Easiest Way to Get Rid of Malware

Q: What’s the easiest way to get rid of malware on Windows[0]?

A: Not to get it in the first place.

A couple of other observations I made while cleaning a friend’s computer:

1. The malware was detected by my friend because it was closing windows. Any window that could be used to fix the infection was closed by the malware. That doesn’t seem to be a very productive strategy for staying installed.

2. The Avast BARTPE CD creator rocks. Luckily, a part of my organization that does more desktop support for customers has a license for it. It’s really nice to boot off a CD to fix everything.

3. I started with the Avira free antivirus scanner. It is worth what you pay for it. I couldn’t get it to switch to the right screen resolution so I could see the buttons to trigger a scan, the English edition is in German, and there are no command-line utilities that work (or documentation to indicate what I should be doing). In the immortal words of Maddox: Terrible. F.

4. I really like how malware authors are taking out ads for antivirus products on Google. Search for “avast” or “avira” and the sponsored links at the top of the results are not reputable sources…


[0] Pre-emptive snarky comment: “Windows sux!” or “Linux wouldn’t have this problem” or “Apple r00lz!” — yes, we know, in a perfect world you’d be the benevolent emperor and would require everyone to use some other far-superior OS.[1]

[1] All OSes suck.

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