Computer Security & Viruses/question

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Question
Dear John: A friend of mine is experiencing the following. Can you help?  "it's really terrible. Upon launching a webpage, it takes only a few seconds for it to freeze. A message appears at the bottom stating that "yahoo.com is not responding." At the far right, there's a button to click on to "recover webpage." This happens with every webpage launched so I have to close it out and relaunch over and over.
I was told that I need to correct and fix infected files (even though I have Norton Anti-virus previously installed). But this, along with slow system performance, are supposed to be minor issues. The bigger issue is that my network is not secure, therefore, it's easy for spywares to behave like leeches. So unless I get all this resolved soon, I'm sure it won't be long before my computer completely shuts down."  Thank you kindly.

Answer
I recommend a clean install.  (If it were my machine I'd describe it as being "out of commission" already.)

The most-effective antivirus program might find 60% of the bad stuff.  None will find everything.  Using more than one is recommended.  You can upload files you think are infected to virustotal.com.  They'll usually run about 50 different antivirus apps and give the results of each.

It isn't possible to repair an infected machine by using an infected machine.  Unless you reverse engineer the malicious code, there isn't a way to trust a system that's been infected even after removing malware.  This holds if you don't know what malware has done.

Once you've got a clean installation, back it up using the 'dd' command on a Live Linux disk.  Live discs can be purchased online for a minimal fee, in case you don't have one handy.  

Computer Security & Viruses

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John Crout

Expertise

Linux, Windows, Open/Free BSD, OSX. Embedded MMU-less (firmware) devt.

Experience

Securing systems since 1982. Tip: Switching from a system that is (statistically) more prevalent to one that is less prevalent will help.

Organizations
Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG Auxiliary), ACM

Publications
Student Doctor Magazine EE Times Network World blog Navy CIO blog RTCA/DO-178B, "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification", (member of SC-167), RTCA/DO-160C, "Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment", (member of SC-135)

Education/Credentials
Master of Public Health (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Computer Engineering Option) Digital Forensics Basics, Texas Engineering Extension Secure Software, Texas Engineering Extension Network Security, Texas Engineering Extension Infosec Basics, Texas Engineering Extension Information Assurance Awareness, Department of Defense Information Systems Security, United States Coast Guard Online safety for parents and children, Fort Collins Police Department Spear Phishing, Defense Information Security Agency, DISA Spear Phishing, United States Coast Guard, USCG Meeting the Media, Testifying, Presentations, Arch Lustberg FEMA (ICS-100, -200, -210, -700, 800) United States Coast Guard Defense Information Systems Agency United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Crosby Quality Workgroup Facilitator Trainer Crosby Quality Education System Wisconsin University

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