There are a number of online utilities that can help detect, isolate, and remove viruses and worms from your computer. Top Internet security software companies such as Kaspersky, McAfee, and BitDefender offer worm and virus removal tools as a part of their virus protection software. Unfortunately, these utilities will cost a pretty penny, and many must be updated yearly. And yes, yearly updates cost as well.
A number of other virus and worm utilities exist (for free), but they usually do not offer as much protection as the software produced by the companies listed above. However, Microsoft offers several downloadable tools that can help remove malicious software. If you are running Windows, and you are looking for free software removal tools, you should stick with Microsoft software downloads.
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Microsoft offers a “Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool” free of charge for its Windows operating system. The great thing about this free worm virus removal tool is that it updates once a month and reports if a worm virus or other malicious software is found.
The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool checks Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 computers for and helps remove infections by specific, prevalent malicious software including Blaster Worm, Sasser, and Mydoom. When the detection and removal process is complete, the tool displays a report describing the outcome, including which, if any, malicious software was detected and removed. The tool creates a log file named mrt.log in the %WINDIR%\debug folder. Version 1.30 adds Win32/Allaple to the list of malicious software this tool detects.
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About Worms and Computer Viruses
Computer viruses and worms are malicious software programs that can cause your computer to run slow, make it vulnerable to other worms and viruses, or they can complete disable your system. Unlike a Trojan Horse, which is a malicious software program that cannot reproduce or self-replicate, a worm virus has the ability to multiply at a rapid pace. A worm or virus can spread from computer to computer, travel across networks, copy address books and send itself out to everyone in it. A worm or virus can even freeze or disable entire servers.
Some of the most sophisticated worms and viruses can actually tunnel into your computer and give users remote access to your computer. One of the most notorious worms of them all is the Blaster Worm. The Blaster Worm, created in part by an 18-year-old kid from Minnesota back in 2003, spread on computers running Windows XP and Windows 2000. This worm virus was also called “Lovsan” and “Lovesan.” Some of the latest worm viruses include the Koobface Worm (infected users of social networking sites like Facebook), Conficker Worm (infects any computer user), and Neeris Virus (infiltrated the office of the U.S. Marshals).
A Trojan Horse may sound less severe than a worm virus, but it can still cause damage to your computer. A Trojan or “Trojan Horse” will present itself as a helpful program, but once you install it on your computer, it will cripple your system almost immediately. A Trojan Horse may appear in the form of a file or software program that has been sent from a legitimate source. The Trojan Horse will install and a number of things can happen.
Some Trojans will simply rearrange your desktop or add annoying icons to your desktop and others will delete files. Some of the more advanced Trojans can open the door to predators looking to steal your identity. These types of Trojans can give users unlimited access to your system. Trojans do not reproduce or replicate. Worms and viruses, on the other hand, can reproduce, self-replicate and infect other files.