GeekU – Malware Removal Training

About Geek University – An Introduction

Geek University (or GeekU) is a training course that teaches the techniques and tools of malware removal. Graduates will be able to completely remove most infections without assistance. The training is geared toward removal in an online environment. Other methods likely work better if you’re in front of the infected system. Students that complete training are expected to “pay it forward” by assisting in the forums, where they can continue to keep abreast of evolving malware and removal techniques. All training is free. Online malware removal can be a very challenging, and rewarding experience. It’s a tremendous feeling to receive the heartfelt gratitude of someone that’s received help. It’s also an amazing community of giving people that are very passionate about what they do, and that you can feel proud to be a part of.

Modern malware removal is not easy. Long gone are the days when you could simply run Spybot S&D or Ad-aware to clean most systems. Even the venerable HijackThis is often not enough. You’ll learn how to use many specialized tools designed to diagnose and remove malware. If, and when you graduate, you’ll be able to remove spyware, trojans, rootkits, worms, and most any malware infection. You will almost certainly know more about malware than anyone else in your community. Fellow geeks will worship you, girls (or boys) will swoon at your feet. <grin>

Through the course of GeekU, you will be working with about a dozen different experts (teachers). They donate their time and expertise to train future malware fighters. The teachers here offer guidance and answer questions, but most of GeekU is self-directed, self-motivated learning. Malware removal involves a lot of research, and so does the training. There is a lot of study material available. You’ll also get help from other students, and staff members.

Some concepts that you should understand before making the decision to join:

  • No Open Malware Removal Topics – Joining GeekU will not get you faster service in our forums. If you have an open malware removal topic your application will be denied. Once your topic is resolved, you’re welcome to apply. Fixing your own system should not be motivation for joining GeekU. It will take many weeks to progress to that point in your learning.
  • Long-term Commitment – GeekU is designed to allow you to work at your own pace. Therefore we cannot give you a specific timeline as to how long it will take to finish. However, there is no fast-track. It will take several over a year to reach graduation.
  • Attendance Expectations – As with any learning process, it’s helpful to stay consistent, and not take long breaks. While we allow you to work at your own pace, you will be removed from GeekU after 30 days of inactivity as an underclassman, and 14 days as an upperclassman.
  • Basic Computer Knowledge – You don’t need any specific computer knowledge to learn malware removal, but you do need to be willing to learn. You will be editing the registry (even creating registry scripts), learning to create batch files, learning the difference between files and folders, and many other basic computer tasks.
  • No Malware Removal Until Graduation – As a trainee, you are only allowed to help victims with their malware removal under supervision of an instructor. This includes not only this site, but other sites as well. Until graduation, you only know enough to be dangerous. It also reflects poorly on this site if you’re offering poor advice elsewhere while training here. There’s an exception for anyone that has already graduated from an approved school, and wishes to receive further training here.
  • Limit Your Training – Are you already enrolled at another school? While receiving malware removal training from multiple schools can be beneficial, we don’t allow students to train at more than two schools at the same time. We recommend just one at a time. Focusing on one school will keep you from spreading yourself too thin, and prevent early burnout.
  • Strict Adherence to the Terms of Use – We hold our Staff members and our Trainees to a much higher standard than we do the rest of the community. You are expected to be familiar with the Terms of Use, and follow them at all times. Violating the Terms of Use, or any of these rules will lead to your removal from GeekU.

A quick outline of what you can expect to find inside GeekU:

  • Underclass – You won’t jump right into malware removal. First you’ll learn more about this site, and its Terms of Use. You’ll also be taught the basics of research, how to format a good reply, and some basic computer knowledge. The second half of underclass will focus on recognizing some basic elements in logs from malware removal tools, and practice replies. There are about 6 practice exercises to be completed before moving to upperclass.
  • Upperclass – You will learn about all malware removal tools, and how to diagnose their logs. You learn not only to interpret logs from these tools, but also why entries are important, and how to fix bad entries. There are about 6 practice exercises involving logs. As modern malware often infects the registry (often in creative ways), you’ll also learn about editing, deleting, adding, and modifying the registry. There are 8 registry exercises, and a couple of surprises.
  • LiveLogs / Check my Fix – After you have a pretty good grasp on the basics of malware removal we give you a chance to stretch your legs. The first activity, LiveLogs, involves working with a staff member acting as a victim, and using a virtual machine infected with malware. The last step prior to graduation is Check my Fix where you work with actual members that have posted a topic in the malware removal forum, but all your replies are approved by an expert. After you’ve proven your ability you’ll be nominated for graduation. Graduation occurs after approval is given in a poll of all GeekU teachers.

We want you! Helpers are always needed, and it’s completely free.

arrow GeekU application forum

Notes: GeekU applications are thoroughly reviewed, and not approved automatically. Be sure to check here about a week after applying, as personal message notifications are sometimes caught by spam filters. The PM will contain instructions on how to proceed. You must click the submit button, or your application will not be submitted. If you have any questions about a recently submitted application, please contact Sari.

If you’ve already received training and/or experience helping on another forum, please PM (private message) admin with the details. If it’s from an approved site, we’ll modify your forum permissions accordingly.