Hi all. First timer here and thought maybe some of you might be able to help me out. I'm a bit disappointed so kindly disregard my tone, focus on the facts please.
Here is the situation:
- Everything was working fine (i have McAfee SecurityCenter and McAfee Security Scan Plus)
- In download a file (do not execute it)
- Everything sill works fine
- Couple of days later i scan the file, no red flags, so i execute it.
- Everything starts to go downhill: new homepages i've never heard about when i open a browser (yourtv.links, etc), custom google search hijacks, can't change homepage anymore, etc.
- I Scan the computer again, and according to McAfee everything is fine.
Those are the facts.
When I purchased McAfee products i did so with three objectives in mind:
1) Prevent things like the above
2) Detect things like the above once they've happened
3) Correct, amend, quarantine or minimize the damage those things can do.
To be frank, i feel like McAfee has failed me, in all three accounts.
In my naiveness i called their customer service and explained the situation thinking "maybe this is a new virus/malware/whatever and the update that fixes it is about to come out" or something along those lines. I understand there is a lag between the appearance of a virus/malware/etc and the solution, but a 2 minute google search told me what i had was not particularly new.
I was told by the tecnical assistance person, literally, to "talk to windows" and that they couldn't help me. I kid you not.
My question is, were my expectations in points 1), 2) and 3) unrealistic?
I am a bit disgruntled, granted, but i am not a troll. I just want to understand a bit more of what am i getting out of the products i purchased because they can't do what i thought they could.
When i pay for something, namely a service or a product, i see it as an exchange: i give you something and i get something in return.
If a security product cannot prevent, detect nor fix the security problems that i face, why should i purchase it?
I genuinely feel scammed, particularly after the conversation i had with their customer service. 30 minutes out of which 10 were waiting, 10 were explaining (again, as i've done per email before), and 10 were desperately trying to tell the McAfee employee that he was literally dodging all my questions.
I'm not a high risk user in any way. I keep my laptop clean, scan regularly, and avoid risky things. I am not asking for a state of the art, twentieth generation NATO counterintelligence approved antivirus. I sincerely believe i am not asking for that much. Am i wrong? Am i honestly asking too much from my (purchased) antivirus?
Any comments or suggestions are welcomed.
Thanks in advance.
PS: after this I've tried other products in a desperate attempt to fix my problems (Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, CCleaner, Adwcleaner, hitmanpro, rkill, among others). Nothing has worked so far. One time i thought it did but it was just a one off event. The next time i opened a browser the problem was back. And yes, I've tried different browsers.
PS II: if anything is wrong with this post or its presentation, kindly let me know what part of my post violates the code of conduct so i can amend accordingly. If i posted this in the wrong forum branch, apologies and kindly move it or tell me where to post. Thanks.
Moved this to Malware Discussion > Home User Assistance as the best spot for it.
Firstly, uninstall Security Scan Plus as it is not security software, it is an advertising tool only and arrives as an optional extra with such things as Adobe products and others.
It will be listed in Control Panel > Programs and Features.
So always monitor carefully when installing or updating anything that involves an Internet download.
That said it sounds very much like you may have caught some sort of browser hijacker which is easier than you think and often fools antivirus engines..
I recommend you run MalwareBytes Free see the link below for it and hints on how to keep it free.
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If you tried all those things read down to the bottom of the link I provided at the Hijackthis or Farbar areas.....depending on your operating system.
I suggest you follow that line of investigation as BleepingComputer Forums is absolutely first-rate at troubleshooting these things.
By the way any antivirus is not 100% guaranteed to protect against everything out there, especially nowadays.
Some malware is activated by something as simple as a mouse click, but once that trigger has been set you've given it carte-blanche to bypass your protection.
I will agree with Ex_Brit that Bleeping Computer is first rate in working through infections.
I have next to no experience with the consumer version of the McAfee product, but it is worth mentioning that there are "levels" of heuristic(pattern matching, suspicious behavior) detection that can be set within the enterprise product. I would imagine if you looked for the words Heuristic, or Artemis within the consumer product you will find some settings. If you crank that up to a higher value the McAfee scan engines can do a better job with some of these things. I would not expect it to be cranked all the way up by default due to potential for false positives, but it might help in your situation to get more value out of the product. Hopefully someone with specific product knowledge could drop in here and educate me on the consumer product.
In the scenario you described where you downloaded the file a couple days early. You always could upload that file to a place such a virustotal.com where it can be scanned by over 50 different AV vendors (including McAfee). You can also check out the webpage reputation where you got that file from using virustotal. Worth noting that virustotal is owned by google/alphabet now. McAfee has a threat intelligence location but is limited to just the McAfee product suite.
Good advice. Unfortunately the degree of protection can't be adjusted in the consumer product.
Basically it's either on or off with a few minor switches such as cover emails, yes/.no, that sort of thing.
That's why I recommend keeping something like MBAM Free at hand.
In the OP's case, it could just be that the accidental installation of the rather intrusive adware Security Scan Plus is the culprit.
We Mods have fought to have that suppressed but the marketing people insist on it unfortunately.
I await sisifo_'s answer in that regard.
Thank you for the information.
One other easy set it and forget it product you could install alongside AV to help (jumping on the MBAM bandwagon) would be MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit. There is a free auto updating version of this product. Back in the day it was known as exploit shield but then MB bought it and re-branded it. This will help protect you from specific browser based threats in the case it was a website visited. I install this alongside traditional AV for my mother and every once in a while it saves the day. Again nothing is 100% these days there is also a trial/paid version of that product but I have no experience with it.
Off topic - it cannot be cheap to get that bundled with the adobe reader/flash downloads and for it to be just adware is a shame, maybe if they let it be stinger or getsusp it would do some good.