malware

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.

Why does my Mac keep making the email "swoosh" sound when I'm not sending mail?

Jay from Gilroy, CA

Episode 1058

Jay says his wife's computer will make the "swoosh" email sound frequently when there's no email being sent or received. Leo says to make sure there's no sent items in the email sent folder. Also, check in the settings to see if that sound is being played for other things the computer does. There's an option called "play sounds for other mail actions." Make sure that's disabled. Also, Leo advises using a program called "Little Snitch" for the Mac that will advise him if any nefarous activity is making an outbound connection, but it's probably not that.

How can I protect my computer after Microsoft ends Windows XP support?

Dan from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 1057

Dan uses Windows XP and is worried about security once Microsoft ends support for it on April 8th. Leo says that there will only be two more security patch Tuesdays between now and April 8th and once that's done, XP will no longer be supported. Leo says that once that happens, all XP users should pull their XP computers off the Internet completely. There are bad guys who collect flaws and exploits and take advantage of holes in the system. One such nasty thing is Cryptolocker.

NBC Fakes Story About Phones Being Hacked at the Olympics

Episode 1055

NBC's Richard Engle did a story that mobile phones and computers were hacked the second people arrived in Russia for the Olympic Games. Leo says that the NBC story was completely false, and had been faked to get the audience looking at Russia in a particular way. Leo says that they would get hacked if the reporter deliberately went to a malicious site and downloaded the software that would infect the computer or mobile phone. Engle was a thousand miles away in Moscow when he did it.

What should I do after falling victim to a scammer claiming to be from Microsoft?

Suzanne from Vista, CA

Episode 1047

Suzanne got bit by a scammer calling from "Microsoft." The worst part is that she's a security analyst. Leo says that Suzanne shouldn't feel so bad since chances are that they are actually off duty tech support staff moonlighting as scammers. They social engineer victims and scare them into installing something on their computer. The CLSID is not unique. Then they show the user the "Event Viewer" which logs all errors. It looks worse than it is and the scammers rely on that.