A software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer.

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232
votes
16answers
155k views

How do I get rid of malicious spyware, malware, viruses or rootkits from my PC?

What should I do if my Windows computer seems to be infected with a virus or malware? What are the symptoms of an infection? What should I do after noticing an infection? What can I do to get rid of ...
96
votes
5answers
3k views

Why the heck does NTFS allow invisible executables?

You can hide any file inside of another file just by typing: type sol.exe > container.txt:sol.exe and to run the file hidden file just use: start c:\hide\container.txt:sol.exe But the crazy ...
95
votes
23answers
11k views

How can I make a Windows PC bullet-proof for home users? [closed]

I realize that virus-proof on a Windows PC is far fetched, but in the interest of keeping time spent as the "family-tech-support" to a minimum, I am looking for ideas to lock a computer down to the ...
76
votes
15answers
39k views

Can AVI files contain a virus?

I'm downloading an AVI file via a torrent, but my anti-virus detects something. Is it possible that the AVI file contains a virus? It is quite weird since the torrent has many positive reviews.
51
votes
7answers
10k views

My webcam just came on “out of the blue”

I have a Microsoft LifeCam HD sitting atop my monitor. Today, completely out of the blue, its light came on -- I was simply browsing the web (in Chrome) when it happened. After about 5 minutes the ...
27
votes
7answers
25k views

Can a virus from a virtualbox vm affect the host computer?

Can a virus from a VirtualBox VM affect the host computer?
25
votes
12answers
2k views

How can I explain what a computer virus is to people who are not familiar with computers and programming?

I have to teach a group of non-CS students what computer viruses are. The course material contains only definitions and some details about what those viruses do. But those things are known to everyone ...
20
votes
8answers
10k views

Virtual Machine and Virus

I have a requirement for which I have to get online without protection (firewall, anti-virus). At the same time, I don't want to risk getting infected with viruses. If I install a virtual machine ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What are ways to prevent files with the Right-to-Left Override Unicode character in their name (a malware spoofing method) from being written or read?

What are ways to avoid or prevent files with the RLO (Right-to-Left Override) Unicode character in their name (a malware method to spoof filenames) from being written or read in a Windows PC? More ...
17
votes
4answers
16k views

Is my host machine completely isolated from a virus-infected virtual machine?

If I am running a Windows 7 virtual machine on a Windows 7 host using VMWare or VirtualBox (or anything else) and the virtual machine is completelly overloaded with viruses and another malicious code, ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

Windows 7 unreasonable ram usage

I have a fresh install of windows 7, and my ram in normal startup goes up to 2.5 GB. I looked at task manager, and there's at least 1.5 GB missing from there and in resource monitor as well. No ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

How can visiting a webpage infect your computer?

My mother's computer recently became infected with some sort of rootkit. It began when she received an email from a close friend asking her to check out some sort of webpage. I never saw it, but my ...
14
votes
6answers
9k views

Why can I get a virus or trojan from visiting a website?

I have seen these a lot lately. You click the link, and instant trojan. No need to download or anything. How is this possible? Is there a way I can scan the links before visiting to make sure I ...
13
votes
8answers
6k views

Can a virus melt the CPU?

I was just wondering if a virus could melt a CPU by altering te voltage in the bios. :) (and no, I'm not planning on making that kind of a virus...)
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How to know if your computer is hit by a dnschanger virus?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is on the final stage of its Operation Ghost Click, which strikes against the menace of the DNSChanger virus and trojan. Infected PCs running the ...
13
votes
1answer
613 views

Why shouldn't we open an image in an email?

Most email clients do not display an image by default in the content of an email. But I don't understand this yet. How can displaying image job attack the computer?
13
votes
5answers
22k views

Can system restore remove virus from the computer?

Can a system restore to a past time remove the virus from the computer?
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How to be certain you don't have a virus when anti-virus scanners find nothing malicious? (Windows 7)

I recently spent many hours troubleshooting a laptop that could not connect to the internet. The laptop exhibited no other unnatural behavior, and so my first thoughts were to try connecting to other ...
9
votes
4answers
691 views

Is it possible to safely contain a virus - not letting it spread?

I need to run a program, but I don't trust the author. I think it is infected with spyware or viruses, malicious files. I scanned it, did n't find anything, but still not feeling good about it. So I ...
8
votes
17answers
350 views

How do I help somebody that asks me how to fix a PC with a virus?

As a developer, I'm always asked this by friends, family, family members of friends, friends of family members, friends who are in families of friends, and enemies. Because you know, I'm the guy that ...
8
votes
5answers
508 views

Jump drive with a virus

If I have a flash drive that I think may have a virus on it, but also has some important tax stuff on it, is there a way I can get at the files without endangering my computer?
8
votes
7answers
8k views

Can a virus infect an ISO file?

I feel that it's going to be very difficult for a virus to infect an ISO file. What's your experience? Have you seen it happening ever? Is it not nearly unlikely? I ask because I've just found that ...
8
votes
2answers
697 views

Why do scan results of hacked/hacker applications always indicate infection? [closed]

Whenever I scan a patch, keygen or a hacked application (using an online scanner service which scans with 20+ different antivirus software) the results always say that the file is infected. Do hackers ...
8
votes
4answers
342 views

Detecting damage done by virus

This morning after I went to college, a virus infected my PC without any user interaction at my end. When I came home my computer was completely frozen and infected with lots of trojans. I have not ...
8
votes
2answers
38k views

usb flash drive contents replaced with a single shortcut

I was confused when I opened my flash drive all I saw was a shortcut with its target as C:\Windows\system32\rundll32.exe ~$WO.FAT32,_ldr@16 desktop.ini RET TLS " " You may refer to the images I ...
8
votes
2answers
110 views

How can I determine if a file or executable has a keylogger included with it?

