What is the difference between Malware and a virus?

Malware, or malicious software, has become a catch-all term for several different types of infections. Some will install themselves and create simulated infection, corruption, or hardware failure, therefore tricking you into purchasing their product to resolve the issue. This type is known as hostage-ware, ransom-ware or scare-ware. There are malware infections that simply redirect your browser to sites the creator has chosen or to a website that they are compensated for, based on the number of hits the site receives. Sometimes these infections can hide your entire root drive and all your subdirectories or capture your personal information and communicate back to the creator of the infection.

A virus, which has become a subset of malware, is an actual program that replicates and attaches itself to services or specific applications. Many malware payloads contain a virus file, such as a Trojan or a Worm, to help root the infection. Viruses were once an exclusive type of infection, but now they have been combined into infection packages of malware. Many malware packages incorporate rootkits to embed themselves into the kernel level of the OS, making them stealthy and more difficult to remove.

Many items are often mistaken for system infection. These can include tracking cookies, search hooks, or browser helper objects (BHOs). Although the presence of these can indicate infection, there must be an accompanying loader (EXE) file or kernel mode driver to present to confirm infection.

What are the most common symptoms of a Malware of Virus infection?

Although today’s malware can contain multiple payloads, here are some of the most common signs of infection:
1. Onscreen Warnings about system infection from a source other than your antivirus software
2. The browser redirects or a complete hijack of the browser
3. You can’t open any EXE or Microsoft Installer (MSI) files
4. The inability to change wallpaper or any desktop settings
5. All entries under Start>Programs are empty and/or the C: drive is blank
6. The Antivirus icon disappears from the system tray or cannot be started
7. Random pop-ups show onscreen either in or out of the browser
8. Unusual icons, erroneous start menu entries appear

We can help!

A virus can cripple your computer and wipe out all your data if not properly removed.
Removing viruses such as Trojans, Browser Hijackers, Malware and Spyware is not a problem for our skilled technicians. We understand that not having access to a computer can be a major inconvenience. That is why we are proud to have an average turn-around time of 24 hours for most situations. The technicians at Escape Computers make the process of removing a virus and getting your system back to you as quick and painless as possible. Need to know how long it will take to remove a virus from your computer? No Problem! Give us a call 0131 661 0664