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 The Computer Buzz August 5th, 2010     



Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory

Untitled Document

 

Aaaargh, I’ve Been Hit

 

Last Tuesday my PC seemed a bit pokey so I checked my Internet speeds on a couple of Internet speed test utilities (Speakeasy and Global Bandwidth Speed test). My Internet connection speeds were normal but my stand-alone applications were slow to open and giving me some error prompts. Then my printer started acting up. I changed the cartridges but then the printer quit responding altogether. I tried to reload the printer drivers but the download was incredibly slow and hung up at 96% completion. Finally I called in one of our techs. “Looks like you’ve got a virus boss,” he chuckled.

Six months ago I got hit with a “scareware” bug but we all knew exactly when and how that happened. I was opening an e-mail attachment from the “Save Discovery Creek” organization when up popped a prompt telling me that I needed to update my Adobe Reader in order to read the attachment I was trying to open. “Click here to update,” it said. When I clicked I was immediately attacked. First it disabled my virus scan (AVG) and spyware sweep (Malwarebytes) and then announced that my PC was infected and for only $49.95 it would be happy to take care of my problem.

We rebooted my PC into “safe mode” and reinstalled “Malwarebytes” through a USB flash drive and swept away the offending bit of “scareware.” Within half an hour I was back in business, no virus, no damage. I got off easy because we managed to dump the infection quickly before other “malware” programs had the opportunity to infect my “exposed” PC.

This time it was different. I had no idea how or when my PC became infected. My virus scan program had been disabled and “Malwarebytes” erased. I was a victim just like the other half dozen hapless souls who had brought their infected PCs to us that day.

I asked for no special treatment but I suspect the gang may have pushed my PC closer to the front of the line. They removed my hard drive and started the clean-up process on the “scan benches.” For the next two days I was just another anxious customer asking how things were going every couple of hours. After the second day they told me my PC had been afflicted with Adware/LOP, Hackingtool/rebooter and generic malware.

Those rascals were gone but there was still more to be done. The hard drive was put back into my PC and virus and spyware programs reactivated. Then they ran several applications to see if Windows was still intact. Everything was fine. Friday morning I got my PC back and life was back to normal.

Catching a virus infection early is the key. Virus programs may replace some of the Windows operating system utilities in order to conduct business their own way. When the virus is removed, a “hole” remains in the Windows. When this happens the operating system is “corrupt” and must be reinstalled. That means more time, expense and trouble getting everything back to normal.

 
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