Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Fighting rogues

Sometimes the questions readers write in with are worthy of your attention.. and the answers worthy of an article. This question, posted on my article Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues, is a case in point.

But First, two quick Geek Definitions:
1: Malware: mal is French for “bad”, and ware is short for software. Most commonly associated with “virus”.
2: Rogue: is short for “rogue antivirus”, which is a category of malware of the type called scareware.

Q: “How can you tell if a program is a rogue? Will a good antivirus program identify rogues? How can rogues be fought – since it’s so difficult even for you to do it, how can I? Thank you.

A: Sir or Ms,
Thank you for posing these excellent questions. Let me break them into individual pieces, and try to give relevant pointers:
1) How can you tell if a program is a rogue?
There can be several clues.. perhaps the main one is; were you casually surfing the Internet, and some window you’ve never seen before suddenly pops open and tells you scary things? Like.. by magic, it decided to just give you a free scan, (because it’s so nice) and it found ScaryName.Trojan?
That’s a rogue. A fake. A trick. A cyber-attack.
But if you aren’t sure, Google its name.

2) Will a good antivirus program identify rogues?
A good security suite/antivirus (that has ‘active’ shielding) should detect the rogue’s processes and shut it down before it does any real harm.
Keyword: “should”.
Is there one yet invented that does so 100% of the time. Always. Every rogue? No. The cybercriminals (aka ‘hackers’) write new ones every other day, and employ new tactics weekly. And, no antivirus protects you from you: when you ignore the warning and launch the setup.exe, (or click, “yes, scan my computer please”) it’s kind of game over.

3) How can rogues be fought?
I have posted advice here – almost daily – on how to surf safely, and how to protect your machines from malware, (there are many other online resources available as well – several are in my Blogroll) but to make things simpler, I have compiled a Top 10 list (click here) to help.
Please pay particular attention to #’s 1 – 4.
(Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t read me everyday.. ahem.)

When it comes to malware and cybercrime, prevention is key. But, should you get infected, there are many self-help resources available, (including a few I have posted) but I sincerely believe that one should enlist the aid of a trained technician experienced with advanced malware removal  (yes, such as myself) as modern malware truly is “military grade”. (Ask yourself: how computer knowledgeable am I, really, and do I have a spare day and a-half a cleanup takes? If you want to give it a go.. see, How To Cure A Malware Infection)

.. oh yes, one more thing, if you have been infected, whatever protection you had onboard, that installation of it is no longer any good – one of the first things malware does is seek out and cripple your antivirus – and it will need to be reinstalled (or replaced).

So, I urge you to read Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues if you haven’t already, and please – send the link to your less-savvy friends and loved ones.

Bonus tip: If you think you can ‘download’ the latest movies, the hottest albums, and/or free copies of Windows 7 (or Adobe CS5) off of the “Torrent” sites – for absolutely free! and with no risk at all!.. odds are darned good you’re already pwned.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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October 7, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, PC, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment