It could be associated with an attempt to install a fake antivirus program on your system. It doesn't look like it's a serious issue, although if explorer.exe is affected when you try to remove it that implies there's something else active associated with it.
Download Malwarebytes and run it a couple of times in normal mode; that should find anything that's there. If you haven't got Microsoft's Windows Defender, it might be an idea to install that too - it guards against spyware, but most importantly watches your Windows settings like a hawk and lets you know if anything tries to change them.
After running McAfee custom scan, it seems I've removed the pop-ups. Also, that file - iwv.exe is gone. However, the weird behavior is now occuring. I can open some programs - excel, process explorer, but others I get the box that asks me to choose a program. I've been able to browse, and find some programs, but I'm unable to open Outlook - there are some switches on the shortcut, that I can't seem to figure out to get these to work. It's almost like a registry entry has been changed. Can anyone tell me what setting might have been affected? Will Malbytes, suggested by Hayton fix the registry? I still have the file iwv.exe in a zip that I was planning to send to McAfee. Do you think I should put it back?
So after another hour of reviewing MalBytes forums, and googling, I found an answer - http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-214653-my-computer-can-t-run-exe-files
From this article, there was a link for different .reg file to fix specific areas of the registry. I downloaded and ran the one that added back the default .exe settings, and everything is working now.
Which forum would be best to post some questios regarding how I can beef up my security (without, hopefully, bringing my computer to a screeching halt!). I have some very obvious questions surrounding this entire episode, that I'd love some direction or answers.
Thanks for trying. I may end up getting Malbytes, but I want some more information, first!
McAfee + Malwarebytes + Noscript and Adblock for Firefox.
So it was a File Association problem? I checked the link you posted to see what was there, and found the further link to dougknox.com - not a site I'm familiar with. Since the web page that came up was full of downloads I looked up the site on SiteAdvisor - 225 downloads, all apparently okay. It's good that what you downloaded worked for you - there were some people on kioskea.net/forum saying it apparently only works for XP - but the first rule of security is to mistrust any unknown download until you know exactly what it is and you're sure it's coming from a reputable source ...
If you have questions about security, feel free to ask them here. Conor's advice is a good start.
Yes, I was a little leary myself, but SiteAdvisor did indicate both websites were safe to use. The file does indicate it's only for XP which is what I have.
My questions are:
I have the following:
McAfee VirusScan (although its only the free access via ATT service I have - has limitations)
Everything was working well for so long, and then, this malware hit. I understand that McAfee and other virus scanners cannot be expected to keep up with all the new viruses, or replicants of old ones. It sounds like MalwareBytes might do a better job of keeping up. They state they use a different method of looking for these malware files. Is there another FREE virus scan software that is rated higher than McAfee? There are aspects of McAfee that I do not like - I don't seem to be able to schedule when it downloads, and this takes a lot of resources for my old computer. There are already options in Firefox for preventing scrips running and pop-up blocker. I have noticed that sometimes I do get pop-up blocker. Is there a problem with Firefox"s methods, so that's why these two are recommended? I assume they are plug-ins.
Right now, I'm just very leary about everything. I ask my computer to do a lot, and already have to watch resources, etc. I wish I could afford a new one, but that's not in the cards right now. any information would be greatly appreciated.