Q

Anti-spyware, anti-virus proetction for Windows e-mail needed

Windows security threats expert Kevin Beaver suggests anti-spyware and antivirus protection when the your messaging application of choice comes down with a self-distributing virus.

I am having a security problem in my Yahoo! Messenger. Whenever I use it, a virus attacks my system. I had applied several tools to destroy it but it was not deleting from my system. This virus also automatically distributes itself to users on my "buddy" list. How can I remove this virus without reformatting my entire system?
First of all you need to make sure you have a good backup of your system - at least your data files. With this type of infection, anything can happen (including having to reformat your drive and re-install) so you want to plan for the worst. The problem is you don't know what you're infected with so it's hard to give specific instructions. For starters, you should try using one or more of the various commercial malware removal tools from Norton, McAfee, etc. Also, run one or more of the anti-spyware tools such as Spybot and CounterSpy. You should also run a rootkit removal tool such as Blacklight or Sophos Anti-Rootkit. You may also want to uninstall and reinstall Yahoo Messenger. This may not work though. If you run these various tool and un/reinstall and you still can't get past it, you may be better off just reinstalling your system.
This was first published in November 2006

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