Virus, Spyware and Malware Removal Toolkit

Articles on this site form the rogue antivirus category:

Virus Removal

The absolute BEST way to make absolutely certain that a system is clean is to wipe it fresh and reinstall Windows XP. Unfortunately, many people lose their Windows XP install cds, or never received it from the pc manufacturer (which is worth a several page RANT all of it’s own!) So, for them the option is 1)clean up their existing install, 2)buy another windows xp license and disk 3) buy a new computer. Usually the cheapest option turns out to be #1.

Since I have to do a lot of virus cleanup I’ve got a collection of favorite virus removal tools that I make use of. Why so many utilities here? They each have their strengths. Antivirus software of course specializes in cleaning out viruses but in recent years is doing better in the spyware removal. Antispyware software usually has better antispyware coverage, but the landscape is so diverse that it still seems no single product is a bulletproof answer. Also, I like to think of it as getting two or three opinions on if the system is clean. If I can get each of these tools claiming the system is clean, it’s a pretty good bet that we’re finally cleaned out.

Virus Removal Tools

First off, is an essential. A freely available antivirus download. If I’m working on a persons home computer the first choice is usually the free AVG antivirus. If it’s a business I usually steer people towards the pay version of AVG. If they already have antivirus that they want to keep, that’s fine, but it usually has to be reinstalled or renewed because many pests disable or maim your existing antivirus. 8.0 of AVG does a good job identifying and getting out all of the myriad trojans and “possibly unwanted programs” that do sneak installs that previous Antivirus versions didn’t seem to blink an eye at.

Spybot Search and Destroy – this is another good removal tool in the arsenal. This is good to cover the classic spy and adware programs. This includes many rogue antivirus and rogue anti-spyware programs.

Malware bytes anti-malware this is a nice recent addition to my toolkit for cleaning up systems. It seems to be able to pick up some things I’ve missed with spybot and or AVG. In recent months this has become my virus removal tool of choice.

SuperAntiSpyware is another good malware and virus removal tool. They have a portable scanner which is saved to a new random filename each time it’s downloaded and includes all their latest definitions. So, download this on a clean pc to a flash drive, boot up into safe mode if necessary and clean. SuperAntiSpyware also has a standard free edition available for download as well that is a standard installable application. If it were me, for a system cleanup, I would opt for the portable edition as it’s more likely to be able to work due to the random filename.

For some of those specific bugs it can be handy to have a tool for a specific type of bug.

CWShredder is the tool of choice to remove CoolWebSearch.

To the surprise of many, the antivirus companies typically have standalone FREE virus removal tools for various viruses and baddies out there:

Symantec FREE virus removal tools

McAfee Free virus removal tools (this may not have been updated in a while.)

They also have a removal tool called Stinger for a variety of bugs.

Kaspersky has a raft of removal tools too for free download.

As does Grisoft (AVG).

As time allows I’ll be adding more of the handy virus removal utilities I use here. A good place to start for general system utilities though is the sysinternals utilities which are currently owned by Microsoft.

Free Online Virus Scans

I’ve not typically been VERY enthused about “online virus scans” because of some potentially fundamental drawbacks with such, but from time to time I make use of Trend Micro’s Housecall (online java/web based malware scanner) as a quick first or second opinion on a system’s status.

Here’s Panda Antivirus ActiveScan – only cleans out what it finds after registration. (And some things are not cleaned out by the online scan, but by the paid software.)

Kaspersky Virusscanner – another good online scanner.

F-secure has an online scanner.

SuperAntiSpyware has a free home edition.

Other Virus Removal Tools

Other tools are SDFix and Combofix.

Another useful tool for finding hidden registry entries and the like (possible rootkit activity) is RootkitRevealer.

Finally, a very powerful tool for finding running processes:

Process Explorer (link to sysinternals download.)

