Asus PC hijack – What you need to know

If you own an Asus PC and have been reading recent headlines, you may be a little worried. So what’s the story and do you really need to be concerned? Dave’s Computers investigates.

The story broke in March that potentially millions of Asus computers had been unwittingly infected with malware. The ShadowHammer malware was sneaked into the supply chain and onto the Asus update server. This means every Asus computer that contacted the server for updates could potentially have been infected.

The malware was live on the server between June and November 2018 and could have been downloaded thousands of times. Discovered by Kaspersky, as their software runs on many Asus computers, the company traced it back to the source and said it alone had dealt with over 57,000 infected machines.

What to do if you may have been infected

If you think you may be one of those users infected by ShadowHammer, you need to run your antivirus software and a separate malware scanner. You can also download Asus’ new Live Update software (version 3.6.8) which will tackle any malware installed on your computer.

While you may find it difficult to trust Asus Live Update, the company assures us that version of 3.6.8 is perfectly safe and can remove the malware from your computer. Asus has also beefed up the security on their servers and implemented as much security as possible to stop it happening again.

Keep on top of antivirus and malware

If a reminder was ever needed, this is the ideal lesson to remind all of us to keep on top of our computer security. It’s easy to get caught up in daily goings on and lose track of when we last performed a malware scan or antivirus check. The sophistication of this attack shows what lengths people will go to in order to attack our technology.

Always use an antivirus product on every device. Have it set to automatically scan if it has the option and to automatically update. Run a malware scanner after your antivirus. Malwarebytes or something similar is free and very simple to use. Get into the habit of using both of these regularly.

If you’re still concerned or wonder if you have gotten rid of ShadowHammer, bring your computer to Dave’s Computers in New Jersey. We can perform our own checks just to make sure.