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Types of Malware Attacks & How to Battle Them

Afraid of the growing threats online? As you should be. But we’re here to show you what kinds of malware are out there and what you can do to keep them at bay.

Malware definition

Malware comes from the term malicious software. It’s software designed to attack and exploit devices and networks to the advantage of the hacker who made it.

Malware can be transmitted in different ways. Most commonly this happens via infected USB drives, downloadable files or malicious websites. Depending on the type and ultimate goal, the consequences of a malware attack can range from negligible to catastrophic.

Credit Ed Hardie on Unsplash

What kinds of malware are there?

1. Virus

A virus is typically spread via infected files, websites or links. It’s one of the oldest malware types and one of the most difficult to get rid of. That’s because, once activated, it replicates itself - hence the name. 

It can perform different kinds of attacks, depending on what the creator wants to achieve. The main characteristic of a virus is that it really doesn’t show itself until you activate the host. So that’s a scary thought for sure.

2. Adware

Sometimes an ad blocker isn’t enough to fight off unwanted ads. And some of them can, unfortunately, be malicious. They may redirect you to infected sites or prompt downloads of risky files. Even just opening a malicious site can lead to data theft.

So, definitely be careful when clicking around. Even if an ad seems completely legitimate, you can never be too sure.

3. Ransomware

Through ransomware, cybercriminals gain access to a user’s data and use it to extort them for money. Basically, the user is threatened with data deletion or even exposure if a ransom isn’t paid by a specific deadline.

This is a particularly nerve-wracking type of malware. If it targets an individual, it preys upon their sense of anxiety, fear, guilt and even shame. If it targets a business (which is a lot more common), it preys upon not only that business’s profit but also every single one of their customers and their data.

4. Trojans

This type of malware disguises itself very well as a legitimate-looking program. Once you download it, hackers can get full access and control of your device, data and network. They can even be hidden in games, apps and attachments. They cannot self-replicate, though, so we guess that’s… good news?

5. Worms

Worms can replicate, just like viruses, but you don’t need to actually activate the infected program for them to get going. They can be used for various purposes, ranging from data deletion to file encryption to support a ransomware attack.

Credit Growtika on Unsplash

6. Spyware

Spyware refers to malicious software that stays hidden on your computer and monitors your activity. The best-known type is keyloggers. This can be used to steal sensitive data like passwords and banking information.

7. Rootkits

Rootkits are among the most dangerous types of malware. They allow administrative access and full control of a device, which lets hackers continue hijacking all your data and monitoring your activity without your knowledge.

8. Botnets

Botnets are networks made up of bots - computers that cybercriminals have infected with malicious software. Bots and botnets give hackers remote access to users’ devices and allow them to spy on your camera, take screenshots, memorize passwords and launch Distributed Denial of Service attacks. This one truly makes your hair stand on end.

What can you do about it?

You know the old adage - better safe than sorry. And trust us, malware attacks are such a pain in the you-know-what that you really don’t want to be sorry.

Luckily, there are simple solutions that can shield you from most digital threats these days. What you want to be looking at is a solid antivirus program. Well, technically, you need an antimalware program, but since the latter evolved from the former, we still mostly refer to them as antivirus software.
The majority of antimalware programs these days don’t just shield you from potential risks online, but include additional features as well. For example, some Bitdefender antivirus packages also include parental control and a VPN. And Bitdefender is not just for PCs either - it offers protection for your beloved iPhone or Android as well. You can throw in a password manager in there too, for an additional layer of security.

Credit Dan Nelson on Unsplash

If you aren’t too concerned about all these various threats or feel like you don’t need extra security, you can at least take a step to protect your information from being exposed to lurking cybercriminals as you’re browsing. This can be done through a good VPN like Surfshark, which hides your identity in the digital space and prevents your data from being tracked.

Choosing the right protective software is especially important if you have children with access to the Internet, since they’re unfortunately even more vulnerable to malicious attacks. If you aren’t sure what the right kind of antimalware program is right for you, you can reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help keep your entire household or office digitally secure.

The bottom line

The truth is that there’s no way to be 100% protected in the online world. Hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to infiltrate our devices. But malware-battling software evolves along with them and there’s still plenty you can do to keep risks away. Stay safe!

