Are You Infected? Detecting Malware Infection

Friday, 14 February 2003, 12:39 AM EST

The day starts normally. You wake up, drive to work, go to your desk, turn on your computer, take a sip from your coffee, and proceed to check your email. Reminders here, spam there, pictures here, stories there, a couple of games, and some animation. Classify your mail: work related here, from friends, families and acquaintances there. Then you take your morning break.

Break is over so you get back to your computer and suddenly notice that it is busy with something you are not aware of. So you decide to close all applications, one at a time, and try to figure out what is going on. Then you notice that closing applications is slower than usual.

You get nervous and then think that it is best to restart your system. Perhaps restarting would bring things back to normal. As your computer boots up, nothing seems to have changed. You log on to it and then find that everything is back to normal. Tension naturally eases up but then you ask yourself, "What could have caused the earlier malfunction? Is my computer infected?"

When users suspect that a malware has caused a system problem, they are usually wrong nine out of ten times. There are a lot of reasons for a system to malfunction. It is always assumed, however, that a malfunction is caused by something external to a system, something that has the intention and the effect of disrupting the normal system operation, something that is related to a virus or malware. Most of the time, however, the cause of a malfunction is not in any way related to malware.

[ Read more ]


101,000 US taxpayers affected by automated attack on IRS app

The IRS has revealed more details about an attack it suffered last month, mounted by unknown individuals with the aim to file fraudulent tax returns and funnel the returned money to their own bank accounts.

Weekly newsletter

Reading our newsletter every Monday will keep you up-to-date with security news.

Daily digest

Receive a daily digest of the latest security news.

Wed, Feb 10th