One of the core features now built into Windows 8 is early Anti-malware scanning. Windows 8 now includes Windows Defender, built up on the foundations of its successful Antivirus and AntiSpyware utility Microsoft Security Essentials. Due to the changing landscape of security, having Antivirus built into the Operating System is a logical move that guarantees a safer environment for users who either refuse to pay for commercial Antivirus utilities or do not do a sufficient job at keeping their Antivirus updated.
Recently, a student came by my office informing me her thumb drive was infected with viruses. She knew this because all of her files were hidden. This sounds like the infamous shortcut virus which hides the attributes of a file. It tends to be mischievous not damaging. Luckily, I had Windows 8 on my system, but I was a bit hesitant since this is pre-release software. I also had a bit of issues removing the same virus earlier this year when I had the Developer Preview installed. Anyway, lets see how it goes.
The minute I plugged in the thumb drive, a notification pops up on screen indicating it had detected malware and began taking action by cleaning the infection. The notification is very informative and alerts the user immediately of the problem. You can click the notification for further details which will open the Windows Defender utility:
From here you can click ‘Show details’ to see what was detected and proceed to apply an action, in this case I chose remove.
If it turns out that you had the shortcut virus, you might have to open a command prompt with Admin privileges and type the following command:
This will allow you to restore the file attributes. And that’s it.