I have just run into a real nasty new version of a Rogue fake antivirus malware that in addition to screwing with a user’s machine, actually performs a malicious act by hiding all of the users files as well as public shared files on the users computer. I have gotten a few calls from people saying “Help, I lost my files”, or “all my files are gone”. This malicious new virus/malware makes it appear as if the user files have been deleted or wiped off the computer. The files are not lost or deleted though, they have just been hidden.
The Rogue antivirus is a class of malware that pretends to be a real antivirus or antimalware program or some cases I have seen recently a fake windows diagnostic program that says you have memory errors or hard disk errors. In reality these programs ARE the infection. The fake program usually gives you messages that your system is infected or has issues, and tries to get you to either buy a worthless program, or get you to give someone your credit card number. Don’t do either!
To the user, it appears as if all their files – documents, music, pictures, files on the desktop etc have simply disappeared. Don’t worry though, this is not the case. The virus/malware sets a hidden attribute on all the users folders and files and also does the same to public shared folders and files. This can be undone by selectively resetting or unhiding the folders and files that have been hidden **NOTE: Be careful doing this as not all hidden files and folders in your user profile are meant to be unhidden, some are hidden by default and should remain so. If you are unsure of what to do, contact a computer professional to help you.
At Pensacola Computers, we can help you if you are not sure how to do this yourself, and can even do it in a remote session – for help removing viruses and malware, and recovering lost or hidden files visit http://pensacolacomputers.com for contact information.