Virut Virus Captured
I had a terrible experience with a piece of Malware called Virut (also known a Sality) at my place of work.
Virut is a patching virus. It infects ALL of your programs on your computer.
Anything that uses an *.EXE (Most everyday Programs), *.SCR (Screen Saver) or even a DLL to run is patched by this virus.
It inserts itself into the code and has the potential to open up IRC (Internet Relay Channels) channels to download further infections.
It also updates itself to the latest version of the virus sends your information to the hacker and uploads data stored on your computer, so the hacker has possession of it.
The executables it infects, such as those needed to load Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word etc., become unstable, work very slowly or even fail to work properly at all.
This was a big deal for my place of work. There are a lot of sensitive information accessed from and stored on computers that would be catastrophic if they got into the wrong hands.
We don't know how the infection got into our systems. We suspect it come from an outside source such as a USB Pen.
We were fortunate our Firewalls and Anti-Malware solution were robust enough to block the information being sent over the IRC channels, and to capture and quarantine the infection.
When I think about the damage that could have been done to my Companies reputation, in addition to all the system downtime we experienced, we could have ceased trading. Scary!!
Thank you, James, for taking the time to write about what must have been very concerning times for your Company.
The Virut Family of viruses are very nasty, and had Companies in a panic when it first appeared a few years ago.
Damage can still be done by this virus as it is still present on the internet. Thankfully, most anti virus programs are aware of it, will take care of it if it gets onto your computer.
At the time of its appearance, everyone was disconnecting their computers from their networks and reformatting their hard drives.
This is an extreme course of action now. If you suspect you have this virus from the symptoms James outlined above, and your anti-virus programs fails to detect it, there are several options out there to help remove it.
Look on YouTube. There are several videos from computer experts that talk you through the removal process.
Also, anti-virus Companies such as AVG have released Virut Removal Tools (Opens New Window) to help you get rid of this nasty bug.
It still surprises me that even in today's increasing sophisticated world of integrated web-based devices, and the evolution of malware, some companies still store sensitive information on local computers.
A lot of disk space is left unused because hard drives in even the cheapest of computers is large.
However, data must be stored on an enhanced secure Server that only allows the right people with the right levels of access to read, create and change the data that exists.
I hope your Company, James, have made the right decision here in light of their scare.
It often takes something like this for Senior Managers to take notice of what technicians have been saying for years.
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