Of late I see a lot of desktop.ini and folder.htt files in my Windows 2000 prof. My friends are saying that it is a virus attack. So when i try to remove it by running NORTON 2004, the antivirus doesnot see these files. Also my system has become very very slow. Please help me how to solve this problem. Also I would like to know, if my system has been attacked by virus, can a Linux firewall between the windows2000 and the Internet protect my internal sytem.
Dear me !! Huliyar, don't run around deleting those files just yet.
Yes, these files CAN be infected by a virus, but not necessarily ! If your virus scanner is up to date with its definitions and not giving any warnings, then I don't think you need to worry.
note, these files are used by windows to control how folder behave. Don't mess with them unless your virus scanner shows they're infected ! If you just don't want to see them, you can turn of the 'show hidden files and folders' option in windows explorer under folder options.
Here are a couple of links you might want to follow
These files are not a virus. At the MOST they could be infected by a virus, but if your virus scanner is not telling you this, then you're better off not deleting them.
Alot of people assume that they're virii merely because some viruses that spread over the network can infect these files.
With regard to your firewall question, I can only answer it this way :
Firewalls are meant to keep out intruders -- its a bonus that they can stop network borne viruses IF they are configured properly. For example the recent MSBlast virus spread through port 135, if that was blocked on the firewall, you were safe from being infected from the OUTSIDE world.. the firewall would make no difference if the virus was already on your internal LAN.
Furthermore, configuring a linux box and writing firewall rules is not something that you can just whip up before breakfast (well i know some people who do but .. It requires an understanding of your network needs, what needs to go out (example - web requests), and what needs to come in (example - mail). The firewall machine itself needs to be 'hardened' against attacks, and if you're a linux newbie, you're better off not trying to do this without some serious R&D in a lab.
That said - a linux box is a nice idea for a firewall because the vast majority of viruses spread through windows systems.. there are only about 40 known viruses for linux..
If your system is slow, it may not be the work of a virus, try degragmenting your hard disks
(the best defragmenter)
and make sure you don't have millions of tasks running on your machine at once (is your system tray near the clock full of many icons ?)
Anti-virus software is the best solution to virus problems (okay thats got to be the most inane statement I've ever made just regularly update your virus definitions and run a system scan occasionally (some vendors say once a week.. i'm very lax and run one once a month)
If you're not familiar with linux, consider getting a personal firewall like zonealarm, it is well set up straight out of the box, and is free.
To end a long post with a summary :
1. Check your virus definitions are up to date
2. Run a system scan, let the software clean the virus if you are infected
3. Leave those files alone if you're not infected
4. Defragment your hard disk using diskeeper
5. Stop any programs you don't need to run
6. Install a personal firewall.
I feel like I'm giving google answers a run for their money
The desktop.ini files sounds like legit windows files, if you simply open a few with your text editor, you should be able to view their contents.
Whatever you do, just make sure you have your Antivirus upto date !
If your computer is awefully slow, it could be a number of reasons. There might be an application running in the background, hogging the system's resouces, or simply theres way to many applications installed, bringing the system to its feet.
What I found useful was to run a some registry cleaner that finds all redundant and useless registry entries and wipes them off the system. If you visit tucows.com your will find plently of them.
Before though proceeding, make sure you backup the registry!