Tag Archives: AntiVirus

How To Remove MacDefender Virus/Malware From Your Mac

Remember the Mac Defender malware which disguised itself as an anti-virus, and tricked users into paying for removing viruses from the Macs? The virus has been on the loose for quite some time now and has managed to infect quite a number of Macs out there.

Here are the steps to remove the Mac Defender malware from your Mac -:

Step 1 – Open up Activity Monitor, and select the option to view ‘All process’ from the drop down list.

clip_image001

Step 2 – Find the ‘MacDefender’ process from the list of running processes, and then click on the ‘Quit Process’ option and finally select the ‘Force Quit’ option.

Step 3 – Now, head over to the Applications folder in your Mac and find the ‘MacDefender’ folder. Right click on the folder, and select the ‘Move To Trash’ option. Empty the Trash folder of your Mac after this.

clip_image002

Step 4 – Fire up Safari on your Mac, and click on the ‘Safari’ option at the top of the screen and select the Reset Safari option.

There might be a possibility that users might not be able to delete the files related to Mac Defender. If so, reboot your Mac into Safe Mode and repeat all the steps stated above.

Alternatively, Mac users can also download and install anti-virus software like Sophos etc. However, some of these anti-viruses might make your Mac unstable or give kernel panics. So I would recommend readers to follow the steps stated above.

Microsoft Safety Scanner Scans Your PC For Virus, Spyware and Malicious Software

Over the past couple of years or so, I have used Microsoft Security Essentials as my only virus and malware protection tool. The Free Antivirus tool from Microsoft is definitely worth installing on your PC.

Microsoft Safety Scanner

If you are someone who does not like to install Antivirus on your PC or just want to check whether your current Antivirus is really working well, a new tool from Microsoft will come in handy.

Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free security software from Microsoft which provides users with on-demand scanning while allowing users to remove viruses, spywares, Trojans and another malicious software from their PC. Safety Scanner works along with your current Antivirus software, so you don’t have to uninstall your current AV protection to use it.

One of the bad things about Microsoft Safety Scanner is that it expires every 10 days. Users will have to download a new version to scan your system every ten days which could be annoying considering that it is around 70MB in size. A simple definition update should be added so that users don’t have to download new versions every 10 days.

Users must also note that unlike traditional Antivirus systems the Safety Scanner does not provide continuous protection and should not be used as a replacement for traditional Antivirus software. Microsoft Security Scanner should only be used to additionally scan your PC. If you intend to replace your current Antivirus you might check out our Free Antivirus section to find a suitable alternative.

Additionally, you may also want to read the following articles related to :

Download Microsoft Safety Scanner

Avast 6 Beta Released, Introduces AutoSandbox and WebRep

Although I normally recommend Avira Antivir and Microsoft Security Essentials to anyone looking for a free antivirus, Avast is another option worth considering. In fact, it is one of the most popular free antivirus utilities available in the market, and with good reason. Avast performed quite well in all of Av-comparative’s on-demand and performance tests carried out over the past year.

A couple of days back, Avast Software released the first beta of Avast 6. The biggest draws of the new version are:

  • AutoSandbox: Avast Pro already features a sandboxing option that enables users to surf the web and run applications in an isolated environment that can’t affect the rest of the system. In the new version, Avast has gone a step further and added auto-sandboxing, which can automatically run suspicious programs in a sandbox.
  • WebRep: WebRep’ is a browser toolbar, which is largely similar to WOT (Web of Trust). It is plugin for Internet Explorer and Firefox that displays the reputation score of the website you are currently browsing based on the feedback collected from the community as well as the expertise of Avast’s researchers.

Avast 6 also adds a SafeZone’ to the premium version, which offers a special virtualized area for sensitive transactions. Script Shield’ and Site Blocking’, which were previously available only in the Pro version, are now included even in Avast Free.

Avast-6

Head over to the forums to download the beta version. However, don’t forget to uninstall any previous version or other antivirus products before installing it. Also keep in mind that unexpected stability and performance issues might be present, since this is the first public beta build.

via DownloadSquad

Kaspersky Antivirus 2011 3 User License for $13.99 [Cyber Monday Deals]

Kaspersky is one the best Anti Virus I have used. It has some really good protection and is also pretty lightweight and does not hog on CPU resources as many other AV do.

