Question: My computer virus checker found a virus called "system.exe". Should I let the checker remove it?
The program "system.exe" is definitely malignant so let your virus checker get rid of it.
The name has been chosen by the bad guys because it seems "official sounding" or like "part of the operating system" or otherwise benign. For this reason, it's a popular ruse for malware. That means it's impossible to tell just from the name what exact kind of malware you have; it might be a trojan or keylogger or botnet controller or something else.
On Windows Vista it's not in the "Windows" folder anywhere, so it's not a part of the operating system.
Since your virus checker caught it, your checker will probably be able to remove it, too. The danger is that "system.exe" is not the virus but was merely created by the virus and if you don't get rid of the actual virus it will keep creating a new version of system.exe. So keep paying attention to whether system.exe reappears.
But in all likelihood your virus checker has fixed it. Changing your passwords was a good idea in case the malware was a keylogger.
Power users would probably use "regedit" to check for system.exe in the registry and also use "autoruns" to look for any invocation of system.exe.
by Dr. Noh
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