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Old 08-15-2016, 09:50 AM
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Malware How to Detect and Remove Threats

So I have posted about this several times in the past. It has been an extremely long time since the last post I made explaining this. So long I couldn't even find the last time in a search so I'm going to cover it again.

Malware Trojans Viruses Ransomware What Are the Differences

I'm not going to explain the specifics in the differences. This thread would be entirely to long. I am simply going to explain what the term Malware actually is.

Malware is a general catch all term for all of the above. Something that gets on your computer that does things you didn't want is Malware. So the term malware includes trojans, ransomware, scareware, viruses and any other type of threat or intrusion on your computer.

Running a System Scan With Your Installed Antivirus or Security Program Does Not Mean You're Threat Free

This one is a pet peeve of mine. Almost everyone has some type of Antivirus program or Internet Security program installed on their computer. When they suspect they may have a virus or something on their computer they run a full scan. When it's done and says nothing is found then they are satisfied that it isn't any kind of threat causing an issue.

Problem is that there are probably threats there that the protection program wasn't able to identify at the time and either still can't or some type of threat is now preventing the security software from being able to work like it is suppose to. Now it is a question of what can I do now?

How to Identify and Remove Malware Threats On Your Computer

So this is a good general way to identify and remove threats and adware that may be on your computer and even preventing your installed antivirus/antimalware from working the way it's supposed to.

Step 1 Kill Unwanted Processes Running

There may be processes running in the background that are causing problems, or make it difficult to find any threats that may have made it onto your computer. We need to stop these processes first so we can get a good general search and clean done.

RKill by BleepingComputer
If rkill does stop any processes, or even if you don't see that it does, it is important to rerun this whenever you restart your computer before continuing any steps in this list.

Step 2 Checking for Rootkits

First we need to check for rootkits. Rootkits mask themselves in some way that prevents normal antivirus antimalware programs from being able to identify them and other threats. These can prevent your protection software from protecting you so we need them to be found and removed.

Two programs I suggest are:

Bitdefender Rootkit Remover
Kaspersky's TDSSKILLER

If Bitdefender or TDSSKiller identify any rootkits it is extremely important that you restart your computer, re-run rkill and then run the rootkit scanner that identified a threat again to make sure that it is gone.

Step 3 General Virus Scan

It is important to run a general virus scan. Not the scanner installed on your computer.

Eset Free Online Scanner

This a good general scan for your computer outside of your installed security software. Scanning for possibly unwanted software is what I usually do. It does extend the time of the scan but being fast is not what is important, getting your computer clean is the goal.

Step 4 Antimalware Scanners

The next step is to run two separate programs that were designed to deal with malware and adware beyond what a virus scanner or internet security suite does.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit (EEK)

It is important for me to remind you here. Don't take shortcuts. Both of these programs detect different things. It is important to run both of them. It is still important to remember that any time anything is found, restart your computer and run RKill again before continuing

Step 5 Clean Up and Browsers

The last step that is being included here is the clean up and browser clean up step. These two programs go through your processes, startup and web browsers like Internet Explorer(Edge), Firefox, and Chrome. Anything it finds wrong or that doesn't belong they remove and fix. It is a good idea to have software, especially your web browsers closed before running these.

Junk Removal Tool (JRT)
ADWCleaner (After Cleaning Restarts Your PC)

ADWCleaner will inform you that it is going to restart your computer in a box that comes up when it is done. Once you click "OK" your computer restarts.

In Closing...

At this point your computer should be clean from the major types of threats. It is always a good idea to follow up with or at least consult with a professional when threats are found.

Last edited by TechWizard; 08-15-2016 at 09:59 AM.



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