Our technicians have been reporting a scary trend in malware (similar to a virus) infections on computers lately.

Most people are familiar with viruses. Simply put a virus is usually a hidden malicious program written by hackers that can corrupt your computer or capture your keystrokes when typing in your credit card number and sending the data to a hacker. These viruses are usually received from an email via an attachment or a link in an email to a malicious or hacked web site. Malware is similar.

But what is scareware you may ask? Scareware is typically a hacked web site that someone uploaded malicious code to. This code runs when you visit the web page and makes itself appear to be an antivirus program. It can appear to be scanning your computer and detecting a lot of viruses. Were does the scare part come in? Well, after it "scans" your computer and "detects" all these viruses it usually tells you to buy their program to get rid of these viruses it "detected".

Here is a screenshot of scareware from the Fox News web site:

Example of a virus or malware on a web site

So what do I do if I come across a scareware virus? Most scareware I come across is fake to begin with. It is simply a pop-up web page made to look like a program. Usually, you can close the window and continue on... but DON'T CLICK ANYWHERE INSIDE THE WINDOW or a virus could download and infect your computer. If you want to be extra safe, you can quickly power off your computer, unplug your network cable from your computer and let a technician know the computer needs to be looked at. Any knowledgeable technician should be able to check the computer for infections and remove a virus. Also, be aware of what antivirus protection program you have installed.

If you need help with a virus, contact a technician at Bigsky Computer Solutions. 406-414-0532