Kaspersky Antivirus 2011 Deal

If you want to get your hands on a Kaspersky Antivirus 2011, now is the right time. Buy.com is selling Kaspersky 2011 3 user license or only $13.99, that is a $46 markdown from the original $60 price. The deal is limited for today only so go ahead and get a really cool Antivirus protection for your PC this Cyber Monday.

Purchase Kaspersky 2011 for $13.99

Fake Antivirus Tools from Microsoft – Don’t be fooled

No! Microsoft is not offering fake antivirus tools. However, a new warning from Microsoft’s Windows Security Blog tells the frightening story of a new threat that disguises itself as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). As many of you know, MSE is Microsoft’s free antivirus suite. I recommend it, and even Fred Langa recommends it.

How Does it Work?

1. You unintentionally visit a website that places a drive-by download known as FakePAV, onto your computer.

2. Once it runs, you’ll get this bogus warning in your web browser. (images from WindowsTeamBlog)

fakepav1

3. Clicking on Clean computeror Apply actionswill initiate a fake attempt to clean your PC. It will report that it failed and then ask you to Scan Online.

fakepav2

4. After it performs a simulated scan, you’ll be offered this list of Antivirus and Antimalware tools.

fakepav3

5. Clicking on any of the Free Installbuttons starts another install for persistent and more intrusive fake antivirus software.

fakepav4

The final look of this fake antivirus software can take many forms, such as Red Cross Antivirus, Peak Protection 2010, AntiSpy Safeguard, Major Defense Kit or Pest Detector. These apps give you even more false warnings and try to scare you into buying more protection. Applications like these are also known as ScareWare.

red-cross-fake-av peak-protection-fake-av

antispy-fake-av major-defense-fake-av

pest-detector-fake-av

What should you do to protect yourself?

My recommendation is to use good, up-to-date antivirus software. Enable any anti-phishing options in your web browser. I also recommend the free URL filtering service offered by OpenDNS.

What should you do if you are already infected?

The first tool I use on infected computers is MalwareBytes. If that doesn’t do the trick, Keith Dsousa wrote about an application which will Remove Fake Antivirus from Your System. If all else fails and the PC is really trashed, I’ve got an article describing how to Run Antivirus on a PC That Will Not Boot.

If you need good free advice on what to do, there are several malware removal forums that will take you step by step through a recovery process. Bleeping Computer, Major Geeks and especially Temerc Countermeasures are three good ones.

Get AVG Internet Security 2011 Free One Year License

Quite recently, we told you about the new AVG 2011 Antivirus which is of course free to use. However, AVG also provides users with a more comprehensive security suite in the form of AVG Internet Security 2011.

AVG Internet Security 2011 Free

However, that product is not for free and requires users to pay. If you are sad about that, here is something that will make you glad you read us. AVG is giving out a Free one year license of the AVG Internet Security 2011 suite to users. The one year subscription for this suite is priced at $54.99 so you are saving quite a bundle there.

To get a free license of the AVG Internet Security 2011 suite, visit this link and fill out the form. You can then download the product and start using it. AVG will send you a license code that is good for one year which you can then use to register the software.

If you might want to try out other Antivirus, take a look at some of the Free Antivirus we have covered in the past. Many of those provide users with comprehensive online security software which are definitely worth using.

(h/t Jatin Sapra on )

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011 is Now Available

avg-logo On September 28th, AVG announced the release of their 2011 suite of anti-virus and anti-malware programs. Included with this release is the ever popular free edition of AVG Anti-virus and the free LinkScanner application.

Even though AVG’s offerings have slipped some in the AV testing results, it’s still a great option for protecting home PCs. The addition of the LinkScanner, which warns you about your current web pages, bad links in web pages and risky links in email, seriously improves your chances of staying trouble-free.

As an added bonus to the entire web community, AVG has also unveiled AVG Threat Labs, a search engine which gives short reports on the safety of any web site or link.

A quick look at AVG Anti-Virus Free edition:

While installing, watch out for AVG’s offer to install a toolbar and change your home page to Yahoo. I said no to that. Be sure to uncheck those check-boxes if you feel the same way.

avg-install-3rd-party-options

Next, be prepared to wait. After the initial agreements, AVG will download about 130mb of data, to finish the install. With lots of others downloading the same data, you may not get a good download speed. I was definitely bored at this point.

