Personal Antivirus is a Trojan in the form of a misleading application. Virus writers often disguise their malicious code within another, seemingly innocent, software program. When a user visits an infected website, the code is automatically downloaded to the unsuspecting visitor’s computer. This is what’s known as a drive-by download. No action is required on the part of the web surfer to become infected.
Personal antivirus is also said to be scareware or scamware. A computer user will immediately know when she’s contracted the virus because a large pop-up box will appear alerting her to a supposed problem with the computer. ‘Your computer has a virus’, or some phrase to that effect, will flash and the animated icons will appear to be doing a virus scan of your system. In reality, this is only a ruse to get the user to enter credit card information to be sold on the black market. It’s not known how many victims have given away their credit card information as a result of this nasty Trojan but it may be tens of thousands.
The best way to prevent Personal Antivirus, and other similar trojans, is to use an antivirus program from a well-known vendor, always keep your virus definition files up-to-date, and make sure your operating system’s security patches are current.
To remove Personal Antivirus:
- Turn off System Restore by right-clicking Computer and going to Properties, Disable System Restore
- Check Scheduled Tasks in the Control Panel for any strange-looking programs and delete them
- Check the Start menu for any strange programs and delete them
- Boot your PC into Safe Mode by restarting and pressing the F8 key a couple of times before the Windows® start-up screen appears
- Run your favorite anti spyware program. Some think the best anti spyware program is MalwareBytes
- Do a full scan and remove anything found by your anti spyware program
You may receive a pop-up when you visit a website infected with Personal Antivirus even if you have followed the best practices mentioned above. Do not be alarmed. This is merely the animated icon displaying on your computer. The malicious processes won’t be running. Don’t click on the pop-up! To stop it, open Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del), look under the Applications tab, highlight your browser session, and press End Task.