Techniques to survive a computer virus outbreak
This is a handy guide to retain in case of an outbreak. Ensure that it stays close by so you will know where it is as you'll be required to act swiftly whenever there is an outbreak. You're free to circulate it to office employees or everybody else provided you don't alter it.
Symptoms of an Infection
There is a countless number of likely symptoms of a malicious software attack. Here are a few typical things to keep an eye out for.Client PC or server anti-virus software warns you of a possible infectionYour computer system start acting unreliably or show strange behaviour. Current operating systems are extremely reliable and don't usually cease working. If the odd behaviour is coming from Windows as opposed to installed software suspect a virus. If it's an application it may possibly still be one, but it might be that application, so look at reinstalling it first.Any of these applications stop working;
o Windows Task Manager (common target of malicious software)
o Anti-virus application (scans and updates both fail)
o Internet browser (stops working or directs to wrong pages)Rebooting does not work.You spot unanticipated popups that you don't recognise at any time. The popups may make suggestions to buy a service or product and frequently tell you that your computer is infected with numerous viruses.A friend or colleague informs you that they've received emails from you that you just didn't send.A computer that's not a part of your network produces an alert as soon as digital media from your computer is inserted.
TIP Anti-malware products only provide you with so much safety - not anywhere near 100%, so viruses could slip past and sit on the hard drive.
Consider first the possible magnitude of the outbreak.
In the case of one computer infected you can apply these steps to only the one. If you believe it's more than one you need to apply them to each and every system.
Step 1Firstly - always try to up-date the virus software on the infected system.If the anti-virus picks up and deletes viruses - no further actions should really be necessary.If the concern emerged because of malware alert which removed the infection and absolutely nothing else is discovered-no more action is needed.If threats are located and eliminated-no further action required.
TIP If after a successful clean up you eventually see further evidence of infection start off the entire process again, and also do a boot time scan if available.
If threats are located and removal is impossible.Carry out the procedures advised by your anti-virus product. Most programs are able to lead you to information regarding removal of particular infections.If you need to look manually, try searching McAfee's threat data base as it is highly extensive and often includes techniques for deletion.
TIP Avast anti-virus is an excellent product and is also absolutely free for home use. We highly recommend it for it's exceptional malware defense and it also won't slow down Windows. a boot time scan feature is the icing on the cake.
In the case of your anti-virus finding nothing at all or should cleaning fail.Try rebooting into Safe Mode by hitting F8 prior to Windows launch. This is going to give you Windows boot option so select Safe Mode.If and when Safe Mode loads go through the above steps once again. Your anti-virus solution should function and the virus shouldn't have loaded.
Should you still have not managed to remove the infection.Run System Restore while in Safe Mode. This will often run in Safe Mode when it wouldn't have in normal mode. This will reset Windows back to a point in time of your choosing, so select a time before things went wrong. Your data should be safe but you should have it backed up anyway. All application install after the point in time will be removed, along with any data stored inside of them (not likely these days, but you never know).You cannot interrupt System Restore while it's runningOnce complete perform all the previous steps again. System Restore has a good chance of removing malware as it effectively uninstalls any program installed between now and your chosen point in time. If it runs and completes you have around 75% chance of success.
If all the previous steps fail then you must make a decisionCarry on trying to dis-infect.Format the hard disk and install a fresh copy of Windows?
If the hard drive is wiped and Windows re-installed then is the machine is 100% clean as no malware can survive this, just ensure that your anti-virus is installed and updated immediately.
Sometimes you simply cannot remove the infection and a re-install is the only way. At this point I usually advise customers to bite the bullet and re-install. You have backed up all your data already right?
TIP ALL data created by this machine must be considered infected until a clear scan comes back from a non-affected machine.
The best of luck, and bare in mind that you can call for help at any time. If you note what you have done and the names of any threats found or errors seen it will help your tech guys immensely.
A word of warning (disclaimer)
ShadowPro IT cannot be held liable for any kind of adverse outcomes from following (or not following) this article. If you're not confident in your competencies please consider contacting a technical consultant. Should critically essential information is located in the computers or if you are handling a server you should call for help unless you have experience working with servers and data.
ShadowPro IT conduct work such as this on a regular basis and we are here to assist, so please contact us http://www.shadowpro.com.au/ to ask for a visit.