Rogue security virus creates headache for users, experts

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Richard Essex/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - If your computer is acting up or simply not working at all, you are not alone. An updated virus called "Antivirus XP" is making the rounds.

Paul Oliver at Computer Experts in Indianapolis said there is no software you can buy to stop it.

"I haven't found anything yet to prevent it from getting into a system," Oliver said.

The rogue security virus changes names at will. (Technically, it's closer to malware than a virus.)

"It doesn't always have the same name," Oliver said. "The name that it uses is randomly generated by the system."

There isn't any software made that will detect it or even prevent your computer from being infected.

"It seems to be one of the biggest calls that I'm getting in the field right now for viruses," Oliver said.

This particular rogue virus is scamming people into paying for an anti-virus software program that does nothing except take your money.

Kim Brand, also at Computer Experts, said that this is a new kind of attack.

"In the past, virus authors would just try to annoy you or steal your information. That is so nineties. Now they want to sell you stuff so if they can capture your attention and annoy you enough you will click on a button that say buy this to remove it and it is just a fraud," Brand said.

So what are the signs your computer is infected?

Oliver said that during the start-up process a series of pop-ups will appear re-directing you to a website. After that there is no escaping.

"A re-director is an indication that Internet Explorer has been high-jacked by something and is taken someplace other than where you want to go," Brand explained.

The people at Computer Experts said this is a new and dangerous virus that has tremendous potential for trouble.

"I personally look at it as being a type of terrorism," Oliver said.

"What we have now is a fertile field, ripe for the exploitation of people who are quite frankly are smarter than we are," Brand said.

If you suspect your computer is infected, you may want to take it in to a computer specialist - before you click on a pop-up advertising anti-virus software. You can also follow Symantec's instructions for removing it.

You can also download Super Antispyware from Download.com for free to clean your computer.

Keep up to date with computer threats.