Never Mind Mice At Home, What About Botnets?

If you have ever had mice in your home, it's not cute on any level. They don't leave neat little archway holes in your baseboards and they don't just steal crumbs of cheese that are lying around. Computer malware is like that - it's not cute either, and it can do a lot more that just slow down your computer or barrage you with pop-ups. A survey by security provider Kindsight shows 1 in 8 home networks in North America in 2012 have at least one computer infected with malware, and one in 14 has a trojan or botnet component in the home. This unfortunately includes networks with Mac computers (although those infections are much less frequent).


The top two infections were the Zero Access click-fraud botnet and the TDSS botnet. A "botnet" is a robot network of computers connected is the Internet that can be used for (in this case) nefarious purposes. The click-fraud idea is to control many thousands of infected computers to simulate "clicks" on advertisements on sites hosted by the Bad Guys, thus bringing them money from advertisers - often a lot of money. It also uses up your Internet bandwidth.

TDSS is another kind of "root kit" trojan; root kits are typically hard to detect with a "normal" virus  scanner, and are usually very difficult to remove successfully, because of the tricks they use to hide themselves. Sometimes, a reload of the infected system may be the best course of action - which is pretty drastic. Kaspersky TDSS Killer utility should be helpful finding and removing both of these:

Removing Zero Access

Removing TDSS

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