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Remove PriceGong from your Windows PC

PriceGong is a browser add-in for Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox that analyzes web sites your browser visits and attempts to find coupons and other deals associated with the merchant’s product offerings or services. If PriceGoing sees a corresponding deal, it will attempt to inject an affiliate ‘code’ in order to collect various affiliate based commissions if a purchase is made while trying to offer you the best price of that particular product, or, in many cases try and show you an alternative product that is similar even if it is sold by a different merchant. Upon further inspection it was found that PriceGong failed to function in our testing.

While installed, this extension might display additional ads, inject sponsored content into webpages, even if the sponsored content is of lower quality than the original ones.

About Browser Hijackers

Browser hijackers (sometimes known as hijackware) are a kind of malicious software that alters web browser settings without the computer owner’s knowledge or consent. These types of hijacks are increasing at an alarming rate around the globe, and it could be really nefarious and often dangerous too. They’re created to disrupt browser programs for various purposes. In most cases, hijackers are designed for the benefit of online hackers usually through income generation from forced advert mouse clicks and site visits. Though it might seem naive, all browser hijackers are damaging and thus always regarded as security risks. In a much worst case, your browser could be hi-jacked to download malware that will do a great deal of damage to your computer or laptop. Major symptoms that an internet browser has been hijacked Signs that an internet browser is hijacked include: 1. home page is changed 2. bookmark and the new tab are also modified 3. the essential web browser settings are modified and unwanted or insecure sites are put into the trusted websites list 4. discover new toolbars that you didn’t add 5. never-ending pop-up ads appear and/or your web browser popup blocker is disabled 6. your web browser has become unstable or starts running sluggishly 7. you’re disallowed access to specific web pages, for example, the website of an antivirus software manufacturer like SafeBytes.

Precisely how browser hijacker infects computers

A browser hijacker can be installed on your computer if you visit an infected website, click an email attachment, or download something from a file-sharing site. They are usually included with toolbars, add-ons, BHO, plug-ins or browser extensions. Other times you may have accidentally accepted a browser hijacker as part of a software program bundle (usually freeware or shareware). An example of some well-known browser hijacker includes Anyprotect, Conduit, Babylon, SweetPage, DefaultTab, RocketTab, and Delta Search, but the names are regularly changing. The existence of any browser hijacker on your computer can substantially diminish the web browsing experience, record your internet activities that result in troublesome privacy issues, create system stability problems and finally cause your computer to slow down or to a practically unusable state.

Browser Hijacker Malware – Removal

Some hijackers can be removed by uninstalling the freeware they were included with or by removing any extension you have recently added to your system. However, most browser hijackers are hard to get rid of manually. No matter how much you try to eliminate it, it might come back over and over. You should think about performing manual repairs only if you are a tech-savvy individual, as there are potential risks associated with messing around with the system registry and HOSTS file. Installing and running antivirus application on the affected computer could automatically erase browser hijackers and other malicious programs. SafeBytes Anti-Malware discovers all kinds of hijackers – including PriceGong – and eliminates every trace quickly and efficiently. Use a system optimizer along with your antivirus software to solve various computer registry issues, remove system vulnerabilities, and improve your computer's overall performance.

Tips on How to Remove Malware that is Blocking Websites or Preventing Downloads

Practically all malware is bad, but certain kinds of malware do much more damage to your PC than others. Some malware variants alter browser settings by including a proxy server or modify the PC’s DNS configuration settings. In these cases, you’ll be unable to visit some or all of the websites, and therefore unable to download or install the required security software to eliminate the infection. If you are reading this now, you may have perhaps recognized that a virus infection is the real cause of your blocked web traffic. So how to proceed if you want to install an anti-malware application like Safebytes? There are a few fixes you can attempt to get around with this particular issue.

Use Safe Mode to resolve the problem

Safe Mode is actually a unique, simplified version of Windows where just bare minimum services are loaded to counteract viruses as well as other troublesome programs from loading. In case the malware is set to load automatically when computer boots, switching into this particular mode could prevent it from doing so. To boot into Safe Mode, hit “F8” key on the keyboard right before Windows boot screen shows up; Or after normal Windows boot up, run MSCONFIG, look over “Safe Boot” under Boot tab, and click Apply. Once you’re in Safe Mode, you can attempt to download and install your antivirus program without the hindrance of the virus. At this point, you could run the antivirus scan to eliminate viruses and malware without any hindrance from another malicious application.

