4

There is a lot of Malware checking software which seems is just a virus. How can you check for sure that your Windows 8 computer is uninfected with virus and malware? Is malwarebytes enough, or should I just reformat the hardrive and reinstall the operating system?

I have been a victim of identity fraud. I need to find out the origin of this. Someone has applied for a credit card in my name, and I have just shut down everything. The bank says I have a virus on my machine, but I think they are trying to deny responsibility.

  • 1
    Honestly, I'd backup your documents, wipe your devices and reinstall the OS. Scan your backups thoroughly before restoring them. – thexacre Oct 31 '15 at 23:42
  • 1
    Assuming that you have malware on your computer, using the computer is a mistake. If you want to track the problem (which won't likely lead anywhere) be sure to do it from a copy of the disc or when booting your computer from another drive (a live CD/USB is a good choice). I recommend simply nuking from orbit. See How do you explain the necessity of “nuke it from orbit” to management and users?. – Neil Smithline Nov 1 '15 at 0:00
  • Make sure you wipe the boot sector. If you want, update the BIOS as well. – timuzhti Nov 1 '15 at 0:59
  • There are many quality anti-virus vendors available - why do you think they are all viruses? Was the bank sure that you had a virus, or were they suggesting it as a possible explanation? Your title asks about the browser, but your question talks about the whole machine. – schroeder Nov 1 '15 at 1:22
1

I believe when you talk about "malware checking software which seems is just a virus" you mean the pop-ups that appear on shady websites and that say "Your PC is infected/slow/malfunctioning, download this software to clean it!". This software is indeed malware (or, at its best, useless crap) and you should never download and run it.

Always rely on legitimate sources for antimalware, e.g.:

to name a few.

Since there's a high risk your computer is infected, you must stop using it immediately, wipe it out and perform a clean installation from a clean CD/DVD, as said in the comments.

0

Is malwarebytes enough, or should I just reformat the hardrive and reinstall the operating system?

Antivirus solutions can help in a lot of cases. But they don't know all malware either because malware is continuously evolving and antivirus is just trying to catch up. In any case you should not trust an antivirus running inside the OS too much, because if malware is active the OS cannot be trusted any more. thus you should it least run antivirus from a clean system (they often offer a bootable system).

Also, note that even after reinstalling the system you cannot be sure because in theory malware might hide inside the BIOS/UEFI firmware on the mainboard or more likely it still hides in files you have restored from a backup.

I have been a victim of identity fraud. I need to find out the origin of this. Someone has applied for a credit card in my name, ...

There are so much data leaks today from compromised web sites that it is hard to know where the data for identity fraud come from. But if the credit card was applied for during normal online-banking where only you should have access then chances are high that it was actually a malware on your computer which caused the problem.

0

Your browser can't be more secure than your OS so the first step would be to make sure than your OS is safe.

A good browser will try to protect you through sandboxing. It will sandbox itself from the OS and will also sandbox websites from each other thus preventing website A to steal information from website B.

Assuming your OS is fine it is a good idea to check if your browser is doing its job correctly. Plugins, extensions and other browser gimmicks can be security holes. Removing them is a good idea. If you can't live without a specific plugin make sure it is up to date.

Moreover there are a few online browser security tests. I don't know what they are worth but I guess they can provide you a good hint.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.