Are You Using Windows 10? Rootkit Adware Targeting Windows 10 Users

Bitdefender Labs flagged an adware strain that’s been operating over six years and is targeting Windows 10 Users. Read more for how this affects Windows users.

A strain of adware rootkits have managed to gain access even on the latest, most protected Windows operating system, Windows 10. Once downloaded, rootkits gain unauthorized access to your personal devices while hiding from antivirus software. This adware dubbed, Zacinlo, is showing up on many Windows 10 machines. 

It masks its rootkits by presenting them as free trials or downloads. Bitdefender says, “the adware components are silently installed by a downloader that is presented as a free and anonymous VPN service (s5Mark).”

S5Mark doesn’t do much as a VPN, but it opens a portal for more adware to enter your computer. If you’re interested in a VPN, FixMeStick suggests reputable ones like Nord VPN or HotSpot Shield. Before downloading any applications make sure they are legitimate by searching them online or verifying with companies you trust.

The rootkits put out by Zacinlo are designed to disable processes that would threaten its existence– effectively protecting itself from being flagged or deleted. This is why FixMeStick runs externally, specifically so viruses like this can’t hide. 

Zacinlo has developed multiple forms of adware, one that can take screenshots of your computer screen, another that can redirect your browser, and one that can make web pages fill with ads. For Internet Safety Month you should pay special attention to whether you’ve unintentionally downloaded any of these files.

What can you do to counter these threats?

  1. Run a FixMeStick scan— especially if you have a Windows 10– to ensure your computer is safe and secure from this malware.
  2. Keep all of your accounts safe with Dashlane. This password generator will help you keep complex passwords that change regularly so you’re always secure. Try it free here!
  3. Do not download free software trials off of the Internet without vetting the proposed company!