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Solutions: Antivirus program hides itself to effectively locate, kill scamware

I downloaded Security Essentials about a month ago and have had several problems since. Seems as though Security Essentials is allowing certain worms through, then removing them a few minutes later. Not sure how or why they have been allowed in the first place. They are Win32/FakeSysDef and Win32/WinWebSec. Latest intrusion caused me to lose all my contacts and 90 percent of my desktop icons. Maybe Security Essentials is not the best thing since sliced bread and maybe I should go back to Norton or AVG.

It sounds to me as if you were already affected when you installed Security Essentials. In that case the installed virus will disable your antivirus but make it appear as though it is still functioning. My recommendation is to download and run ComboFix.exe from www.combofix.org. (Scroll down past any advertisements and download only from the link listed under "How to use combofix.")

This particular program installs itself under a random name to hide itself from the scamware virus. Follow the instructions found at the download site. When complete, run a full scan with Microsoft Security Essentials as well as Malwarebytes' AntiMalware to make sure your PC is in protected status.

I have a problem with e-mails I receive containing photos. If I forward these, for some reason the photos don't go through. Several recipients have written that they get no pictures. I receive them with no trouble, but sending them, for some unknown reason, they are left out. I am using Gmail on an iMac. I have seen a blog or two that this may be a Gmail problem that they are trying to correct but, so far, no luck. Can you suggest anything to correct this?

I have seen this problem reported before by Gmail users. One solution is to first save the pictures to your hard drive and then attach them to the forwarded e-mail.

Note to readers: Many of you have written in with problems trying to get to the free Malwarebytes AntiMalware program. The problem is that Malwarebytes often changes its third-party (someone other than itself) hosting site. That hosting site pays Malwarebytes to host the file in hopes that you will click on one of their products (on purpose or by mistake) and buy it. It is easy to get confused. This is unfortunate, but we have no control over this. Go slowly and follow the steps exactly.

Go to www.malwarebytes.org. Click Products, Malwarebytes AntiMalware-Free. Click the Download Now button (should be on the left side of the screen); at the time I'm writing this, that link takes you to www.techspot.com, which is currently hosting the download file. Keep in mind this site can and will change at some point.

Click on the Download Now button; this should initiate the download and it should be for a file that begins with "mbam-setup" and will end with .EXE.

Do not download anything else. The key is to go slowly and read carefully before you click.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Antivirus program hides itself to effectively locate, kill scamware 05/15/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 15, 2011 6:09pm]

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