malware

How can I get rid of a redirect virus?

Lloyd from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 1071

Lloyd got a redirect virus. Leo says these days there really isn't an easy way to get rid of a virus because not only is he infected by this virus, but there's usually other viruses that get invited as well. Once it's on the computer, it can be so deeply embedded that any attempt to remove it can disable the operating system. So at the end of the day, the only thing he can really do is back up his data, format the hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known, good source. Then he should run all the available updates.

Is an old version of Office safe to use?

Bob from Potsville, PA

Episode 1070

Bob has a very old version of Microsoft Office and he wants to know if it's safe to continue using. Leo says that this week, a "zero day flaw" was found in Microsoft Office through the RTF rendering engine, and hackers have been taking advantage of that. So if there's an update, update it. Leo also says not to use Internet Explorer. Use Google Chrome instead. He should turn off the feature that automatically launches an app when he goes to a website as well. If he's careful, he should be able to keep using his version of Office, though.

How can I get rid of an error in Internet Explorer?

Nate from Las Vegas, NV

Episode 1069

Nate has been having an issue with his computer for a few months using Internet Explorer. Leo says that Windows "Dynamic Linked Library" files (DLL) could have been infected, causing an error and since it's spreading, it's likely to be malware. It could also be that the hard drive is getting a bit flakey and the files are on a bad sector. Or the DLL itself is corrupted. Add-ons may have been installed as well, causing issues. He should remove all of his add-ons, and try resetting his browser. He should also boot into safe mode and see if he has the same problem there as well.

Can computers infect each other from within my network?

Episode 1069

Jeanette from Royal Oak, MI
Network

Jeanette's son's computer was hacked and she's concerned that her Mac computers will be infected if he connects it to her network. Leo says that she should go into the security system preferences and turn on the computer firewall. That will protect her individual computers inside her network. What about her iPad? Leo says that she doesn't really have to worry about the tablet getting infected. Nobody is writing viruses that can infect an iPad from a Windows PC.

How can I get rid of Conduit search?

George from Vero Beach, FL

Episode 1068

George got a nasty piece of malware called "Search Conduit." Leo says that Conduit is bad, even though they swear they're legit. But if it takes over his browser and he can't get rid of it, then it's the very definition of malware. Leo advises downloading MalwareBytes from MalwareBytes.org. If that doesn't work, he should try booting into "Safe Mode" and try it then. If that doesn't work, he should try one of these:

How can I protect myself online with my new computer?

Billy from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1068

Billy is getting a new Windows 8 desktop and wants to be sure he sets it up with the proper security. Leo says that Microsoft is now bundling Windows Defender (formerly called Security Essentials) with Windows 8, so he'll be protected as long as he keeps it up to date. There are other things he can do to protect yourself more, though:

More Leaks from Edward Snowden Indicate NSA Plans to Infect Millions of Computers

Episode 1066

Edward Snowden signs

The most recent leak from Edward Snowden is about an NSA program called "Quantum." The Intercept, a publication created to release this information, claims that this quantum tool weaponizes the internet. It is a malware tool that can infect machines at an industrial scale exploitation. The agency has malware tools that could infect millions of computers worldwide that allows them to eavesdrop on the computer's owner. It can covertly record audio from the computer microphone and take pictures from the computer webcam.

Why am I getting an error saying the "Catalyst Control Center" isn't supported?

Barbara from Chula Vista, CA

Episode 1066

Barbara bought a refurbished Windows 7 computer and she keeps getting an error message saying that the Catalyst Control center isn't supported. Leo says that's a video card driver error and it's likely that Barbara just needs to update her drivers. ATI's Catalyst Control center is primilary for gamers and Leo says going to AMD.com and clicking on the driver support page will get her where she needs to go. She will need to know what video card she has. Barbara should get this directly from AMD, not a third party site.

How can I get rid of adware?

Craig from Vista, CA

Episode 1063

Craig has a ton of adware on his PC from installing software. Leo can't stress enough how important it is to be careful where he gets software. Since he doesn't really know what he has, he could have opened himself up to far more bad things. Leo suggests turning off all extensions, deleting them from his extensions folder, and running as a limited user. Look in "add/remove programs" for entries he doesn't recognize and remove them.

Why am I getting popups to install a media player? (Part 1)

Ron from Downey, CA

Episode 1063

Ron checks out eBooks on his PC and he's now getting popups demanding that he install a Media Player 12.2. Leo says that it may also be a malware installer or adware that's trying to dupe him into installing it. He should just ignore it. Leo says they are so annoying and malicious, it should be considered malware. It's also likely that Ron has a Browser hijacker on his PC. He should go into "add/remove programs" or the "programs/features" control panel and uninstall anything he doesn't recognize. Leo also recommends he stop running his computer as an administrator.