Fight ransomware with data backups and gift cards

Ransomware is a hacker's cash grab. When this type of malware attacks your PC, it locks your precious files behind a password and demands payment for unlocking your docs. As in any other hostage situation, paying the ransom may or may not get you your files back. With ransomware, an ounce of prevention -- backing up all your important files -- is worth a pound of Bitcoin cures. Here's how to foil ransomware.

Store important files on an external drive

Internet hackers... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software

Tags: malware , virus , backup , Cloud

What to do if your computer has a virus

It can be a gut punch to realize that your PC may be infected with malware (the catchall term for viruses, Trojans, worms, and other nasties). If you don't have antimalware software installed and ready to clean your system, the situation can deteriorate quickly. But we have tips for basic damage control for your computer and the devices it's connected to.

Disconnect your PC from the network

Malware frequently uses the Internet to connect your PC to another computer that may give... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software

Tags: Security Center , Guides , antivirus , malware , virus , Internet security

Bitdefender doubles protection for half the price

Bitdefender's latest AV suite, Total Security, has already been touted as the Best Antivirus of the Year by AV-Test. It's sure to win you over with its balance of form and function as it did our security editor. Total Security's award-winning AV, unobtrusive interface, and lightning-fast scanner managed to garner an outstanding 4.5/5 star-rating on Starting this week, Bitdefender is offering the suite (normally priced at $79.95/year for three PCs) for the low price of only $39,... Read More »

Tags: Windows , antivirus , security , malware , virus , Windows software

Giveaway: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus

Good news, fellow Downloaders! Christmas is coming a little early this year thanks to the good folks over at Bitdefender. For one week only, the popular AV is giving away free licenses of their Mobile Security & Antivirus (Android) app to the first 1 million users. Get 180 days-worth of protection on any of your mobile devices, absolutely free. It's easy:

Sign up on the giveaway page using your e-mail. Grab the app from the Google Play store.... Read More »

Tags: Android , antivirus , security , malware , virus , utility

Viruses: Destroying your systems for 25 years

LAS VEGAS--The hacker conference DefCon kicked off this morning with the rare public sighting of a now-archaic piece of technology: the 5 1/4-inch floppy disk. Mikko Hypponen, the chief technical officer for the Finnish security company F-Secure, waved the disk above his head to start off his history of PC viruses, and said, "This is Brain."

Hypponen was talking about a guest of honor housed on the disk: the original computer virus. Hypponen found the disk last year in a lockbox... Read More »

Tags: virus , Windows software , Trojan

Exclusive: LinkScanner for Mac

With the enormous popularity of Apple's iPhone, more and more people are switching to Mac desktops and laptops to get the full Mac OS X experience. But as the popularity of the platform reaches unprecedented heights, Macs are beginning to be targeted by malicious attacks, often in the form of drive-by Web site attacks. This means that your Mac could download malicious code just by visiting a questionable Web site.

AVG LinkScanner for Mac (exclusive to CNET Downloads today) protects... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: antivirus , Mac , security , spyware , virus , AVG , Web

Firefox add-on accused of malware comes up clean

Last week, Firefox users were warned by Mozilla of two add-ons that had been discovered to contain malware and removed from their add-on Web site. Mozilla backtracked on one those add-ons last night, saying that the company had worked with McAfee and determined that the Sothink Web Video Downloader is malware-free.

The initial estimate of 6,000 affected downloads has also been revised downward, to 700 downloads. Mac and Linux Firefox users were not affected by the malware discovery.

Mozilla... Read More »

Tags: freeware , Firefox , Mozilla , add-on , extension , virus , Windows software , Trojan

Mozilla yanks infected add-ons, warns users

Mozilla on Friday pulled two programs from its Firefox browser add-on site for containing malware. Sothink Web Video Downloader 4.0 and all versions of Master Filer were found to contain Trojan horse code aimed at Windows users.

In a blog post, Mozilla stated that the Master Filer add-on was able to bypass AMO's security tests.

Mozilla user CatThief discovered the threat, it said. And when Mozilla added two more security checks to its vetting process and rescanned... Read More »

Tags: freeware , Firefox , Mozilla , add-on , extension , virus , Windows software , Trojan

Eye chart can help diagnose Conficker

UPDATED on Thursday, April 9 at 12:30 p.m.: The original link to the eye chart broke, but a new, working one has replaced it.

April Fools' Day passed with much angst over and little action from the Conficker worm, but that doesn't mean it's not a threat.

Joe Stewart from SecureWorks has put together an effective "eye chart" that sources its graphics from sites that Conficker would block. Click here to test the eye chart.... Read More »

Tags: virus , Windows software