Friday, January 30, 2009

Virus Warning - Be Prepared For This One

A not so new virus is making the rounds. I was infected recently by Anti-virus 2009 (Not to be confused with Norton Antivirus 2009) and my computer took a serious dump yesterday. What happened is my homepage and search page were hijacked and web browsing became almost impossible.

I knew something was up a couple of days ago when I did a reboot and a virus program launched itself on start up. Well, I hadn't installed any new virus programs so I immediately knew it was spyware/virus crap.

The program actually tried to prompt me to remove a virus that had been installed by......the antivirus program itself. Kind of like the protection rackets one sees in movies about the Mafia and organized crime. You know the one where the Mafia Hoods are selling protection against themselves.

The problem was when I went to the web to find information on how to remove the program I was re-directed to an infected page each and every time I tried to do a search. It became impossible to find a way to remove the damn thing.

Luckily, I use Norton Ghost so I had an image file to restore from. Unluckily, the image file was ten days old. So I lost all of the data in between. You have to keep the images updated daily to be effective. I got lazy and I got burned.

Anyway, here are a few links about this scumware/trojan that's currently making the rounds on the net. I don't know where the damn thing came from since my Son and I both use this computer but I have a feeling he's been doing a little searching on Girls Gone Wild or one of his WWE wrestling video sites. But it's also possible that I got the virus from watching YouTube videos as one poster suggested on a virus discussion thread. I really don't know.

As with most of these virus programs, users are usually tricked into installing them so I can't really say who it was that got us infected. I do recommend you download instructions on how to remove this fucker just in case. Once I became infected, downloading anything was impossible. Be proactive when it comes to this. More links are below.

One last helpful hint. Learn how to boot your computer into Windows Safe Mode. Some viruses can not be removed when operating in regular Windows. Safe Mode is the best bet for removing a virus or spyware/scumware.

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