MS Antivirus 2008
Once your computer is infected with the program, it can be a chore to remove. MS Antivirus 2008 does actually show up in Add/Remove Programs, but if you try to remove it the program will just go into ‘upgrade now’ mode and try to make you buy something, then it nails you with a bunch of warnings about fake viruses that your machine doesn’t really have. It’s a total scam and I feel sorry for anyone who actually plunked down money on this junk software.
The machine that had MS Antivirus 2008 on it actually had Symantec Antivirus installed, but it didn’t catch it. I installed Windows Defender and ran the latest definitions on it, but Defender had trouble getting rid of it, too. This machine had some other malware that was also causing problems, and Defender was able to clear off some of them. Ultimately, I found a free utility via BleepingComputer.com that removed the program. Had Defender been previously installed, it most likely would have kept MS Antivirus 2008 from getting on the computer.
It’s difficult to explain just what to look for with programs like this. For one, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the kind of websites that offer this type of thing, but that is your personal business. You definitely shouldn’t be looking at such sites at work. The most important thing when you get a suspicious virus or spyware alert is to close that window, then open up your own virus or spyware scanner and run a system scan. If you don’t have a virus or spyware scanner, you should get one immediately. Getting on the internet without any protective software is like a driving a car with the seatbelt unbuckled.
The Internet is rife with scam artists, thieves, and other crooks who use a variety of means to truck people out of their money. Programs like MS Antivirus 2008 are tools of their trade, and the best way to prevent yourself from being infected is to know what to look for and have the right software to protect your PC.