After the download and install, the last screen will ask for your name and email address. If you are shy, you could type anything you want in there. You’ll also want to be aware of the very last check-box, which is set to allow AVG to collect anonymous information to help them improve the product. Uncheck it if you are paranoid.

Finally, here’s your first peek at the new AVG interface.

avg-main-interface

As you can see, the main two functions, Scan and Update, are on the left. Naturally, a free product is an opportunity to advertise, and you’ll see an Upgrade button and a large ad at the bottom. I don’t mind, but some people might.

I’m not going to go into any details on how to use AVG, it’s like most other anti-virus apps. Install it, do a few scans now and then, but mostly forget about it until a problem pops up.

AVG LinkScanner

During the installation of the anti-virus, I choose the Quick Install method. If you choose to customize your installation, you can select not to install some of the services such as LinkScanner. In previous versions of LinkScanner, there were some problems in certain web browsers, but those issues have been largely fixed. I recommend allowing it to install with the anti-virus. You can always disable it later if needed.

If you are using some other anti-virus product, you can install LinkScanner all by itself. There’s also a version for the Mac now.

Here’s what AVG says about the LinkScanner:

LinkScanner ® keeps you safe wherever you go online by actively checking links and web pages in real time the only time it matters – before you click that link. LinkScanner ® also places safety ratings next to your search results, allowing you to assess the safety of a site before visiting it.

The service it offers is similar to that offered by McAfee’s SiteAdvisor and WOT (Web of Trust), which I also recommend. I don’t believe it’s necessary to run more than one of these at a time, so pick one and try it out.

Once you start seeing link ratings in a web search, you’ll understand how it can keep you out of trouble.

linkscanner-ratings

download AVG Free Download AVG Anti-Virus 2011 Free Edition

download LinkScanner Download AVG LinkScanner

arrow-right-double Visit AVG Threat Lab to find out if sites or links are risky


Techie Buzz Verdict:

AVG’s free anti-virus products have always been good. However, due to recent results in AV testing, I’ve lost some of my faith in it. It’s still good, but not as good as some of the other free AV applications. However, the LinkScanner tool and the new AVG Threat Lab site have my hearty recommendations.

On a final note, my wife is a loyal AVG user and it’s always kept her safe. If you’ve been using AVG, and it’s been working well for you, there’s no reason not to upgrade to the 2011 version right now.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)


What is the Best Free Online Virus Scanner?

[Windows Only]

security-high-2 The other day, I was reading a newsletter from Windows Secrets. At one point, Fred Langa recommended three different online scanners for detecting malware. He said Three free sites to try are: McAfee’s Freescan, Trendmicro’s HouseCall, and Symantec’s Security Check.

Fred is a trusted source to me. I’ve been reading PC advice from him since years ago, when he wrote the Langa List newsletter. However, I decided to try out Fred’s recommendations, because I’ve never been a big fan of online scanners. If there’s a good scanner out there, I want to know about it.

McAfee Freescan

First, I took a look at McAfee’s service. The foremost objection that I had to this service, is that it requires Internet Explorer. It also runs as an ActiveX application, which is another thing I’ve never liked. The scan seemed to be slow, but it seems to do a good job of detecting infections.

The last item that I believe it fails in, is that it can only detect infections. It cannot remove them. I wouldn’t waste my time here again.

mcafee-free-scan

Symantec Security Check

Next, I tried out Symantec’s service. You might be more familiar with their well known Norton security products. My initial impression of Symantec’s scanner suffered a big drop because it also requires Internet Explorer. However, I was impressed by the nice looking interface.

As nice as it looks, it can only detect malware, and you’re out of luck if you expect it to actually fix any problems. Adding to that, it gave me one false detection on a piece of software which I know is completely safe. Clicking on the Fix Nowbutton only sends you to Symantec’s site to read all about their premium anti-virus software.

The final failure that keeps me from returning, is that it told me that my computer had no antivirus software, even though I was using Microsoft Security Essentials. Hmmm, nice sales tactic, but it only works on foolish people. (Sorry! I mean those less knowledgeable about PCs.)

norton-security-scan6

TrendMicro Housecall

At last, TrendMicro has unchained itself from Internet Explore. It works in any browser, and the scanner is offered as an installer EXE file. The scanning is typically slow, just as I saw with the other two services. However, another bright spot is that it can actually FIXsome of the problems it finds. Housecall is actually a service I could recommend.

