Leo says that there's a new virus going around that is actually really well written and difficult for antivirus to detect. If you get it, it will encrypt all of your data, and will require you to pay to get the encryption key. Leo wants to remind everyone to update not only your OS, but also other software such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, and anything else you use that can be easily corrupted by malware.
Joe keeps getting an annoying popup, and he has no idea where it's coming from. Leo says that popups usually come from installing a tool bar. Often, installing shareware will come with an additional "payload" because users didn't uncheck and disable it from installing. Leo calls it "sneakyware", because it slips by the user when they're installing something.
Ann got bit by the FBI MoneyPak virus. This is a scam called ransomware. The virus locks down a computer and won't allow the user to use it until they send them money. It's definitely not the FBI. The only way to get rid of it is to format her drive and reinstall Windows from a known, good source. It will also help if she uses an updated OS like Windows 7.
Julie recently got her first iMac and wants to know if she should get Eset's Cyber Security software. Leo says that Macs are far safer than PCs because they are active in blocking malware as it happens. Also, their smaller market share means Mac users aren't as much of a target. Leo says the greater threat is her behavior. No antivirus program can protect her from herself if she allows it to get through.
There's a report that someone sitting at your Mac can fiddle with the clock in OS X and gain access to your system. Leo says that having physical access to a computer can create a lot of security issues. It's something to be concerned about if you're going to lunch and leaving your computer open, but 99.99% of the time, this is much ado about nothing. Just create a screen saver password that's really good, and you're golden. Even better, turn on full disc encryption (called "file vault" on the Mac) and everything is safe until you log in.
Davey got bit by the ransomware virus which demands he pay $300 to unlock his computer. Leo says do not be fooled. Just format the PC and reinstall Windows. He can try and remove it, but he'll never know if there's other viruses that have been installed as well. Reinstalling Windows is the only way to be sure it's been removed.
Ray uses AVG on his Windows computer, and is wondering if he should get AVG on his Android phone as well. Leo uses Lookout, which offers extra features such as the ability to remote wipe the phone, or to track the phone's location. Since AVG has this also, they probably are pretty similar in what the programs offer.
The question is really, is an app like this needed? There are malware programs on Android, but smartphones in general are less susceptible to attack. This is especially true on iPhone.
Jim got nailed by a virus that he himself let in using an old version of Adobe Reader. Leo says that Adobe is horrible security-wise. The only true way to know that he's gotten rid of a virus is to backup his data, format the hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known, good source.
Marti is having trouble updating virus definitions with Microsoft Security Essentials. Leo says it may be a stuck update. Once an update gets stuck, further updates wait until that stuck update is cleared before they install.
Dale's browser has been hijacked after downloading some freeware from CNET. It even hijacked his aministrator rights so he couldn't uninstall the program.
The chatroom says that CNET Download Manger may have caused all this because the user has to say no to the download manager as well. The CNET issues started about a year ago, according to the chatroom. There's even a forum post on CNET's own forums about it!