One of the brighter sides of the ongoing battle with malicious software such as viruses, trojan horses and worms has been that recently the creators of these evil applications have not tried to actually destroy your PC. Most of the recent malicious code that has made the rounds works to get your personal and credit card information. The infected computer user notices these infections by slow performing computers and pop-up messages with security warnings and promising to clean your PC for a “small fee”. However the computer files in these cases are usually left in peace.
Of course you never want to fall prey to these scams and it can be troublesome getting your PC back in proper working order but your PC is not completely out of service. A new virus is making the rounds that Symantec has named “Shamoon” that strives to make your computer life utterly miserable. You see “Shamoon” unlike the recent trend in malicious software works very hard to actually delete your files. This was common years ago but not so recently.
Shamoon is somewhat of a mystery right now as security software providers work to investigate. However a couple of things are known that you should be aware of.
1. Shamoon is an “executable” file which probably arrives as an email attachment. Once the user opens the file it infects the computer.
2. Once infected the computer cannot be booted and that is a big problem.
3. Files on the infected computer are actually erased which results in the pc collapsing into a “non-bootable” state. It is believed this happens because some of the deleted or infected files are on the master boot record.
4. If your computer is infected your repair options will probably require an IT professional.
More needs to be learned about “Shamoon” but you can help to protect your computer by following these recommendations.
1. Install and keep up to date a good sound Security solution.
2. Make sure your operating system is updated.
3. Do not open email attachments that you did not specifically request.
4. Do not visit suspicious websites.