We had an interesting virus infection on a netboook last week and thought it would be good to share. This was a 2 hour fight with a click hijacking malware, that functioned even after it was deleted.
What is click hijacking?
How do you fix it?
Why would someone hijack my links, What do they get from it?
In this particular instance, each click redirected the search to another search provider with a list generated from the search terms. The new links page has a click return for every link clicked. So the Hijacker was making money for every link you clicked after the redirect happened. Other hijacks can take you to fake websites that try to get you to enter personal information so they can try to steal things like social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc.
How can I be safe?
Guard yourself online. Only make online purchases from reputable stores and dealers. One thing to look for when buying from an online store is the address bar, is the page that you put your credit card info into http://www.websitename.com or https://www.websitename.com? The https uses a secure connection and is safer than a http connection. Using payment methods like paypal also help reduce the risk of fraud and stolen credit card information.
Also, you need a good Antivirus software. We don't recommend bloated software like McKafee. For our paid antivirus, Kaspersky Antivirus or ESET antivirus are our top picks. For free services we like AVG free and Comodo antivirus and firewall, Comodo can be bit tedious and is not for the fainthearted. If you are using a netbook any of these will most likely render it unusable. For netbooks we suggest Panda Cloud Antivirus because it is lightweight.
Also be wary of anything that offers to improve your search results or add a toolbar. Most of these are less than helpful. Using Mywebsearchbar over google is certainly not going to help your results. Use the providers you can trust like google, ask, yahoo, and bing.
Also be careful of any that prompts you to install special "codecs". If it won't play back with flash or media player you might want to find another place to watch it. If you download a file you are not sure about scan it before you open it. If you have an antivirus installed you can usually right click a file and choose "Scan with [your antivirus program name]" to scan the file before you run it.
Have more suggestions or virus war stories? Leave them for us below.