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.
Mark has an iPhone 6 Plus, and he clicked on a link in his email from "Fedex" which he later realized was a bogus phishing scam. Leo says it's unlikely it'll impact Mark. Phishing scams are designed mostly at Windows applications and even then, unpatched versions of Windows. Since Mark is neither, it's highly unlikely anything bad will happen to his phone. But it's good that he realized it, even if it was too late. Next time he'll know beforehand.
Debbie just bought a new computer, and it's not working properly. She gets lots of popup windows. Leo says that it's likely that Debbie has been infected with malware. Leo says that Debbie is a prime candidate for something much simpler like a Google Chromebook or a tablet. Windows really requires knowing more about security.
Linda has a Windows 7 machine that has been infected with malware. Leo says that ultimately, it's probably best to use the recovery discs that came with the computer. Most OEMs don't include original Windows install discs, but usually offer recovery discs. She could try cleaning the malware off, but usually malware invites more viruses, so it's the malware she doesn't know about that she should be concerned about.
Root Pipe and Wire Lurker are two new vulnerabilities hitting computers. Root Pipe is hitting OS X but Leo says it can only be activated by someone sitting at your computer, so it shouldn't really be a huge cause of concern. Meanwhile, the Nigerian scam has been reported to have caused over $12 Billion in loses last year.
Meanwhile, a new report says that consumers are reaching "breach fatigue" over all the security breaches that have happened of late.