Malware – Spyware or Adware

Malware (Virus) is malicious software installed, without consent, designed to do damage or disable your computer or computer systems. Malware can refer to viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits and keyloggers. Spyware is malicious software used to gather data from your device/system to take control of its features. Signs of spyware can include slowed systems, new or unidentified icons, toolbar changes and camera activation. Adware is software used to display advertisements and redirect your online search requests to advertising websites that collect marketing data about you. 

Report


The more national reporting data that’s collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Reporting a fraudulent incident will also assure that you have accurate documentation in order to aid in your recovery. Please consider reporting your incident or chat with an online support specialist at the FTC Complaint Assistant. The FTC will create a report number and a copy of the report for your records. 

The FTC cannot resolve individual complaints, but they can provide information about what next steps to take. How much information you give them is up to you. They will share your report with local, state, federal, and foreign law enforcement partners. Your report might be used to investigate cases or in a legal proceeding. Please read their Privacy Policy to learn how they protect your personal information, and when they share it outside the FTC. 

The more national reporting data that’s collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Reporting a fraudulent incident will also assure that you have accurate documentation in order to aid in your recovery. Please consider reporting your incident to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).  

Once processed, complaints filed via their website may be referred to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for possible investigation. Any investigation opened on any complaint is initiated at the discretion of the law enforcement and/or regulatory agency receiving the complaint information. Reporting the incident at IC3 will not result in a call back for assistance.

The FAQs about reporting can be found here. Please read the FBI/IC3 privacy policy here.


Recover


 

The following resources have been gathered and vetted in order to better serve you. These resources have been chosen to help simplify the process of recovery after a cyber incident has taken place. With these resources you may need to contact organizations outside Fraudsupport.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances. 



Malware Information from the FTC

See page 16 of this document for recovery checklist

Start on Page 12 of this document for tips on how to respond to a cyber incident

Recognizing and removing spyware tips from US-CERT

Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware work well together

Recovering from Viruses, Worms, and Trojan Horses

 

If your computer has been affected by malware, either consult with a reputable security expert to assist in removing the malware or use a program to help eliminate the infection.

Some legitimate programs are:

F-Secure SAFE

McAfee Stinger

Microsoft Safety Scanner

Sophos Virus Removal Tool

Reinforce


 

Once the proper organizations have been notified and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity. Let’s take action and strengthen your cybersecurity with the following resources and tools.



Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware

Is your business router secure?

Protecting Against Malicious Code

Add Two-Factor Authentication to key accounts and follow other security tips at LockDownYourLogin.org

Protecting against malware tips from US-CERT

Technology and Spyware Information for Domestic Violence Survivors

Other Resources