and push him towards certain search results. Malware Bytes will remove it.

Mac OS X 10.10.3 Released, Users Should Update to Fix Huge Flaw

Episode 1178

Mac OS 10.10.3 Yosemite has been released, which includes the new Mac Photos app and fixes a major flaw in the operating system. The flaw would allow a hacker to take control of the computer via remote access. Apple says that the upgrade is free, but if you cannot update due to having hardware that doesn't support Yosemite, then Apple says they have no plans whatsoever to patch this vulnerability. And what's their reason? It's too much work. Leo says that's a hard thing to swallow.

How can I unencrypt CryptoWall Ransomware files?

Chris from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 1177

Chris has a Dell laptop that got hit by the CyptoWall Ransom Ware. He was able to use ShareExplorer to recover some of his files, but he lost a lot of them because he refused to pay the ransom. So he has a bunch of files that are encrypted. Can he use something to unencrypt it? Leo says no. CryptoWall uses strong encryption and there would be no guarantee it could be fixed. This is why he should backup all of his data. Sometimes, an uneraser can recover data since CryptoWall erased the original and encrypted a copy. But outside of that, he's out of luck.

How can I close out of Google Chrome in Windows 8?

Episode 1172

Lucy from Torrance, CA
Google Chrome

Lucy is having trouble with Chrome and she's tried to remove it, but can't. Leo says it's probably gone into "metro mode." If she sees the hamburger menu of four lines, click on that and she should get out of it. It may also be the sign of an infection that has modified the browser. She should try pressing F11. That will take it out of full screen mode. At that point, she should be able to close it. CTRL-ALT-Delete will work as well.

Is "Google Redirects" malware?

David from Herndon, VA

Episode 1166

David has been having issues with Google Redirects, which takes him nowhere. Is that malware? Leo says yes. It's a common practice of evoking the names of trusted companies. It's most definitely a virus or malware designed to redirect him to either more malware laden pages or advertisers that they want. But he'd have to install it. This is why it's important to run as a limited or standard user, and not an administrator. David tried to uninstall, but it won't. Leo says that's because malware doesn't want to be uninstalled, so they make it very hard to remove.

Should I have antivirus software for my tablet?

Episode 1166

Ray from Van Nuys, CA
LookOut

Ray is concerned with security on his tablet, and is wondering if he should have antivirus for it. Leo says that mobile devices are designed in an era where malware is a serious threat, so these newer operating systems are inherently safer because they tend to be sandboxed. If he still wants some added protection, LookOut is a very good antivirus app. That being said, Leo doesn't use an antivirus program.

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.