Download the anti-malware program in an alternate web browser

Malicious program code may exploit vulnerabilities in a specific internet browser and block access to all anti-malware software websites. If you appear to have a virus attached to Internet Explorer, then switch to an alternate web browser with built-in security features, such as Firefox or Chrome, to download your favorite anti-malware program – Safebytes. Create a bootable USB antivirus drive Another option is to save and operate an anti-malware software program entirely from a Flash drive. Follow these steps to use a flash drive to clean your infected PC. 1) On a virus-free computer, install Safebytes Anti-Malware. 2) Plug in the USB drive to a USB port on the uninfected computer. 3) Double-click on the downloaded file to open the installation wizard. 4) Choose the flash drive as the location for saving the software file. Follow activation instructions. 5) Transfer the flash drive from the clean computer to the infected PC. 6) Double-click the anti-malware software EXE file on the pen drive. 7) Run Full System Scan to detect and clean-up up all sorts of malware.

SafeBytes Anti-Malware: Light-weight Malware Protection for Windows Computer

If you’re looking to buy anti-malware for your laptop or computer, there are lots of brands and packages for you to consider. A few of them do a great job in eliminating threats while some will harm your computer by themselves. You should select a company that builds industry-best anti-malware and has earned a reputation as trustworthy. On the list of highly recommended application by industry analysts is SafeBytes Anti-Malware, a popular security application for Microsoft Windows. SafeBytes antimalware is a very effective and easy to use protection tool which is ideal for users of all levels of IT literacy. This software could easily detect, eliminate, and protect your computer from the most advanced malware intrusions such as spyware, adware, trojan horses, ransomware, PUPs, worms, parasites as well as other potentially harmful software applications.

SafeBytes possesses a plethora of wonderful features that can help you protect your computer from malware attack and damage. Let’s check out some of them below:

Robust, Anti-malware Protection: Using a critically acclaimed malware engine, SafeBytes provides multilayered protection which is designed to find and remove threats which are hidden deep inside your computer’s operating system. Real-time Threat Response: SafeBytes provides a totally hands-free live protection that is set to observe, block, and remove all threats at its very first encounter. It will constantly monitor your laptop or computer for hacker activity and also provides users with advanced firewall protection. Web Filtering: SafeBytes inspects the hyperlinks present on a webpage for possible threats and notifies you if the website is safe to browse or not, through its unique safety ranking system. Fast Scan: Safebytes Anti-Malware, with its enhanced scanning engine, offers ultra-fast scanning which will immediately target any active on-line threat. Lightweight: SafeBytes is a light-weight and user friendly anti-virus and antimalware solution. Since it utilizes very little computer resources, this application leaves the computer’s power exactly where it belongs: with you. 24/7 Guidance: Support service is readily available for 24 x 7 x 365 days through chat and email to answer your queries. SafeBytes can keep your PC protected from most advanced malware threats automatically, thus keeping your internet experience secure and safe. You can rest assured that your computer will be protected in real-time as soon as you put this software to use. So if you are looking for the best anti-malware subscription for your Windows-based PC, we highly recommend SafeBytes Anti-Malware program.

Technical Details and Manual Removal (Advanced Users)

To eliminate PriceGong manually, navigate to the Add/Remove programs list in the Control Panel and choose the offending program you want to remove. For web browser extensions, go to your web browser’s Addon/Extension manager and choose the add-on you want to disable or remove. You might even want to reset your home page and search engine providers, and also clear your web browser cache and cookies. Finally, check your hard disk for all of the following and clean your registry manually to remove leftover application entries following uninstalls. However, editing the Windows registry is actually a complicated job that only advanced computer users and professionals should attempt to fix the problem. In addition to that, certain malware is capable of replicating or preventing deletion. You’re advised to do this procedure in Windows Safe Mode.
Folders: C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data Files: C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\a.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\b.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\c.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\d.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\e.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\f.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\g.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\h.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\i.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\J.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\k.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\l.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\m.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\mru.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\n.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\o.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\p.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\q.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\r.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\s.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\t.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\u.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\v.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\w.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\x.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\y.xml C:\Documents and Settings\Lynn\Application Data\PriceGong\Data\z.xml Registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PriceGong
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Check Volume Shadow Copy & Software Protection Services

To restart the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) on Windows 10, do the following:
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Create System Image using PowerShell

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Option 1 – Try to run the Hardware & USB troubleshooter

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Note: You could also try to run the USB troubleshooter as it could also resolve the problem.

