Zlob Trojan Exposed?
The ZLOB family of Trojan horses was first detected in late 2005, and since then this nasty bunch has become ever-more malicious, difficult to detect and intelligent — at least as far as malware can be “smart.”
It can be difficult to avoid ZLOB Trojans, particularly if you are prone to downloading video files and other goodies that often require the installation of an additional codec before you can access them. ZLOBs often hide behind legitimate-seeming websites, posing as codecs that you must install before a video or song will play.
Always be wary of installing any elements onto your computer unless you know the site is a trusted source. It’s a good idea to do a quick Web search and read about an unknown site before you download anything from them. If they’re hiding malware, no doubt someone has already been burned and posted information to that effect online.
Like other malware, ZLOBs access your hard drive and then disguise themselves as beneficial software — or, if they are more advanced — they simply don’t appear at all during a virus scan.
What is a Zlob?
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to be targeted by a ZLOB Trojan, there are several things that you might start to see on your computer. One of the main functions a ZLOB performs is downloading and installing other malicious programs and adware. Often, companies that produce pop-up ads and other adware will pay the creator of a ZLOB to download their software to infected computers.
In the past, these were usually adult-themed websites, but today it could be anything from a website about network marketing to rogue anti-spyware offering to clean your computer. These are particularly ill-intentioned — pop-up ads that inform you that your computer is infected with spyware and offer to run a free scan, then begin installing their malicious programs under that pretense.
ZLOBs are also able to hijack and redirect your browser to a website of their choosing. Imagine your child researching wolverines for a science project and ending up (to their shock) looking at an X-rated website.
Possibly worse, ZLOBs will download and install keylogging spyware and other invasive malware to keep track of what you’re doing, the sites you visit, and even complete financial transactions that you complete online. That means that every time you use a credit card online or enter a password, someone at another computer could be accessing that information to use at their whim.
How can I remove ZLOB?
As with most spyware invasions, ZLOBs are difficult to clear out of your computer — the first step is finding out you’ve even been infected. Many new ZLOB variations are difficult to isolate, even with anti-spyware and anti-virus software.
Finding a reputable website that reviews and sells anti-spyware, anti-virus and anti-spam software is absolutely critical in the Information Age. Look around at reviews of anti-spyware software and be sure you are getting a solid program, preferably with automatic updates and a high user rating. It’s best to find a program with good customer service — preferably a 24-hour phone line or chat system that will allow you to communicate with a live human being, not depend upon FAQs and help documents that may or may not address your question.
If you want to try to rid your computer of a ZLOB on your own, run a search for various files hidden in your hard drive, such as nvctri.exe and msmsgs.exe, among others. DLL errors may be found, as well as other temporary files and .tlb extensions. If you’re not extremely computer-savvy, it’s best to allow an anti-spyware program try to get rid of ZLOBs and any other malware the Trojan might have installed on your machine. If all else fails, take your computer to a computer repair store and let them handle it. You’ll save hours of frustration and avoid deleting beneficial files that are necessary to run your operating system.
Removing ZLOB Before It’s Too Late
If you’ve noticed your computer acting particularly sluggish… or you’ve been bombarded with pop-up ads… or your browser is doing things you don’t want it to do, then it’s definitely time to purchase, download and install some up-to-date anti-spyware software. It could be a ZLOB Trojan, it could be adware, but it’s almost certainly some kind of infection — and you want to take care of it right away.
After you’ve run your initial scans and your computer shows up infection-free, always be sure to keep your anti-spyware updates current. As always, install a firewall and teach family members how to be smart when downloading music, videos or games. Computer problems cost time and money — and often can result in lost work and wages for those who rely on their computers to earn a living. Don’t mess around. Protect your family with an anti-spyware program that you know you can trust.