spyware

Kaspersky AntiVirus May be Linked to Russian Spying

Kaspersky Anti Virus

Episode 1408

The news came out this week that Kaspersky AntiVirus may be linked to Russian spying of both the Russian Government and the FSB. Kaspersky has responded by offering free antivirus in the hope that people will see that as a legitimate solution. Leo wants to know if anyone will use it. It could contain time released malware that could wreak havoc.

Read more at forbes.com.

Why are weird text files appearing on my desktop?

Episode 1393

George from Houston, TX

George wants to know why he's getting weird text files being saved onto his desktop. Leo says it sounds like an app was written with debugging turned on, and when he uses that program, it saves the error messages to a text file. It's a harmless mistake left over by the developer. The trick is to figure out which app it is. George should check out Microsoft's Process Explorer. It should be able to help him track down what app it is. It's at Sysinternals.com.

Could a repair shop install monitoring software on my computer?

Episode 1325

Wallace from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Wallace took his computer into a repair shop, and now he's concerned that they could have put monitoring software on his computer. This is a legitimate concern, and often times it happens remotely with people calling that claim to be from Microsoft or something. If someone has physical access to the system, though, all bets are off. Taking a computer into a repair shop is an absolute act of trust. There's not much he could do about it, though, if he needed to bring it in. There's no certification process or national organization of computer techs, so he'd just have to trust them.

What is MacKeeper and should I keep it?

Episode 1205

Walt from Playa Vista, CA

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.

Could someone be tracking me with spyware on my LG Chocolate phone?

LG Chocolate

Episode 912

Claire from West Covina, CA

Leo says it's unlikely. There is software out there, and someone with access to the phone could put something on there. If she believes that's the case, then Leo advises dumping the phone. If someone got access to the phone and has installed tracking software on it, then it's best to get rid of the phone and get another. She could probably find a replacement at the Verizon store or even on eBay. Leo also says she can bring it to a carrier and have it reset. Once the phone is wiped, then the software is no longer there and Leo thinks Claire would be in the clear.

Can I run both Stopzilla and Nod 32 for antivirus? (Part 2)

Episode 880

Gary from Glendale, CA

Leo says he doesn't need to run both. Stopzilla is not antivirus either, it's just anti-spyware software. He should uninstall Stopzilla which may not be easy. He should carefully read their support page on how to uninstall it. Spyware is old hat, what he really would want is an anti-malware tool. In fact, Stopzilla could also be the problem with accessing his email attachments. Simply Google "uninstall Stopzilla" and he should find a comprehensive step-by-step to get rid of this.