Option 2 – Try to use a USB hub

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Option 3 – Update, rollback or reinstall the Universal Serial Bus Controller driver

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Note: If it is a regular USB drive, then it will be listed as a USB Mass Storage Device but if you have a USB 3.0 device, then look for a USB 3.0 Extensible Host Controller.
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Note: If updating the USB Controller drivers didn’t work, you can try to reinstall them instead.

Option 4 – Try running OEM Diagnostics if you have any

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“We couldn’t install Windows 10 We’ve set your PC back to the way it was before you started installing Windows 10 0x8007002C-0x4001E, The installation failed in the SECOND_BOOT phase with an error during PRE_OOBE operation.”
To resolve the 0x8007002C-0x4001E, The installation failed in the SECOND_BOOT phase error, here are some suggestions that might help.

Option 1 – Try flushing the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders

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  • Open the WinX Menu.
  • From there, open Command Prompt as admin.
  • Then type in the following command – don’t forget to hit Enter right after typing each one of them.
net stop wuauserv net start cryptSvc net start bits net start msiserver
  • After entering these commands, it will stop the Windows Update Service, Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), Cryptographic, and the MSI Installer
  • Next, go to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and get rid of all the folders and files thereby tapping the Ctrl + A keys to select them all and then click on Delete. Note that if the files are in use, you won’t be able to delete them.
After flushing the SoftwareDistribution folder, you need to reset the Catroot2 folder to restart the services you just stopped. To do that, follow these steps:
  • Type each one of the following commands.
net start wuauserv net start cryptSvc net start bits net start msiserver
  • After that, exit Command Prompt and restart your computer, and then try to run Windows Update once more.

Option 2 – Select the Keep your files option

You can also select the option to perform an in-place upgrade and opt for the “Keep my files” option during an installation as it might make the process a lot smoother and if you need to perform a clean install, you can do so once the setup is completed.

Option 3 – Try to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Running the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter could also help you resolve the 0x8007002C-0x4001E, The installation failed in the SECOND_BOOT phase error. To run it, go to Settings and then select Troubleshoot from the options. From there, click on Windows Update and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button.

Option 4 – Try to run Microsoft’s online troubleshooter

Aside from the Windows Update Troubleshooter, you can also run the online troubleshooter of Microsoft as it can help you with Windows 10 upgrade errors.

Option 5 – Perform a clean install

If none of the options worked, you can try to clean install Windows 10. Just make sure that you have the ISO from the official Microsoft Website and then a bootable USB drive to install Windows 10 again. Take note that this will delete all the data from your drive where Windows 10 was installed previously.
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Software review series: Visual studio code
Visual Studio codeVisual studio code is a code editor available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is a completely free tool offering you to code in any language without the need to switch to another editor. Visual Studio Code is part of Microsoft Visual Studio which is a complete integrated development environment (IDE). Take notice that Visual studio itself has more advanced tools for developing and testing, it has 24/7 support, training, and Azure for WEB apps. Visual Studio Code is an editor lacking in some advanced features Visual Studio offers.

Visual Studio code Price and royalty

As mentioned Visual Studio code is completely free licensed under the MIT license agreement giving you the tool free to use and sell your product. How it supports Linux, Windows, and macOS, all you need it to go to its official page https://code.visualstudio.com/, download it and start using it. How this is free project backside is that there is no official support, you will have to rely on various articles and community in order to get needed information or problem solution.

Features

Syntax highlighting has become standard and norm for any editor but besides this function VS code offers us also IntelliSense option which goes a step further with code completion, code hinting, and parameter info. This means that VS code is aware of many things going on inside your code and will offer you as you type a menu with options for autocomplete along with variables referenced, function names, etc. VS code offers extensions inside its extensions marketplace where you can add extensions in order to implement new languages, add debuggers, change the layout, etc. This is one of the great features it allows you to easily switch from one project to another, one language to another not leaving your code editor. Working with version control systems like Git is easy with VS Code. You’ll be able to stage files and make commits, then push and pull changes to your remote code repository of choice, right from the editor.

Conclusion about Visual Studio code

Visual Studio Code is one of if not the most flexible and extensible code editors currently on the market that I have ever tried and used. IT has become my code editor of choice simply for reasons that there is really not much it cannot do and it is constantly updated and taken care of. You can really tune it to look and feels how you want with extensions and you really cannot beat the free price tag. I would highly recommend this editor for daily use especially since its biggest competitors like Atom and sublime text have not seen many updates lately.
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