PC security - Malicious Software problems

  Airliebird 10:40 07 Jun 2006

I upgraded my Norton Antivirus to Norton Internet Security 2006 earlier this year. On 31-6-2006 after being on the internet all hell broke loose with messages that my computer was being hacked into and that I must down load software to beat and remove viruses. I panicked and closed every thing down. This was my first experience of Malicious software but at the time didn't realise it was. I also found out that my system wasn't being protected as I thought.When I rebooted up I kept getting this warning that I was open to attack. Went on the interent for help and home page was immediately changed to a page warning me I was open to attack it then changed to a free down load for Malware Wipe. Then The security centre, which at the time I didn't know if it was genuine or a hoax, came up with a warning page saying my system was open to hackers who could down load my documents etc your browser Mozilla/4.0 ( didn't know I had it!, Your operating system Windows XP SP2 Vunerable.etc. All the time Norton was flashing up messages of detections but didn't seem to be doing anything about it. Went for a free scan that was been operated by Malware Wipe and it threw up a whole host of infections but told me if I wanted to get rid of them all I had to buy the software and I nearly did then pulled out and decided to buy the best. After reading the warnings by Norton how to deal with them MANUALLY I found and downloaded Software from PC Tools . Spyware Doctor, Registery Mechanic,PC Tools AntiVirus and Privacy Guardian. The Spyware Doctor wiped out over 350 infections and got rid of the malicious popup and the Registery Mechanic repaired over 450 problems. Then had to unistall Norton because they were fighting each other and nearly stopping my computer.
I progressed from there and downloaded MicroSofts Defender. Every scan it tells me I am clean. Had a problem with Spyware Doctor not operating properly so have uninstalled that for the time being.
Then I bought some back copies of your mag. How I wish I'd bought them SOONER.
I don't think I've had information taken off my computer. Do you agree? How safe will my internet banking be? Up to now there has been no withdrawls on the bank and my credit gards. I am very nervous of logging on to them until I am sure I am safe.
I have at the moment for protection.
AD-Aware SE- Not used it yet was loaded with Google
PC Tools Antivirus - Seems to work OK but doesn't do pop up warnings.
Pc Registry Mechanic - boots up on start up and seems to be doing a good job.
Pc Privacy Guardian - Don't know if it really is doing anything for me.
MS Firewall
MS Spyware Defender
Upgraded to Internet Explorer 7
Service pack 2.
I'm not happy that I don't see any evidence of scanning my emails. Would like to be sure they are. I am dealing with clients all over the world. Would hate to be passing anything on.
Can you please advise what I need and don't need.
I am retired and rely on my computer to run a part time consultancy business.
I am very nervous as to whether I am protected I will be eternally grateful for your expert advice.
Super Mag by the way.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:06 07 Jun 2006

You will NOT be hacked on your computer. Turn off the Norton alerts as they are pretty much useless and only induce paranoia. There is no way any of these programmes can 'see' your computer and no way any of your bank details can be taken.

All you need is an up to date AV, windows defender any old firewall (free one)and a backup programme such as ewido. Download Ccleaner from click here, run it and delete ALL it finds. This handy, free programme will get rid of all you temp files and general Internet rubbish. Just for a check download Ewido, run and delete all it finds click here. If you have scanned with defender you will have done enough.

Get rid of the following as they are as much use a as a chocolate fire guards....Spyware Doctor, Registery Mechanic,PC Tools AntiVirus and Privacy Guardian.

'The Spyware Doctor wiped out over 350 infections'..there is no way that this is possible and these sort of programmes use scaring tactics to make you think that they work..

Do not download any programmes that 'offer' to fix your computer. Ccleaner, defender, ewido and your Norton will be more than enough (turn off the 'alerts' in Norton, they are not hackers they are merely computer handshakes over the net. Do not accept any free programmes that offer help.

Personally I would dump Norton as it is a resource hog and use AVG but if you are happy, keep it. Remember you will not be hacked on a home computer.


  spuds 11:08 07 Jun 2006

Sometimes we can get very paranoid about some of these 'suppose' warnings. In the main, it is a 'rogue' programme that trying to give the impression that you need to buy that product rather urgently. Not so, in very many cases, it's just a marketing device.

If you use the well recommended programmes, of which many are available as free downloads, then you should be okay.

Another point is that having a host of 'preventive' programmes on one computer, possibly trying to do the same job, can cause conflictions or wrong advice being given. Stick to a few, that you know will work, usually by recommendations from forum's like this.

AVG or Avast (not both),ZoneAlarm, RegScrub, CCleaner, (perhaps) MS Defender, AdAware, SpyBot, SpywareBlaster, Ewido, a2squared are perhaps worth installing after consideration.

Regarding hackers getting into your system, then perhaps Gandalf is the person to consult on that subject.

  spuds 11:10 07 Jun 2006

Must type faster, see Ganalf beat me by 2 minutes :O)

  Airliebird 13:14 07 Jun 2006

Thanks for your very quick responses to my panic attack.
It is very reassuring that my computer hasn't been hacked.
I will now take note of your collective advice and that of PCAdvisers very good guide as well.
I have to say I am extremely disappointed in the performance of the Norton software and will be complaining to them very strongly.
Many Thanks again.

Spuds put it in his list but did not emphasise it. You should replace the Windows firewall with a better one.

I suggest that you use the free ZoneAlarm firewall available from click here

Once you have it installed then switch off the windows firewall.


  GANDALF <|:-)> 15:51 07 Jun 2006

Norton isn't a bad suite but it is resource hungry and can cause problems (slowness) on SOME computers. I generally find that taking it off and replacing with AVG or Avast, helps a computer greatly. I don't think that complaining will get you far.

Personally I would take it on the chin and uninstall Norton and add AVG or Avast and any firewall (they will give alerts as well unless you turn of f the facility). If you have Defender running in the background you will be safe from any trojans.


  p;3 17:27 07 Jun 2006

may I suggest that if you are still at all concerned about the health of your machine ( and from what you have said that is a strong possibility )that you download a copy of HJT from here

click here ( which is a direct link to the exe of the program)

and register with and post your log on the malaware forum for peace of mind as linked by this next click here click here; that way you will then get peace of mind with a log examined and the "all clear" hopefully given :)

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