Computer Security & Viruses/Computer slow- (Trogan & virus)

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Question
Tuesday 2 July 2013

Hello Carolyn,

Computer malware on HP notebook nx6125 I am very careful when using the Internet but discovered that Smart HDD malware must have invaded my HP notebook. It copies files to the hard drive and creates branches in the system register. It shows a fake message: 1720 SMART Hard Drive detects imminent failure, attribute #5 on the first screen when booting up (in BIOS, I think?). The screen stops at this stage but a new icon appears F1 Ignore. When I press F1 the computer boots up, but extremely slowly. I don't think I have an imminent HDD failure. I have had this problem now 3 weeks. I recently removed adware tracking cookies using a free edition of Spyware software (different to HDD). The problem still remains. A box never appears which asks me to register and pay to remove the HDD fake Spyware.

My computer now boots up extremely slowly (about 10 minutes) and can be slow on gaining access to the internet. Also, the problem has interfered with the sound on welcome messages (at start up), You Tube music and education videos. Sound is present but it is interrupted, all the time.


Please can advise be given on how I can remove this Smart HDD malware? In particular, the message at the beginning, in BIOS.

I need to restore the speed of my computer, especially during bootup.

There is information on the Internet, regarding this problem (HDD fake spyware).

Kind regards,

Brent

Answer
Here's one way to remove it that also should remove any other malware that might be lurking inside your computer.

1) Download Kapersky Internet Security, which offers a free 30 day trial at http://usa.kaspersky.com/downloads?domain=kaspersky.com

2) Disconnect from the Internet.

3) Uninstall your current antivirus. This is absolutely essential because otherwise it and  Kapersky might fight each other and might crash your computer. It isn't good enough to just turn off your old antivirus because it might have been altered by virus infection.

4) Install Kapersky. Scan your system and follow any instructions it might give you.

5) Connect to the Internet and download any updates available.

6) Run another complete scan of your computer. Follow any instructions it might give you.

7) Reboot.

I suggest that after cleaning out malware, that you install a better security product from what you had been using. In addition to Kapersky, other high quality products include McAfee, Norton, and F-Secure.  

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Carolyn Meinel

Expertise

I cover Windows, Linux, TCP/IP and Ethernet security questions. I do not cover Mac, smart phones, or other networking issues.

Experience

Books by Carolyn Meinel: wrote a chapter for The Hacking of America book (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567204600/happyhacker) My article Code Red for the Web for Scientific American was reprinted in the book Best American Science Writing 2002 (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060936509/happyhacker). My book The Happy Hacker: A Guide to Mostly Harmless Hacking is now in 4th edition with a Japanese edition (see http://happyhacker.org/hhbook/).

Organizations
IEEE, AAAS

Publications
See a list with some online links at http://cmeinel.com

Education/Credentials
MS, Industrial Engineering, The University of Arizona Took a course in computer forensics at the University of Texas at Austin/

Past/Present Clients
DARPA, SAIC, Palmer Labs

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