For over a year or so the most prevalent viruses going around are rogue security applications. These viruses will act like a virus scanner or a hard drive recovery program. They do this to look legit. The only question is, did you download it? In most cases the answer is no, if you did download it, shame on you….lol. Usually the user is infected by going to a website that has the virus. Other ways of infection are like most viruses, clicking on links, ads, or email links and attachments. In most cases, the user does nothing to initiate the download. Simply going to the infected site will do. The virus takes advantage of flaws in your internet browser, adobe flash, adobe reader, and Java. This is why its so important to update adobe and java software as well as doing Windows updates.
In the case of “system fix” , currently very common, you will get a pop up that will tell you that you have errors on your hard drive. It even goes so far as to hide your files to make it look like they were lost or deleted! So far in every case we have come across, the data was safe. There are other hard drive rogues out there using different names, but similar techniques. The rogue antivirus programs will just pop up a scanner, showing infections. In all rogue software cases, they will then ask for money to activate and fix your computer. DO NOT PAY, the software is the virus itself.
These rogue programs usually have a rootkit infection as well as viruses, so we advise you do not try to remove the virus yourself. In the case of system fix, it will hide start menu shortcuts in temp files that can be deleted unknowingly during improper removal.