Zlob – Evil Predator From Outer Space!

I wish it were true. Then we could call the Force to get rid of it! Unfortunately Zlob is a Trojan horse disguised as an essential video codec file that you need if you want to watch certain video content on the web. With the ever-increasing popularity of video on the internet these days, many people find themselves saddled with this horror in spite of probably knowing better. Zlob was first discovered in late 2005, and has been around in various forms since then. There are dozens of variants of this trojan, and more are being found all the time.

Zlob trojans are malware devices, close kin to the Vundo trojans that gives the attacking person or computer the ability to take over your computer remotely. It changes your computers setting and modifies files, rerouting your internet traffic through their server.  Zlob starts when you start up Windows, and disguises its nefarious intentions by injecting code into explorere.exe. It then alows you to make remote connections and then proceeds to download and install additional software and in short, hijack your entire computer. Needless to say, Zlob can be very vicious.

Once it’s in there, Zlob displays popups that look amazingly similar to real Microsoft Windows warning popups, telling you that your computer is riddled with spyware, viruses and more. Their aim is to get you to click on these popups, pay for and download their useless “fix”, all the while offloading more and more problems onto your computer, not to mention your wallet!

Ultimately you are left with a machine that shuts down seemingly randomly and reboots with confusing text messages. One of the newer variations of Zlob can set up residence on your Wi-Fi router by going through a list of common default username and password combos, (like “admin,admin”) which many of us  don’t ever change. This is, by the way, one of the better ways to help keep your sensitive information safer, by regularly changing these. It’s tedious, but necessary.

So what exactly did you do to get into this mess and how can you avoid it in the future? The usual way revolves around your attempts to download a video onto your PC, and you are then confronted with a screen that informs you that a special codec is required to actually view the video. So, you install the required “codec”. They may even ask you, (in the name of fake legitimacy!) to read and accept an End User License Agreement (EULA), which of course you neither read nor understand. The viola, then download proceeds and your problems intensify.

With the ever-growing dependence on video as a means of communicating on the Web, and our laxity in making sure just what we’re putting into our systems makes this an easy task for Zlob Trojans and their counterparts to thrive and multiply. Used with an enticing message, often deployed through e-cards, instant messages and other mediums we want to trust, Zlobs prey on our thirst for more information, entertainment and lack of vigilance.

The best way to ensure that you don’t have to deal with Zlobs is to make sure you are using a quality anti-spyware and anti-malware program such as Spyzooka to keep the Zlobs away!

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