“Indestructible” rootkits, “fatal” trojans, “hellish” viruses – malware has always been a great topic for generating scary headlines.
There’s generally no need to worry, though. Almost whatever the threat, if you can just wait for a while then a free (and often simpler) solution will turn up.
The latest variant of the Popureb Trojan, for instance (Popureb.E), hides itself away in your Master Boot Record, and hooks a hard drive port driver in an attempt to protect itself from being overwritten. It’s so deeply buried that Microsoft initially recommended reinstalling Windows if you were infected, but a few days later they changed their advice to point out that a little work with the Recovery console could get your PC back to normal. Or alternatively, a free Webroot tool can detect and remove the threat for you in just a couple of clicks.
The rootkit can similarly conceal itself in your Master Boot Record. It’s able to infect both 32 and 64-bit systems, bypassing Microsoft’s PatchGuard protection scheme. Smart use of peer-to-peer communications means it can’t be taken out by closing down a server or two, and overall TDL4 is so effective that it’s reportedly managed to infect 4.5 million PCs worldwide.
Could this be you? Maybe – it is hard to detect – but, again, there’s an easy and free way to find out. BitDefender has just released a portable removal tool (in both 32 and 64-bit flavours) which will, at the click of a button, scan your system for TDSS/ TDL4 and remove any variants it finds.