Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Remove Win32:Malware-gen, removal instructions

This page contains removal instructions for the Win32:Malware-gen infection. Please use this guide to remove this infection and any associated malware from your computer. If you have heard of the term 'Win32:Malware-gen' in relation to computers but are not quite certain what it is, what it means and how it can affect you, read on as we will explain what it is, how it attacks your PC or laptop, how you can protect yourself against being affected – and of course, what to do in the unfortunate event that you do contract the Win32:Malware-gen.

This particular infection very often means that your computer is infected with a Trojan horse. It might be any other type of malware because it's a generic detection but from my experience most of the time it indicates Trojan infection. Trojan horses are one of the nastiest forms of malware and can seriously threaten your computer’s security. The name comes from the Greek legend in which Greece won the Trojan War by hiding their warriors inside a huge, hollow wooden horse which they wheeled to the gates of the city of Troy, in order to ambush the unsuspecting city’s inhabitants. In computer terms, a Trojan horse is used to define a “malicious, security-breaking program that is disguised as something benign”. In simpler terms, if you download what you think is a music or movie file, and it is actually a Trojan in disguise you will have installed a program on your computer than can erase everything in your system, allow the author of the Trojan to access your computer and control it to attack other users. And perhaps most worryingly of all, it may collect all of your passwords, bank account details and credit card numbers, for instance if you contracted the Zbot malware.

So how does Win32:Malware-gen actually work and how does it infect your computer? Win32 Malware-gen is an executable program which means that when you open a file – the attachment in an email for example - it will perform one or more actions. Just as the Greeks fooled the city of Troy with their wooden Trojan horse, a computer based malware needs to somehow fool you to ensure that you execute it.

This malware will most likely be disguised as something that people want: perhaps a movie, TV series, music or a game. It can be downloaded from an archive on the internet, be obtained from a peer-to-peer file sharing website or simply from an email attachment. The nasty thing about Trojans and similar malware is that you don’t normally even know you’ve been infected and will probably only find out when your contacts complain to you that are trying to infect or attack them!

So how do you avoid falling victim to Win32 Malware gen? Firstly, make sure you have good quality and up to date antivirus software installed on your computer as this will scan all documents that you receive – even ones from senders that you know and trust. This is important as you never know if they have been unwittingly infected! Secondly never even open an email from an unknown source, let alone an attachment.

Even if the sender is a friend, you should still check what the file is before you open it. A lot of these infections spread via email contact lists or address books, so it’s always best to double check, firstly with your friend to see if they intended to send you a file and then to scan the file with your antivirus software. Many Trojans appear to come from a user as they impersonate the infected person once they have control of their computer, so double check. Better safe than sorry!

Lastly, no matter how tempting an executable email attachment might look – whether it’s purporting to be a trailer for the latest big Hollywood blockbuster, a hit song, or a must play game don’t be tempted to ‘just have a quick look’ as once you’ve clicked on it, if it’s infected, that Win32:Malware-gen will be already installed upon your computer and wreaking its damage.

The biggest question is probably whether you should repair your PC or laptop or reformat it. This can be a bit of a tricky decision because as tempting as it is to repair your computer without having to start from scratch and reinstall your system, even experts find it very hard to know whether the malware is completely removed and not still running, hidden, in the background.

On the plus side though the majority of the infections stem from the same few hundred currently-circulating Trojans so experts will be aware of them and able to remove them with the appropriate removal program. Be aware though that to reinstall your system or to clean your computer completely (or as completely as possible) can take anywhere from a couple of hours to several days.

Having said that it is probably best to try and repair your computer first as in most cases it is possible to completely remove Win32:Malware-gen. If the infection does keep returning, however, it is possible that it was not totally removed so you may want to think about deleting and reinstalling your system. If you think that your computer has been infected with Win32:Malware-gen, you should download recommend antimalware software and run full system scan. Very often users say that their antivirus found the infection but can't remove it, in such case please follow the removal instructions below. If you need help, leave a comment below. Good luck and be safe online!

Written by Michael Kaur,

Win32:Malware-gen removal instructions:

1. Download and run TDSSKiller. Press the button Start scan for the utility to start scanning.

2. Wait for the scan and disinfection process to be over. Then click Continue. Please reboot your computer after the disinfection is over.

3. Download recommended anti-malware software (direct download) and run a full system scan to remove the remnants of this virus from your computer.

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