Malware is a dangerous, malicious form of software that hackers may use to attempt to gain access to your company’s network. Any malware attack should be dealt with quickly and appropriately, but how can you be sure whether your system is affected or not? There are many ways in which malicious activity may present itself on one’s equipment, but there are telltale signs that may give an indication of a malware infection. In this article, we will explore some of the most common symptoms of a malware attack.
If you notice a lot of pop-up messages for advertisements appear on your screen, it might be a sign of a possible adware attack. While they may be advertisements for legitimate companies or products, there is also the possibility that these pop-up messages may contain links that other malicious websites or applications that will attempt to further corrupt your equipment. The best way to remove these kinds of malware issues is with the use of a good antivirus software package.
The Browser is Redirected to Unknown Sites
Not every website redirect is malicious in nature, but if, for example, you are trying to navigate to Google and are instead taken to a different website, this is highly suspicious behavior. There are occasions where the redirect may be very subtle, such as if a Trojan app might try to direct you to a fake banking website that very closely resembles a real one. It is always a good idea to familiar yourself with the legitimate URL addresses for any bank websites you use. Redirection attacks frequently make use of browser extension plugins, so it is a good idea to remove any unnecessary browser extensions or plugins.
Your Computer is Suddenly Running Much Slower or Inoperable
The nature of malware requires your computer’s resources for it to operate. It can take up a large portion of the available CPU and RAM resources and can cause your computer to run much more slowly than usual, or even make it unusable. Some kinds of malware may attempt to use your internet connection to provide remote hackers access to your network.
If your computer has become much slower, while taking normal processes like OS updates into account, it is a good idea to install a good antivirus program; it will prevent malware from running any background resources and also isolate the malware from using any PC memory.
Your Files Are Moved or Deleted Without Your Knowledge
When your computer or network is afflicted by malware, you may notice that file names have been changed, file extensions may be modified or, in a worst case scenario, that all data is erased from the hard drives.
Threatening Warnings Appearing on Onscreen
There has been a growing trend of the distribution of fake antivirus programs being distributed online. These programs purport to offer valid virus removal, but instead all the app does is display a message that your computer is infected and is in need of virus removal. The user is then prompted to pay for a virus removal software in order to remove the problem, but in reality this is simply a scam to persuade users to pay for something which is actually useless. The best way to deal with this kind of problem, or to check if there really is a virus infection, is to run a scan using a legitimate antivirus software.
Suspicious Posts Appear on Your Social Media
Malware of the variety that affects social media platforms may generate fake posts in an attempt to draw attention to the posts and thereby spread the malware to other users. These fake posts may, for example, contain an insensitive statement such as “How could you do that in public?” in an attempt to make people click on the link and possibly infect their own accounts.
System Tools are Disabled
It is common for users to occasionally check their Task Manager, Registry Editor or other administrative tools in order to ensure that their systems are running optimally. Malware may try to disable these tools in an attempt to make the diagnosis of the actual malware a more difficult process.
Certain forms of malware may attempt to hold your data for ransom. This malicious software may encrypt all data on the hard drives and then demand a payment in order to make the files available again. There are also forms of ransomware that initially hide their true purpose by displaying a warning that purportedly is from the FBI or another government agency, stating that illegal activity was detected on the computer and demand the immediate payment of a fine to facilitate a return of computer functionality. There is always the possibility that even if a payment is made, there are no guarantees is made that your files will be made available again. A good antivirus software will help to prevent these kinds of attacks from reaching your computer.
You have discovered malware, how to deal with it?
If you have reason to believe that your computer has become afflicted by malware, it is important to install a good and powerful antivirus program immediately. Always ensure that your antivirus software is up to date and run a full scan.
If you are still encountering problems after running a scan, the next step is to scan your computer again with a suitable on-demand tool such as Malwarebytes. It is important to note that all malware problems should be removed as soon as they are detected, to prevent them from possibly allowing other dangerous apps to be installed and further weaken your device’s security.
Once the immediate threat of the malware is removed, it is good to keep your antivirus protection up to date. For even more protection from potential threats, it is advisable to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network), so that all network traffic from the device will be encrypted.
It goes without saying that having the right tools for the job can make any task much simpler. Regarding remote connection software, AeroAdmin’s remote desktop connection is one of the best options around.