I had a program created for me recently and didn't really think about it being executable posing a threat since I pretty much trust the source, but not completely. I then thought about the fact that ...
8
votes
1answer
347 views

Ever heard of a Windows service called 'darkness'?

Is it a malware? The computer has been diagnosed with some viruses. I've tried looking here but haven't found any information about it yet.
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Security threat caused by Dropbox?

Recently I received a security threat alert triggered by Dropbox, as seen in the screenshot below: What happened here? Or this is a false alert from Microsoft Security Essentials?
7
votes
2answers
792 views

How do I browse a hard drive that has viruses?

I'm going to be connecting a notebook SATA drive to my computer via USB. This drive may be faulty so it may not work at all, however before it went supposedly "bad" it had a virus on it. My computer ...
7
votes
5answers
392 views

What is the difference between a Virus and Spyware?

Is the distinction largely semantic? (I.e., Spyware collects information and incidentally slow your computer down, Viruses are designed to malicious?
7
votes
4answers
397 views

How can I be in danger from viruses and malware?

I have been reading here (in superuser) some questions about the necessity of antivirus software in Windows and some doubts arise. As far as i know (and imagine) virus software can only be harmful if ...
7
votes
2answers
405 views

What happens if you install an antivirus program with another already installed? [duplicate]

Antivirus software always warns that any other antivirus currently installed should be uninstalled to avoid serious problems. From what I understand, one program may see another AV as a potential ...
7
votes
8answers
5k views

UAC being turned off once a day on Windows 7

I have strange problem on my HP laptop. This began to happen recently. Whenever I start my machine, Windows 7 Action Center displays the following warning: You need to restart your computer for ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Download Virus/Malware Purposefully

Where can I download a virus, work, trojan, etc. for analysis? Yes, I'm actually hunting for malware, rather than keeping it at bay and hiding behind antivirus software and firewalls. I plan to ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Clean up infected computer from viruses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What to do if my computer is infected by a virus or a malware? I have a computer which had AVG Free installed from day one. After several months of operation, it starts ...
6
votes
5answers
8k views

Can a virus corrupt a hard disk?

Shorter version: Hard disk corrupt, vendor claims warranty does not apply since it was "due to a virus" and "problems due to software are not covered under the warranty". Longer version: My Dell ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Can a Virus Enter via Ubuntu and affect Windows in dual boot?

I have a Windows XP Pro dual booting with Ubuntu Jaunty Jackelope on a single hard drive. On Windows XP I have a Eset NOD 32 while on Ubuntu I have no antivirus installed. While working on the ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I recursively clear the “Hidden” file flag on Windows Vista?

A friend's computer was recently infected with a virus. I hope the virus has been removed successfully. But, it appears that the virus set the "Hidden" flag on most directories and files on the ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

can a virus execute by itself?

is there any type of viruses can execute by itself after download then on the HDD without clicking on it?? if there is ..... can you refer me to any sites about them?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I tell if there are unwanted remote guests on my computer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What to do if my computer is infected by a virus or a malware? Why do I always find the strangest programs and the strangest text files all the time? All kinds of weird ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Worms vs Virus what's the difference? [closed]

I don't understand very well the difference between viruses ans worms, it seems that worms don't need any host to duplicate himself. But somebody can explain it? It means that a worm IS a soft? and ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Windows 7 virus removed shortcuts and folder permisions

A friend's machine has become infected with a virus which seems to have messed up his Windows 7 set up quite a bit. This computer only has one user. When he logs in all desktop icons are gone and all ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Windows 7 UAC (user access control) is being disabled on every reboot

To put it simply, I noticed UAC was disabled so I enabled it. I was prompted to reboot the computer for the changes to take effect. Upon my reboot I checked the settings again as I hadn't disabled UAC ...
6
votes
2answers
91 views

What can I do about a virus that's affecting my relatives even though they're in different places?

In the last week, I have had two family members contact me about possible viruses on their machines. The cases involve different machines in different geographic locations. The only similarities are ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

Fairly new drive has high usage but slow speed. Whole system running hot

I originally suspected malware, because my pointer skips and my system gets slower and slower by day. I recently had a reg entry get messed up for no reason. But after talking with some people in chat ...
6
votes
0answers
4k views

How I analyzed svchost high CPU utilization problem [closed]

My machine was attacked by a trojan that manifested itself as a service in the netsvcs svchost process. This process can be identified using Process Explorer as 'svchost -k netsvcs'. The symptoms I ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Can viruses be spread via VGA cables?

Are VGA cables too "dumb" to spread malware from one device to another device? Background: I'm giving a talk tomorrow, and the laptop I'm presenting on will be connected via VGA cable to another ...
5
votes
12answers
3k views

Lightweight virus scan for win XP [closed]

I have an older machine (athlon 1500+, 1.5Gb RAM) running XP on which I not currently running an on access virus scanner. I do scheduled scans with clamwin and malware bytes. I would like to find a ...
5
votes
6answers
148 views

Software with Malicious Intent binded to executable?

I had some software created for me by a coder overseas. I'm a little suspicious since the software is executable. I started thinking about the possibility that they could have binded a key logger to ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

A virusproof (ransomware…) strategy for backup on a NAS?

I bought a NAS to share files and as backup solution. Recently a netbook got infected by a ransomware. All files on the netbook and most of the file on the NAS were destroyed (the virus shuffles the ...