View Full Version : How did I get infected?

One of the most common questions found when cleaning malware is "how did my machine get infected?". There are a variety of reasons, but the most common ones are that you are not practicing Safe Internet, you are not running the proper security software or that your computer's security settings are set too low.

Below I have outlined a series of categories that outline how you can increase the security of your computer to help reduce the chance of being infected again in the future.

Do not use P2P programs
Peer-to-peer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer) or file-sharing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_sharing) programs (such as uTorrent, Limewire and Bitorrent) are probably the primary route of infection nowadays. These programs allow file sharing between users as the name(s) suggest. It is almost impossible to know whether the file you’re downloading through P2P programs is safe.

It is therefore possible to be infected by downloading infected files via peer-to-peer programs and so I recommend that you do not use these programs. Should you wish to use them, they must be used with extreme care. Some further reading on this subject, along with included links, are as follows: "File-Sharing, otherwise known as Peer To Peer (http://forums.spybot.info/showpost.php?p=1109&postcount=1)" and "Risks of File-Sharing Technology (http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST05-007.html)."

In addition, P2P programs facilitate cyber crime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber_crime) and help distribute pirated software, movies and other illegal material.

Practice Safe Internet
Another one of the main reasons people get infected in the first place is that they are not practicing Safe Internet. You practice Safe Internet when you educate yourself on how to properly use the Internet through the use of security tools and good practice. Knowing how you can get infected and what types of files and sites to avoid will be the most crucial step in keeping your computer malware free. The reality is that the majority of people who are infected with malware are ones who click on things they shouldn't be clicking on. Whether these things are files or sites it doesn't really matter. If something is out to get you, and you click on it, it most likely will.

ok not knowcking the suggestions but wont that slow down the performance of many pc`s and/or slow down internet ?

So what do you see specifically in the above recommendations that would lead you to think, "wont that slow down the performance of many pc`s and/or slow down internet ?

Then maybe we can address your specific concerns as to the cause of why you may think that.

littlephoenix, on Jun 28 2007, 11:02 AM, said:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_images/master/snapback.png (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?app=forums&module=forums&section=findpost&pid=555561)

Email me if you have any questions, will be glad to answer.
Thank You for your consideration. However we would prefer that all questions be asked in the forums, not privately via email. That way everyone benefits from the information provided. That is the whole purpose of the forums in the first place, after all.

Forum Moderator

I read the suggestions for protecting my computer. I have my ISP providing Anti-Virus, Anti-spyware, popup blocker & firewall. I still get viruses. I don't know what the problem is. Could it be the programs I have that might allow viruses in like you said in your description? I am ready to quit this security system because it doesn't work. I have had 4 viruses since February. What should I do? I had the security tell me I had a virus (and it named it). I closed the box and ran a virus scan which produced nothing. I called my ISP and they said that when the box came up, the security disinfected it. What happens when I run a scan & the infected file is essential--I'm in big trouble then. I can't go on like this. Any suggetions? One lady said they should reinstall the security. Would that help?

littlephoenix, on Jun 28 2007, 02:02 PM, said:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_images/master/snapback.png (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?app=forums&module=forums&section=findpost&pid=555561)

sopcannon, on Mar 13 2007, 09:10 PM, said:http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_images/master/snapback.png (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?app=forums&module=forums&section=findpost&pid=473030)

ok not knowcking the suggestions but wont that slow down the performance of many pc`s and/or slow down internet ?

yes in fact these will slow down your PC , apps such as spyware bot installs a real time scanner called teatimer and SD resident which run in the background, also your virus scanner and firewall will slow down your PC, but you know what, its better to have a 15% slower PC then to be at a risk of infection.
There are some things that will really slow down your PC such as the new adaware 2007 adwatch, that will take a good chunk of your resource and really slow things down so i would not suggest that at all, maybe run the app itself to find any spyware or MRU's cookies etc.
also i recommend for everyone to have at least 2MB of ram, that will help you a great deal ;)
Email me if you have any questions, will be glad to answer.

much luck http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif

I too have found that having all these programs installed really slowed down the internet surfing on my 80 GB - 512 MB Ram computer on dial-up. My solution was that since I have the Enterra Download Manager add on for IE I just uninstalled everything except my Sygate Personal Firewall and AVG Free. The Manager stores the other programs for me until I want to run a scan. I just reinstall for that purpose and then uninstall again. The Manager is helpful because you don't have to go through the, sometimes, hours of downloading the program from the internet again.

I suppose that you can probably save these programs to a disk also? I don't currently have a burner so the Download Manager is what I use.