Remediating Infected Systems

Remediating Infected Systems

When a malware protection program detects that a computer is infected, it removes or quarantines the threat. However, the computer is most likely still at risk.

Remediating Infected Systems

When malware is discovered on a home computer, you should update your anti-malware software and perform full scans of all your media. Many anti-malware programs can be set to run on system start before loading Windows. This allows the program to access all areas of the disk without being affected by the operating system or any malware.

When malware is discovered on a business computer, you should remove the computer from the network to prevent other computers from becoming infected. Unplug all network cables from the computer and disable all wireless connections. Next, follow the incident response policy that is in place. This may include notifying IT personnel, saving log files to removable media, or turning off the computer.

Removing malware may require that the computer be rebooted into Safe Mode. This prevents most drivers from loading. Some malware may require that a special tool from the anti-malware vendor be used. Be sure that you download these tools from a legitimate site.

For really stubborn malware, it may be necessary to contact a specialist to ensure that the computer has been completely cleaned. Otherwise, the computer may need to be reformatted, the operating system reinstalled, and recover your data from the most recent backups.

The OS system restore service may include infected files in a restore point. Therefore, once a computer has been cleaned of any malware, the system restore files should be deleted, as shown in the figure.

After remediation, you may need to fix some issues caused by viruses, it may be necessary to boot the computer using the Windows product disk and then use the Windows Recovery Console, which replaces the recovery console from Windows 2000, to run commands from a “clean” command environment. The Recovery Console can perform functions such as repairing the boot file and writing a new master boot record or volume boot record.

The image shows the System Protection for System (C:) window, which can be used to configure restore settings, manage disk space and delete restore points. It is located the control panel system utility program by clicking the Configure button in the System Protection tab.