You have the latest and most up-to-date antivirus software. You have run a full system scan and everything shows “green” with no issues found. Everything seems to work perfectly, except that your web browser keeps redirecting you to the casino websites regardless of what you type into Google. What the hell is going on?
It sounds like you need a second-opinion malware scanner to take a look at your system and see if your primary antivirus or anti-malware scanner may have let something slip onto your system undetected.
A second opinion scanner is just what it sounds like, a secondary malware detection and removal program that acts as a second line of defense for your computer in case the main scanner fails to detect an active malware infection
Most people think that a single scanner that has the latest virus/malware definitions will protect their system from harm, unfortunately this is not always the case. Virus and malware developers deliberately code their malware to evade detection by many of the major antivirus/malware on the market. The bad guys use encryption, stealth techniques, and all forms of black art coding to hide their payloads, which are typically malicious software packages designed to enslave your computer while the developers and their malware affiliates make money.
How a second opinion scanner detects hidden problems
There are several factors that affect malware detection. Different malware scanners may use different scanning methods. One may specialize in rootkit detection, while another may only be looking for specific virus signatures.
There are many varieties of second opinion scanners available today, but you need to be very careful when selecting one because some malware developers produce fake antivirus products or Scareware that actually introduce malware to your system instead of removing it. Many of them have very clever sounding names and can have very convincing websites that appear to be legitimate. You should Google any scanner you are thinking of using to make sure it is legit and not a scam.
Here is a list of some of the most reputable, legitimate and effective second opinion scanners on the market:
- Malwarebytes (Windows) – One of the most recommended second opinion scanners on the market. It is updated very frequently and has the ability to detect many forms of malware that traditional virus scanners miss. There is a free version available, as well as a paid version that offers real-time protection.
- HitMan Pro (Windows) – HitMan Pro takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. You can scan a computer for many forms of malware in a very short time. It also has a free version available.
- Kaspersky TDS Killer Anti-rootkit Utility (Windows) – The TDS Killer scanner is a great tool of last resort. If you think you have a rootkit on your system that has been missed by all other tools, TDS Killer is often your last best hope of eradicating the rootkit. It is a free tool that targets the TDL variety of rootkits that are very sophisticated and extremely difficult to detect and remove.
Even if the second sentiment analyzer you installed doesn’t discover the malware you trust is still lurking on your system, all hope is not lost. There is an excellent website called Bleeping Computer that has a team of volunteer experts who will guide you through the process of finding and removing just about any form of malware out there today. They have a diagnostic process that requires some effort on your part, but they are there to help you every step of the way.