Have I got a Trojan ?
Signs your Computer may be infected.
There are various clues that your machine may be infected. Here are some of the most common:
- Your PC is often sluggish, unresponsive and slow.
- Your Windows Task Manager shows high system resource use while idle.
- Strange new icons on your desktop, or there are additions to your FAVORITES bookmarks or toolbars that you did not make.
- Your browser opens up elsewhere than your normal home page – this is a really strong indicator that there is some trojan activity going on.
- Your internet connection monitor shows a lot of activity during relatively inactive web browsing – this is also a strong signal that someone maybe hijacking some of your bandwidth with a remote access trojan.
- Prolific popup advertising while you are on the internet and sometimes even when you are not. This is usually a sign that you have a problem with Adware.
- You often use peer-to-peer file sharing programs.
- You download lots of music, movies or games.
These are the most common indicators. So if some of the items on the list above refer to you then there is a good chance that your machine may be infected by some kind of malware. Trojans, spyware and adware are parasite programs that will steal your system resources with the potential security risk to you ranging from intrusive and annoying to downright dangerous.
To find out what is on your computer you will need to do a diagnostic check.
Detection Tools you will needFor the next part of this operation you will need to download and install certain software on your computer, if you do not already have it. You can follow the links from the Software Downloads page, but for expediency, we will note the essentials here.
- You will need a system monitor such as Windows Task Manager (alt-ctrl-del) freeware, or TaskInfo2003, or Deep System Explorer commercial ware.
- You will need an up to date Firewall/Trojan and Virus Scanner. There are many to choose from. Most companies that have a commercialware version of firewalls and scanners also have a functioning free version for home or non-commercial users, with some exceptions. (see our Software Reviews page.)
Before you download anything though, you also need to know that some software that claims to remove malware is actually malware itself. Check the unsafe list first. Rogue Software
- A start-up Program Manager such as Starter by Lion Codestuff
- Shut down the system. Restart
- Open Starter by Lion Codestuff ( instructions on where to get this program are on the software downloads page ).
- Identify the programs that are scheduled to open at startup. If there are any in the lineup that you are unsure what they are, take a note of the names, and search online to identify them. (You may also decide that some of the legitimate programs in the list do not need to open at startup and can be unchecked. This will speed up your startup procedure time. You will still be able to access these programs from your desktop icon or start menu.)
- Run a Process Monitor program such as TaskInfo2003
- Connect to the internet.
- Have a look at what programmes are running. Note any that you know are OK. Any you think are suspicious, or don't know what they are can be identified using the Uniblue Process Library, or www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php
- Using one of the following file scanning programs (Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or a-squared Anti-Malware, or Housecall by Trend Micro) scan the files on your hard drive to detect any trojans or other malware.
- If you are using the online version of the scanners, then this may take a while, particularly if you are on dialup, so it will be preferable to download either a freeware or commercial ware version of a trojan scanner.
- Once the scan is complete you will get a report window that will highlight the presence of any known trojan or other security threat present on your system.
- These will be put into a quarantine folder. The purpose for this is so that they can no longer damage your system while you decide how to handle them, because the trojan may be embedded in a file which is critical to the operation of one or more programs. Therefore, merely deleting the trojan may cause harm to your system.
Now if you have detected anything malicious and it is safely quarantined you will need to investigate it and remove it without doing any damage to any of the useful programs that the nasty may have been hiding in. TROJAN REMOVAL