PandaLabs Releases Guide Detailing 10 Tell-Tale Signs of PC Infection

August 9, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ — PandaLabs, Panda Security‘s antimalware laboratory, today released a guide for identifying tell-tale signs of PC infection. In today’s environment rampant with cybercrime, it is essential that PC users employ an antivirus solution to keep their systems protected. However, given the breadth and sophistication of today’s current malware, sometimes an antivirus solution is not sufficient enough. It is imperative that users grasp basic security issues to realize if a computer is infected, as PC infection often go unnoticed. While many of today’s threats are designed specifically to go undetected, there are still some tell-tale signs that a system has been compromised.

PandaLabs encourages PC users to be aware of following symptoms of infection:

  1. My computer speaks to me: There are all types of pop-ups and messages on the desktop, either advertising products or alerting users to an infection and stating that protection is needed. This is a typical, surefire case of an infection. This indicates either spyware on the computer or that it has been infected by a fake antivirus (also called “rogueware”).
  2. My computer is running extremely slowly: This could be a symptom of many things, including virus infection. If a PC has been infected by a virus, worm or Trojan, the viruses could be running tasks that consume a lot of resources, making the system run slower than usual.
  3. Applications won’t start: How many times have you tried to run an application from the start menu or desktop and nothing happens? Sometimes another program might even run instead of the one intended, indicating that something is wrong with the system.
  4. I cannot connect to the Internet or it runs very slowly: Loss of Internet communication is another common symptom of infection, although it could also be due to a problem with your service provider or router. If you have been infected, the malware could be connecting to a URL or opening separate connection sessions, reducing your available bandwidth or making it practically impossible to use the Internet.
  5. When I connect to the Internet, all types of windows open or the browser displays pages I have not requested: Many threats are designed to redirect traffic to malicious websites against the user’s will, and can even spoof Web pages, making you think you are on a legitimate site when really you have been taken to a malevolent imitation.
  6. Where have my files gone? There are still some threats designed to delete or encrypt information, with the ability to move documents from one place to another. If you find yourself in this situation, there is cause for concern that infection has occurred.
  7. My antivirus has disappeared and my firewall is disabled: Another typical characteristic of many threats is that they disable security systems (antivirus, firewall, etc.) already installed on computers. Perhaps if one application shuts down it might just be a specific software failure, but if all your security components are disabled, you are almost certainly infected.
  8. My computer is speaking a strange language: If the language of certain applications changes, the screen appears back-to-front, strange insects start ‘eating’ the desktop, you might have an infected system.
  9. Library files for running games, programs, etc. have disappeared from my computer: While this could be a sign of infection, it could also be down due to incomplete or incorrect installation of programs.
  10. My computer has a mind of its own: If the computer starts acting on its own, you suddenly find your system has been sending emails without your knowledge, Internet sessions or applications open sporadically on their own, your system could be compromised by malware.

If users experience any of the above scenarios, PandaLabs advises looking for alternative security applications that the ones installed (if any). There is no need to uninstall a current security solution, since a free, online antivirus such as Panda ActiveScan is available. Alternatively, users can install Panda Cloud Antivirus, which is also free.

PandaLabs stresses that getting a second opinion on the health of a PC could save data, privacy and in many cases, money.

For more information about how you can to proactively protect yourselves, go to the Panda Security Press Center.

About PandaLabs

Since 1990, its mission has been to detect and eliminate new threats as rapidly as possible to offer our clients maximum security. To do so, PandaLabs has an innovative automated system that analyzes and classifies thousands of new samples a day and returns automatic verdicts (malware or goodware). This system is the basis of Collective Intelligence, Panda Security’s new security model which can even detect malware that has evaded other security solutions.

Currently, 99.4 percent of malware detected by PandaLabs is analyzed through this system of Collective Intelligence. This is complemented through the effort of several teams, each specialized in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, phishing, spam, etc), working 24/7 to provide global coverage. This translates into more secure, simpler and more resource-friendly solutions for clients.

More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com.

SOURCE PandaLabs

Source: newswire

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