So, a new client came to me with their laptop that was having some issues. The issue was whenever they tried to go to www.google.com, the website would not show up. Yet, Bing worked and so did Yahoo. Another random thing that happened was when I was showing her some other websites that I was familiar with (like my company website), advertisement pop ups and overlays were being displayed. I figured that this would be a quick, run of the mill, easy fix. I will do some basic maintenance: clean up the temp files, run a anti-virus/anti-spyware scanner, yadda-yadda, and voila…. So I thought. After everything was clean, to my surprise, the symptoms still persisted. I was baffled. So, I suspected the worse. Throwing away the “quick and easy” tools, I had to put on my techy hard hat. One of the first thing I discovered was that the Internet Protocol address for “www.google.com” was different on my client’s computer than on my home computer. So, I checked all the normal and obvious places that could be modified to make that happen. (DNS Settings, Host Files, etc…). Everything was normal there. Being stumped, I turned to researching the issue. That’s when I discovered that this issue was more than likely a ROOTKIT! Rootkits are nasty bugs mainly because they hack your system in a way that not only allows it to have administrative rights to your computer, it also disguises itself so well that most AntiVirus/AntiSpyware software can’t detect it. If you think you may have a rootkit, or even if you just want to make sure you don’t. There is an anti-rootkit tool called “TDSSKiller” by Kaspersky Labs. You may find it at this link if you just want to have the peace of mind. HOWEVER, if you do find a root kit on your computer DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAN IT YOURSELF! The cleaning process of a rootkit virus is much more complicated than cleaning a normal virus and can render your operating system in a worse of place than before. You may not be able to boot your computer again. I personally would never attempt to clean a rootkit and presume things were safe afterward. I always recommend backing up your data, and doing a complete “wipe and reinstall” of the entire operating system just to be sure. Good luck!