Kirk downloaded a Java upgrade and now all his shortcuts go to an exe file. Leo suspects that Kirk got nailed by malware.There are plenty of security flaws in Java but it may also be that Kirk was doing something at the same time and he got malware. Either way, Kirk has malware, and the only way to be sure that he's gotten rid of it, is to backup his data, format the hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known good source.
Walt installed MacKeeper on his Mac. Leo says that he doesn't trust MacKeeper and notes this article on why he should avoid it. Unfortunately, if he tries to uninstall it, he won't be able get rid of all of it. There will still be stuff lingering. This doesn't mean it's malicious, just that it's really badly written.
Walt should search for ZeoBit or MacKeeper and he can delete the rest of them. The "Footy" popup is likely a browser extension. He should drag it out to his desktop and it'll probably disappear.
Calling it a "high threat to its computer security," Microsoft's antivirus software will now scan for and remove the ASK toolbar, should you get stuck with it. In other news, Yahoo has entered into an exclusive agreement with Oracle to make Yahoo the default browser for any computer that has Java installed. Leo calls that Malware since users are fooled into installing it. Even worse is that Java is a security flaw as well. Yahoo's CEO Melissa Meyer should know better.
Eric has been a long time AOL customer. AOL recommended SlimCleaner Plus and he trusted it. Leo says it was an ad that AOL sold and Eric got bit. He tried to remove it and now he's getting popups saying someone is trying to access the account. Leo says that's trying to prevent you to uninstall it and that's bad behavior. Look for an uninstaller. At worse, you can backup your data and reinstall Windows. But ignore the popup and uninstall it anyway. And don't trust ads. Just because they come from AOL doesn't mean it's a good thing to get.
Jim has been watching some of Leo's podcasts and is concerned with security on his PC. What antivirus software should he use on Windows 8.1? Leo says that Microsoft ships Windows Defender for free and that's all he needs. But he should remember that an antivirus is only as good as his own behavior. What about MalwareBytes? Leo says that while Malware Bytes is effective, he can actually do more harm than good if he doesn't know what he's doing. And if his computer has been infected, he will have no idea if he actually removed all of it or not.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.