The only drawback is that you have to save the installer file, or go back to the website if you want to scan with it in the future.

housecall

Conclusion:

Of these three services, Housecall won easily. Some time back, I also reviewed ESET online scanner and it was just as good as Housecall, maybe better. Check it out.

I would only recommend an online scanner like these as a follow-up after cleaning a PC that was badly infected. Typically, I depend on MalwareBytes to clean up serious infections. If your current antivirus and antimalware software has failed, it’s not likely an online scanner will do you any good.

On the other hand, scanning with an online service like these won’t hurt, and it could pick up something your current software has missed. There are also several other online scanners that I haven’t tried yet. Do you use any online scanners that you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

A Review of Emsisoft Free Emergency Kit

icon120_free

[Windows Only]  Emsisoft isn’t a big name in the anti-virus, anti-malware industry, but they are well respected and they’ve been offering great products since 2003. When I first ran into them, they were offering one of the best anti-trojan scanners, named A-Squared. Recently, they’ve come out with a new bundle of anti-malware called Emsisoft Emergency Kit, and it’s completely free.

The first feature of this software kit that I liked, was the fact that it’s also portable. This means that the files making up this bundle can be copied to a CD or a USB flash drive, so that it can be used easily on any PC. All you have to do is download the Zip file and extract it to any drive you want. Below is a screen shot of the files included in this package.

em-kit-files

To start up Emergency Kit, simply double click the start.exefile.   This launches a selection screen and you can choose one of the four main programs included in the kit.

em-kit-selection

Below is a list of the programs in the kit and a brief description for each.

• Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner

Search the infected PC for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers and other malign programs.

em-kit-scanner

• Emsisoft Commandline Scanner

This scanner contains the same functionality as the Emergency Kit Scanner but without a graphical user interface. The commandline tool is made for professional users and can be used perfectly for batch jobs.

• Emsisoft HiJackFree

HiJackFree helps advanced users to detect and remove Malware manually. With HiJackFree you can manage all active processes, services, drivers, autoruns, open ports, hosts file entries and many more. It’s a tool very similar to the old and much revered HiJackThis, except that it offers more information and the ability to consult an online analysis tool for advice.

hj-free-processes_220 hj-free-ports_220 hj-free-autoruns_220 hj-free-services_220 hj-free-addons_220 hj-free-hosts_220 hj-free-quarantine_220

• Emsisoft BlitzBlank

BlitzBlank is a tool for experienced users. BlitzBlank deletes files, Registry entries and drivers at boot time before Windows and all other programs are loaded.

Here’s the Emergency Kit home page for more details and the download: http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek/

Note: Another great tool from Emsisoft is the well known Online Armor firewall (free version).

. . . . . .

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I tried out Emsisoft Emergency Kit briefly and I was not disappointed. Even though most of the tools in this kit are for experienced users, the Scanner alone can help almost anyone. It’s not a small download, but it’s portable and most importantly, it’s free. I give it a big thumbs up.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)


BitDefender Antivirus Pro And Internet Security 2011 Offline Installer

Bitdefender provides some of the very good products for internet security and the company has recently launched Bitdefender Total Security 2011 which protects your computer from spyware, malware, virus and any kind of malicious threats. The Bitdefender Total Security 2011 suite includes an enhanced firewall, antivirus, file encryption and automatic updates.

The impressive thing about Bitdefender’s latest product is the search advisor feature which shows you warnings in case you click a link which may lead to a phishing website or may contain malware.

You can download all the products as one suite or may choose to install individual setups separately from the Bitdefender downloads page. This includes Bitdefender Internet security 2011, Bitdefender Total security 2011 and Bitdefender Antivirus pro 2011.

Download Offline Installers For Bitdefender Antivirus 2011

I feel really frustrating to use online installers for two reasons. First, when I have to reuse the product at a later time, I have to download it again and can’t use it instantly after a system format.

Second, having two computers at my desk – I have to separately run the online installers on both computers, which is very time consuming.

Following are some links which will let you download the entire offline installer that are included in the Bitdefender 2011 Antivirus suite:

BitDefender Antivirus pro 2011

BitDefender Internet Security 2011

BitDefender Total Security 2011

BitDefender Antivirus 2010

BitDefender Internet Security 2010

BitDefender Total Security 2010

Thanks Mayur for the links !