Have a Virus? Let Malwarebytes Help

It can happen to anyone:  You turn on your computer and log in, only to find pop-up advertisements, search bars, a changed desktop background, and many screens warning that you may be infected with a virus.

virus1
Desktop background changed by a virus

One sign that you have been infected with a virus (or what can be referred to as malware) is the sudden appearance of new “security” software, such as AntiVirus 2009, Total Security Center, and System Security.  These programs are not valid anti-virus software, and will often warn you that your system is infected and then direct you to their site and request payment for running scans on your system.  It is important that you do not pay for these “services”.

system-security
Fake "Security software" installed by a virus

Depending on the severity of the virus infection, the usability of your computer may range from moderately usable with moderate pop-ups, to random restarts, system errors, and blue screens of death.

Although the situation may seem dire, there is hope.  Malwarebytes is a free program that swiftly remove virus and malware infections.

Using Malwarebytes

Start by downloading the free version of Malwarebytes.  Before finishing the installation, be sure that the check boxes for “Updating Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” and “Launching Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” are checked.

When the program has launched, select Perform full scan to scan your entire hard drive. and click Scan.  The full scan will take quite a bit of time, so if you’re in a hurry select the Perform quick scan option.

scan1

On the next screen, select the drives you wish to let Malwarebytes scan.  Although the default C: drive may be sufficient, I would recommend scanning all attached drives.  Click Start Scan to start the virus scan.  Depending on the size of your drives and the amount of data stored on them, a full scan may take well over an hour.

When the scan has completed, the results will be shown.  Click Show Results and click Remove Selected Items to remove the virus infection from your system.  Depending on the virus, it may be necessary to reboot your system to completely remove some items.

scan-results
Malwarebytes Scan Results

Tips for improving scan performance

Run the scan in Safe mode

Many times a virus will embed itself into a running system file.  Malwarebytes will not always be able to remove virus items that are embedded in running processes.  The easiest way to reduce the number of running processes is to boot into Windows Safe mode.  To enter Windows Safe mode, repeatedly press the F8 key when first booting your computer.

Update software before each use

It is important that you update the virus database before you perform a scan.  Click the Update tab on the Malwarebytes main window and click Check for Updates.  After the update has been finished, you can then continue with the scan as shown above.

Multiple scans

Although Malwarebytes may be successful, it may be possible that not all parts of the virus were removed during the scan.  It can be helpful to perform a second scan of the system to verify that all items were removed.

Conclusion

Although it is important to take steps to prevent a virus infection, Malwarebytes can be a useful program for removing malicious software.  Your first defense to preventing a virus infection is to have up-to-date virus software.  A free anti-virus solution is Microsoft Security Essentials.  Above all, smart internet browsing will be the best way to avoid malware.


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21 responses to “Have a Virus? Let Malwarebytes Help”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Techerator, pbvinge. pbvinge said: RT @techerator New article: Have a Virus? Let Malwarebytes Help http://bit.ly/XxBuY […]

  2. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

  3. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

  4. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg</a

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: > <a href="http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg” target=”_blank”>http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

  5. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg</a

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: > <a href="http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg” target=”_blank”>http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

  6. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg</a

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: > Reply

  7. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg</a

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: > Reply

  8. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

  9. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

  10. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

  11. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

  12. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

  13. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

  14. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

    1. Dustin Patterson Avatar

      Great examples Evan.

  15. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    These fake "security" software packages can be really nasty. I encountered one today that immediately closed any application you opened and listed it as a virus, so thinks like the Windows task manager or Paint were being listed as "viruses": http://i38.tinypic.com/2da0kfa.jpg

    Here's a picture of the "security" software in action: http://i38.tinypic.com/qn6wbs.jpg

    1. dustinpatterson Avatar

      Great examples Evan.

  16. Jacob_K Avatar

    i have encountered this a few times and it always seems to come. the worst one disables task manager. i will have to try this program next time… cause sadly there will be a next time.

  17. Jacob_K Avatar

    i have encountered this a few times and it always seems to come. the worst one disables task manager. i will have to try this program next time… cause sadly there will be a next time.

  18. […] files will no longer open.  No matter what file you try to open – iTunes, Firefox, or even Malwarebytes – they will not open because they are all .exe […]

  19. […] and run Malwarebytes which might pick up any malicious software, and remove anything it […]

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