Virus Removal Toolkit

Now, since many rogue antivirus or malware infestations will prevent you from downloading from the websites of legitimate security tools you will want to develop a toolkit in one of a number of ways. First you may wish for a cd. For many years this was my favorite method because I could just keep a folder on my desktop with the current version of the security tools listed above (or whatever I was using the most at the time.) I could even script updates of them and then I could burn a fresh cd to take out with me.

The other option and probably the better choice today is the USB flash drive. They are cheap and most of these utilities are fairly small. For $20 you can get a 2GB memory stick to put all of your virus removal tools and even have room left to copy data off for forensic analysis (whether it’s log files or other suspicious files that your removal tools did not detect.)

Subpages of this page that may have more detail on some of the tools listed:

Virus and malware removal in the news:

“malware removal” – Google News

Three Best Malware Removal Tools – MustTech News


MustTech News
Three Best Malware Removal Tools
MustTech News
Third: look for powerful malware removal tools. They detect every little dangerous item that might not be discovered by your everyday security solutions. Today's post is all about the best malware removal tools you should try asap. Take a look at each




Remove the Togosearching.com Search Redirect – BleepingComputer


BleepingComputer
Remove the Togosearching.com Search Redirect
BleepingComputer
This guide teaches you how to remove Togosearching.com Search Redirect for free by following easy step-by-step instructions.

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Scammers Use Malware As Excuse To Steal Phones – Patch.com


Patch.com
Scammers Use Malware As Excuse To Steal Phones
Patch.com
In the Malware Removal Scam, an unsolicited caller identifying himself as a representative of a cell phone provider tells the person that a problem has been detected on his or her device, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. The




Android app stores flooded with 1,000 spyware apps | ZDNet – ZDNet


ZDNet
Android app stores flooded with 1,000 spyware apps | ZDNet
ZDNet
Hackers have flooded Android app stores, including the official Google Play store, with over 1,000 spyware apps, which have the capability to monitor almost …

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Remove the Plus! Network or Plusnetwork.com Search Page – BleepingComputer


BleepingComputer
Remove the Plus! Network or Plusnetwork.com Search Page
BleepingComputer
If searches from a browser's address bar are being sent to the Plus! Network search site or their domain plusnetwork.com and you did not configure your browser to do so, then you may have an unwanted browser extension or add-on installed. While the Plus!




Remove the PCRegFixer Registry Cleaner Tech Support Scam – BleepingComputer


BleepingComputer
Remove the PCRegFixer Registry Cleaner Tech Support Scam
BleepingComputer
This guide teaches you how to remove PCRegFixer Registry Cleaner Tech Support Scam for free by following easy step-by-step instructions.

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IT pros look to endpoint security to counter custom malware – ComputerWeekly.com

IT pros look to endpoint security to counter custom malware
ComputerWeekly.com
The majority (95%) said advanced software functionality for malware removal and system recovery without the need to reimage a system is important, with 23% citing reimaging endpoints as one of their organisation's top endpoint security challenges.




Remove the Moloko.exe or Monero (XMR) CPU Miner Trojan – BleepingComputer


BleepingComputer
Remove the Moloko.exe or Monero (XMR) CPU Miner Trojan
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The Moloko.exe or Monero (XMR) CPU Miner is a Trojan that utilizes a victim's computer processor to mine the XMR, or Monero, digital currency. This miner is installed through Trojans that masquerade as legitimate programs. When installed, a VBS script




Malwarebytes for Mac: Best Malware Removal Tool – Newsient (blog)


Newsient (blog)
Malwarebytes for Mac: Best Malware Removal Tool
Newsient (blog)
Malwarebytes for Mac is one of the best anti-malware software, It was formerly known as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware abbreviated as MBAM. It is not just available for MacOS, but you can install the anti-malware software on Windows and Android OS too.




‘SambaCry’ malware scum return with a Windows encore – The Register


The Register
'SambaCry' malware scum return with a Windows encore
The Register
Malware authors continue to chip away at Samba bugs similar to those that helped spread WannaCry/WannaCrypt. Kaspersky researchers writing at Securelist say they've spotted a Windows variant of SambaCry, which was first spotted in June. The new …


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