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SoftwareMedia Blog | April 17, 2014

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There's Money To Be Made From The Zero Access Trojan

There’s Money To Be Made From The Zero Access Trojan

The Zero Access Trojan virus has circulated the news quite a bit lately. There’s money to be made, so I’m not sure malware creators will stop implanting it any time soon. However, something still needs to be done about this.

What Is Zero Access?

It’s a very tricky virus that creates hidden files and folders without a computer user even knowing it happens. In the process, malware gets planted on the PC when a person using the Internet clicks on a download link or pay per click ad.

Spotting this Trojan Horse may be a challenge. It might help to know it creates a “_max++” object in a folder labeled Zero Access, but it might require advanced PC scanning to know for sure if it exists on a computer.

Distribution Of Zero Access

Distribution of Zero Access occurs in several ways. One of the most common ways of sending this malware content to a computer is by way of a compromised website. Scammers either set up their own malicious sites or hack already-established, legitimate ones. Either way, they host the Trojan.Zeroaccess and they send it to people via the Blackhold Exploit Toolkit or the Bleeding Life Toolkit.

You might have heard this process nicknamed “drive-by download.” That describes this malware very well. It happens so quickly—just like a drive-by shooting on the street. A person browsing the Internet clicks on a PPC ad, text link or download button and suddenly they get an unwelcome surprise.

Profit Generation From Zero Access

One common reason for spreading the ZeroAccess Trojan to people’s computers is for profit. This comes usually by way of stealing the person’s identity, and it also comes with seemingly legitimate web browser tracking.

Usually this malicious software causes ad clicking after a user searches the Internet. This leads to click fraud, and could also result in further deception. For instance, criminals committing fraud against other people might try to show them some bogus viral threats.

Then, computer users commit to purchasing a fake virus scanner that uses malicious software to alert people of virus threats they supposedly have. However, people need to be careful. If alerts appear that don’t come from software they normally use, they should never click on them. Instead, they should immediately delete all files associated with these sudden pop-ups from their computers.

However, PC users may require knowledge of how to remove the infected files. Sometimes they don’t show up in the list of programs or in the documents folders.

(Check out the Top 5 Best Antivirus for 2014).

The Quest For Protection Against Zero Access

Removal will require updated malware protection. Of course, anyone who wants to scan website, e-mail, and download links will have to learn how to tell the difference between a real and imitation virus scanning program. Otherwise, the so-called virus protection could cause worse problems for anyone else who uses the infected computer.

On the other hand, something has to be done and eventually PC users have to take a chance. However, they need to study malware protection programs carefully before download. Any of the ones having a positive reputation for safety and effectiveness would work the best.

By Erin Walsh

Guest Author: Erin Walsh is the Public Relations Director for Boost Software. Her blog at PC Health Boost is designed to empower the everyday computer user to prevent computer problems and provide computer solutions that they can understand. She believes that in this day and age that everyone should know basic computer maintenance in order to protect themselves from potential security problems.

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