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Windows 7: Can malware damage the files?

23 Apr 2013   #1

windows 7 Ultimate X86
 
 
Can malware damage the files?

Hi all,

When a computer is infected by malware, can that malware damage the non OS files or only damage the OS files? For example, someone may have thousands of various files in folders in drives of HDD, when his/her computer in infected by malware, is it possible that those personal files (such as music, picture, videos, ...) to be infected?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I recall a few years ago there was malware that deleted certain file extensions such as .mp3 files. So to answer your question I would say yes, it can effect certain file types depending on the malware in question.
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23 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 64 / Windows 8 64
 
 

These things are rare.
Files are infected by viruses ( aka file infectors) and not regular malware. They are less common, and they can infect .exe. .sys, .com, .dll, .pif files (most other files can't be launched thus are of no use for viruses).
There are specific ransomwares, that encrypt documents or images on disk.
There are ones that delete or corrupt files just for kick, but they are even more rare.
The most popular ones that are similar to ones you describe are trojans using double extensions : .jpg.exe or similar.
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23 Apr 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Some nastier ones can disable any security program on a PC so it can't detect the infection. In Control panel/Folder options/ View I uncheck "Hide extensions for know files trype" then the double extension like gied mentioned, ex: jpg.exe will be seen.
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23 Apr 2013   #5

windows 7 Ultimate X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gied View Post
These things are rare.
Files are infected by viruses ( aka file infectors) and not regular malware. They are less common, and they can infect .exe. .sys, .com, .dll, .pif files (most other files can't be launched thus are of no use for viruses).
There are specific ransomwares, that encrypt documents or images on disk.
There are ones that delete or corrupt files just for kick, but they are even more rare.
The most popular ones that are similar to ones you describe are trojans using double extensions : .jpg.exe or similar.
So your answer to my question is yes? If so, when I scan/remove those personal infected files, it's possible that those my files be removed. not?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #6

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Here is the way I look at it.
1. Never under estimate the ability of the bad guys.
2. The bad guys can create a infection to do just about anything and attach it to just about anything.
3. Don't assume a infections is located in only one place in your system.
4. Some infection are wrote to only hold the back door of your computer open to let all their little buddies in to do their damage.
-----
Example:
I helped a fellow member a long time ago that had a picture infected. He chose several pictures for a screen saver to cycle every so many seconds. When it landed on that infected picture all kinds of bad things happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

khoshtipi,

Quote:
When a computer is infected by malware, can that malware damage the non OS files or only damage the OS files?
Malware can damage all sorts of files, depending on how the malware operates. It can also infect the computer's Master Boot Record.

We have no specific information, so, we can only speculate.

On the computer with the issue, did the AntiVirus program detect an infection?

Do you have a report of what malware was found?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Malware can be near anything it want's to be. It all depends on the person who makes it. Also these day's god knows what it can do: This might help you understand more Malware - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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23 Apr 2013   #9

windows 7 Ultimate X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cottonball View Post
khoshtipi,

Quote:
When a computer is infected by malware, can that malware damage the non OS files or only damage the OS files?
Malware can damage all sorts of files, depending on how the malware operates. It can also infect the computer's Master Boot Record.

We have no specific information, so, we can only speculate.

On the computer with the issue, did the AntiVirus program detect an infection?

Do you have a report of what malware was found?
yes some viruses.

So when my machine is infected and it's possible that my personal files are infected too, so, when I scan the machine and then remove infected files, maybe those my personal files which are infected dele. not?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Can you provide a screenshot of the viruses found?

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums
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 Can malware damage the files?




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