Ransomeare. Malware, Spyware. It is a whole lot of “ware” and a whole lot of confusion. These little computer “bugs” are affecting the lives of professionals in business, and often times leading to a whole slew of problems.
One common manifestation of ransomware or malware is called a rogue security protocol. The basic idea is as follows. A program states that it can remove malicious software. It will clean the computer, well, clean of issues and actively work in the background to stop new threats at the door. Of course, the program itself is the malware. By downloading it, users have introduced malware into their system.
What is introducing a program like this? The program could come from an email that was sent out conspicuously to 100,000 emails that were retrieved any number of ways. They could arrive as a pop-up while visiting a bad website. A particularly nefarious way is through Windows directly. These programs want to appear legitimate. They do this by being introduced by programs that the user already trusts.
Now, it is not Windows approving the program. It is a complicated system, but it essentially works as follows. A minor malware may introduce the “seed” to the computer that can draw in the program. It can potentially pop up as a recommended Windows Security Update. Users see that the program is recommended as a windows update and they inherently trust it. Of course, it is anything but. The Windows update is just a folly to get users more interested in the program.
It may be wise to remove Windows Updates entirely. They are not perfect. Many argue that the updates range from extraneous to excessive and cause issues. Often times, an update is crafted to fix what did not work in a previous update. It creates a whole slew of problems in cycle, where the original goal is just to remove dharma and wallet ransomware.
Do not download a program unless it was specifically asked for. Even then, users should be cautious. There are not a lot of great malware scanning programs that have no cost. If it is free, there may be a reason.