Information Warfare
Eradicating Viruses

Unfortunately, you are reading this section, which probably means your computer has been attacked, and you need help recovering from a virus. In more serious cases, your system won't even boot up.

Fear not, There are a few methods we can use to get things back to normal. This process can take up to several hours, especially if you have never done this before, so prepare to give yourself enough dedicated, focused time to get this problem resolved.

Windows users:
(other OSs coming soon)

Easy method if you are able to get online: go to the Microsoft Security Essentials site and Download the file, and copy it to a USB Flash drive, install Microsoft Security Essentials, run it, and perform a full system scan. The scan itself can take up to several hours, so just leave it run uninterrupted. If all goes well, your system will recover. If not, proceed to...

Easy method if you are unable to get online: There is a new product called FixMeStick, basically a usb flash drive with three antivirus detection engines on it. Plug it in, boot from the USB flash drive, and eradicate the viruses. The easiest way comes at a price however, at this costs $60, and you have the added delay while it is shipped out to you.

More Intensive Method: You will need to create a rescue CD (or usb Flash drive), boot into safe mode, and eradicate the problem.

If your computer is disabled to the point where it can't boot, you will need to ask a friend to use their system to burn and create a rescue disc.

Items needed: 1 blank CD or 1 USB Flash Drive

Proceed and download a rescue disk package from one of the popular antivirus protection companies.

Favorites include: Avira AntiVir Rescue System, also Kapersky Rescue Disk 10
, however you can download any you choose.

Now insert the blank CD (or DVD) into your computer's optical drive, and double-click the antivirus rescue file you downloaded from your antivirus provider of choice above. This will install it for you.

(For those of you who don't have a CD, for example some laptops, an alternative is to download a rescue ISO, for example the ISO for Avira is here. Once you have that, you can use something like Unetbootin to make a bootable live usb flash drive.)

When you have created the CD/DVD or bootable live flash drive, use it on the virus infected system and power up.

Most computers let you boot from optical CD media or USB Flash drives. If yours isn't allowing you to boot from CD/USB, adjust the boot order setting in your BIOS to allow booting from these methods, and restart your computer again.

Once your disc has finished burning, insert it into the affected computer and press the power button. From here, it should allow you to boot into the recovery program. You will want to immediately start scanning for viruses, and let the software perform its routine.

After the scan is complete, it should repair any infected files. When that process is complete, remove the CD/USB Flash drive, and reboot your system. If everything went well, you will be able to boot into your computer normally. If so, use your normal anti-virus software to run another normal scan as usual routine maintenance, and see if it catches any other stray bits floating around on your system that shouldn't be there.

Once this crisis has passed, refer to our suggested PREVENTION methods to avoid future issues. As with any good computer maintenance routine, you will also want a reliable backup routine to make sure all your files maintain their integrity through a disaster.

Experts Only: Experts can find everything they need on the Hiren's BootCD that has everything an experienced computer technician would need to resolve most computer issues.