Pawned by Trojans
Iamge Credit: Hysterical Bertha
I've been on this "Watch out for the Chinese, Russians, and Cyber-Criminals!" thing for some time now. I've been cautious while I use Al Gore's Internet, always staying away from suspicious sites, and never downloading anything I wasn't specificly looking for.
Imagine my surprise when I started getting flashing colors whenever I tried to post comments, or clicked on just about any button.
WTF I wondered...
I have Spyblocker Search and Destroy running in the background... or do I. When I clicked on it to do a forced run, it didn't. Somehow it had been disabled. I deleted it, and reinstalled it, but it still wouldn't come on.
OK plan #2. I have IsoBits Complete Care on tap. I was able to run that and found a couple of trojans/worms imbedded somewhere in the depths of my computer's synapses. Unfortunately, that didn't resolve all the problems, and as I continued to work, it seemed like I was fighting a slow cascading effect. The system became more and more unstable, not unlike me as my frustration was quickly reaching its zenith.
Image Credit: Pink Sherbert
Image Credit: Pink Sherbert
My computer is used primarily by me for a limited number of purposes. In other words I do a half-dozen things on it and rarely stray from those activities. So the question before me was," Where the Hell did this all come from?"
I remembered coming home Wednesday and finding the flashing colors. I asked myself what did I do before that? We added Skype to the system so we could see and talk to the Bear. I downloaded dozens of pictures from the hard drive to a thumbdrive that I received from Brownells. That's the only things I have done that were out of the ordinary. The Mrs took the thumb drive to Walgreens, plugged it into their machine and downloaded the pictures for printing.
I've used the Brownell's thumbdrives before without any problems, so I am fairly confident that they are not the source of the problem. So that leaves only Skype and Walgreens. I doubt Skype had anything top do with it. I have yet to go up there and have a chat with Walgreens. I'm still trying to get things back in order.
I have an older computer that I inherited from one of the neighborhood kids. Its a 2.7 Gz machine with a 40 GB drive in it. It has a 256 MB stick in it and a CD read/writer. The kids got rid of it because they couldn't clean up the harddrive.
I ran AVG off of a disc and at least got it cleaned up enough to be functional. Then it was Linux Ubuntu time! I slapped that disc in the drive and let it rip! After a couple of hours it was done reformatting the whole drive and setting itself up. Bubby and I fooled around with it for a little while and truth be told it was as easy as Windows. Everything is pretty much the same, and the included programs are fully functional. Yes, the GUI (Graphic User Interphase, the little buttons you push) is a little different, and some of the stuff like the Photoshop and Publisher copies are going to require a little reading and playing with, but overall, the experience is actually better than Windows!
Now I have to go back to the original system and try to get it functional. The CD/DVD unit won't read off of a disc, so I am having trouble getting AVG loaded up. It is difficult to go online and get it, these Cyberpunks are very clever and have created any number of dummy sites that look and feel like legitimate sites. You so much as open their window and it downloads malicious code! And it seems to me they have inserted code in their worms, trojans, etc, that prevent defensive software from loading up.
So the long and the short is that I only have access to my company laptop and the Linux machine. I find it very hard to do any work on the laptop, and I have become accustomed to dual screens and full sized keyboards. The Linux box just went online last night at 01:30 and I had to get up this morning at 04:30 for work so I didn't have time to connect it to the Internet.
It will probably take me a couple of days to get things back up to speed, in the meantime I have a couple of posts that have been ready and I will try to keep the schedule up!
Best to All!
Albert A Rasch