Trojans Disguised as Fake Antivirus Programs

I work on client computers on a daily basis, on-site and remotely. A major problem in recent weeks is finding fake antivirus programs installed. Three that come to mind is Alpha Antivirus, Personal Antivirus, and System Protection Suite. They sound perfectly legitimate, but are actually cleverly disguised trojan horses. They infect computers, slow them down, can change computer settings and computer files, among other things. Every virus and trojan is different.

Again, the programs look totally legitimate, which is fooling people. They will even do scans and return results, which are complete lies.

The best way I’ve found to remove such programs is using the completely free program Malware Bytes that removes most (if not all) spyware, malware, and trojan horses. A lot of antivirus programs scan for spyware, malware, and trojans as well, but I’ve found Malware Bytes is better for detecting and removing spyware and trojans, and using an antivirus program for viruses.

There are many free legitimate and free antivirus programs available, including Avira, Avast, BitDefender, and AVG. Of course, you get what you paid for, in terms of reliabilty, ease of use, and detection and removal. I recommend NOD32, though Norton and McAfee are great, they can slow the system down. I only recommend the Antivirus versions of those products, not the All-In-One solutions.

Please, be careful of what you’re downloading. If a website asks you to download a program that you don’t recognize, save yourself some money, the time, and the headache, and ask your local computer geek if that program(s) is safe to download and use.

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