Saturday, May 15, 2004

AIM Virus Removal

AIM virus removal instructions - how to remove viruses infecting your AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) Profile.

AIM Profile Virus

There are several types of AIM viruses spreading through AOL Instant Messenger Profiles. They usually display a website link with a message encouraging the reader to click on it.

If you have an AIM virus, you may see messages in your profile like:

"Whoa....look what I found, click here".
"I can't believe I found 'yourScreenName' Picture here".
"check this out:"
"Check this cam im gettin from bestbuy piC"

If you click on a link that points to one of these sites, your AIM client is forced to install an unwanted browser plugin. Once the plugin is installed, your AIM profile is overwritten with a link to the website and a message to click on it, and your browser’s home page is reset.

Download all our best tips in a free 5-page report:

Click here to download as a Zip file Online Security (62kb)

Click here to download as a PDF file Online Security PDF (66kb)

What these AIM viruses actually do

These viruses do some nasty stuff. Not all of these may apply to every computer infected, but generally they will do the following:

Download spyware and porn to your computer.
Change email already received to ads.
Turn your computer into a spam mail relay.
Download and install other viruses.
Damage networking components in your operating system.
Auto-update, and reinstall the removed portions of itself.
Constantly reset a browser’s homepage.
Constantly overwrite your IM profile with a link to the virus site.
Increase the frequency of pop-up ads.

Preventative Measures
The best way to prevent your computer from being infected by one of these viruses is simple. Do not click on website links in AOL user profiles or visit unknown websites.

Antivirus software usually won't prevent your computer from being infected by these types of viruses.

The only preventative measure that works is IM Secure by Zone Labs. It's a firewall for your IM client by the #1 personal firewall company. Click the link if you want to try it free for 30 days.

To avoid AIM virus infection, don't click on website links in instant messages, even those from your friends and family, or you may end up infected with an AIM virus.

Be wary. Send back a quick IM saying "tell me more". If it's a virus that went to their entire buddy list, you'll be giving them a heads up.

AIM Profile Virus Removal
Manual Removal Instructions:
Press the CTRL, ALT, and DEL keys at the same time to bring up the task manager.

Click on the processes tab (windows 2000/XP), and find 'b.exe', 'bbb.exe' or 'av.exe' and kill the process.

Go to C:Windows and delete 'b.exe' and 'bbb.exe' or 'av.exe' (or do a search for the virus: click Start > Search > look up each virus individually) Delete these files when you find them.

Click Start, then click on Run, type in "Msconfig" in the box and press ENTER.. When the box comes up, click on the "startup" tab and look for "b.exe", "bbb.exe" or "av.exe" listed (possibly listed under"antivirus") then uncheck the box to the left. (Windows 98/XP only)

Clear your profile (or make a new one) and restart.

When the msconfig box comes up after restart just check the box telling it not to come up again.

AIM Virus Removal - Automated

How to automatically remove an AOL Profile Virus

Run the RSA AOL Profile Fix Tool.

Open & run the fix tool.
Choose to open the file, NOT save.

If you are running Windows 95/98/ME, you need to be in Safe Mode.
Save the above file to a disk and run it from safe mode.

Edit Your AIM Profile
Change your profile back to what you want. Make sure you delete the link from your AIM profile or your friends will get infected!

Fix other AOL IM viruses
A bright young college student at Elon University by the name of Jay Loden is doing a great job of providing free tools to fix all the different IM viruses that keep popping up.

Besides the AIM profile virus, there are always variations:

AIM Osama virus
AIM Saddam virus
AIM Best Buy virus
AIM b1Ld0 virus
AIM virus of the week...

You can access Jay Loden's AIM virus fix information here: AIM Virus

Jay's AIM virus remover is here: AIM Virus Remover

Prevent AOL IM virus from returning

Install, Update, and Run SpyBot

Spybot Search & Destroy is a free software program that detects and removes spyware, adware, and malware from your PC.

Spybot is considered the defacto standard in protecting yourself from garbage being dumped onto your computer by hoaxes, scammers, and hackers.

You can read our full review here: Spybot

You can download it here: Spybot download

Once you've installed Spybot, be sure to update it, and then run it.

After you've cleaned all the garbage off your PC, then click the "Immunize" button to protect yourself from similar nonsense in the future.

Add more protection to your computer
Besides running spybot, you should follow our advice and put in place a multi-layered defense consisting of:

Spam filter
Antivirus software
Spyware blocker
Personal firewall

Each of these pages has tons of info on free tools to protect your computer.

If you don't have time to read those pages now, then download our free ebook. It's got all the best tips in a safe PDF format. All the free tools are hotlinked in the various sections.

Take care and save yourself some grief by being safe online. The world doesn't need any more AIM virus infections!

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home