Saturday, July 31, 2010

Removing rogueware on an infected PC

Over the weekend, I had to remove some rogueware on someone's infected PC.  What exactly is rogueware? Is it a virus? Spyware?

Rogueware is also called rogue security software. You may think that your PC is infected, but it's not. You're being told that you need to purchase an anti-virus solution so that you can fix your PC. The truth is that your PC has been infected by rogue security software. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about rogueware:
Rogue security software is a form of computer malware that deceives or misleads users into paying for the fake or simulated removal of malware, or that installs other malware. Rogue security software, in recent years, has become a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing.
So, how do you get rid of rogueware?  First, it's important to recognize that rogueware isn't a virus. Therefore, you can't just "clean" your computer with an anti-virus solution and get rid of the rogueware.

Rogueware is often installed like any other software. The problem is that you probably won't recognize it as rogueware. Therefore, you won't know which application to uninstall. Plus, you may have problems opening the Control Panel if your PC is infected with rogue software.

Over the weekend, I had to boot up in Safe Mode (Windows XP). Then, I uninstalled the rogueware and I rebooted the PC.

I've also gotten rid of rogueware by restoring a PC using an old backup. There are several other ways of removing rogue security software and most of these methods require you to be familiar with Safe Mode, System Restore, or modifying the list of programs that start in the background.

Click here to view a partial list of rogue security software.

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