NASTY BAD VIRUS AT FACEBOOK - BE CAREFUL!

It's a jungle out there!
It's a jungle out there!

Be Careful, People! If I Got "Got", You Can, Too!

Hi everybody!

I finally decided to open a Facebook account the day before yesterday. I had refrained from doing it for a long time, because I had heard scary virus stories about Facebook. But I have family living in other states, including some of my nieces who have babies I have never gotten to see yet. If I had a Facebook profile, I could look at all the pretty baby pictures!

Pretty cool! I fixed up my profile page and yesterday, I wanted to upload some photos. I clicked on "upload photos" from my computer. A popup box opened up telling me that in order to upload photos, I needed to download a "Facebook Plugin".

Well, dummy me, I didn't know... So I clicked "OK".

What I immediately got was an all-out attack on my computer's system. It installed an "Antivirus Soft" software onto my computer, which completely took over my operating system, and NO PROGRAM on my computer would work, whatsoever! Couldn't open any program at all, and could not get on the internet. Nothing would work!

Then, I immediately was attacked at least 24 times by a hacker who tried to dump "BankerFox.a" Trojan onto my computer. Fortunately, my many anti-virus and security programs blocked this trojan, though they attemptedĀ numerous times to force it onto my computer.

I was later able to get the virus off my computer, after 6 hours on the phone with a service technician from HP, who was not able to help me restore my computer so I could get it repaired and able to get back on the internet. But tried really hard to help. Her name was "Alfieri" and the call center where she works is in the Philippines. (Thanks, Alfieri! See! I did learn how to spell your name!)

The worst thing about this, was that I could not get either my Internet Explorer nor my Avant Browser (works off of IE), to display internet pages. So I could not get to Windows Update, nor get anywhere else, either, to try to download what I needed to update my system.

Everything else was working ok - I just could not get the internet to display in the browsers, even though my computer was connected to the internet with a cable broadband connection!

What did I finally have to do to get back on the internet?

Well, it was either take my computer in to the experts, and pay a big pile of money for a complete system recovery, or think of something else...

I remembered I had an AOL disk. AOL is a completely different browser, and does not depend on Internet Explorer settings.

So I installed the "Free for Broadband" AOL service, which gave me a new AOL browser. The software built new internet connections, with corresponding network adapters... Remember this in an emergency: AOL software can "fix" computer problems. Especially connections and network adapters! It can even fix other things on your computer!

And I was able to get back on the internet again.

Even though I have now gone to Microsoft and downloaded a new copy of Internet Explorer 7, my IE browser will STILL not display web pages. Just opens up, says it's "connecting", but doesn't do it - just stays as a blank page with nothing!

I am still working on it.

The good thing is that I had good security software, and was able to catch this thing before it completely wrecked my computer! And that I was able to think of a way to get connected again!

But most people will end up with a torn up computer from this thing.

The virus is called "Antivirus Soft".

And the trojan is "BankerFox.a"

Really nasty stuff, folks.

The fake "Antivirus Soft" program completely takes over your system. It will tell you it did a scan of your computer and that you have all kinds of virus and trojans on it. Then it says "Click to clean your computer". When you do, it tells you that as soon as you go buy the software, it will clean up the viruses. (Which no one in their right mind would click on, after all that mess!)

So just be very aware.

If you are at Facebook, or at any social networking site, or really anyplace at all, and,

If you get a box saying you have to download something, and you did not specifically ASK to download something, JUST SAY NO!!!!

And BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL AT FACEBOOK!!!!!

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Comments 35 comments

myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

Oh, how frustrating for you! Hope your system is functioning normally again. Thank you for warning us...am definitely going to watch out!


"Quill" 6 years ago

Facebook is or shall I say rather a good site but as well is an open door for everything and anything...it has been flagged as a potential time bomb just waiting...

Blessings


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

Hi guys - here I am, finally! My technician friend, Alfieri, from the Philippines, called me again this evening to continue helping me to work on my computer. What a nice girl she is! She works at the HP support center in Quezon City. (Think that's the name of it)

We downloaded Firefox. And it is working wonderfully well! Now I don't even have to use the AOL software, which is slow to load and makes me have to sign in. Firefox is much faster! Working like a charm!

I have one torn-up Windows file - it obviously must be the ones that contains the data telling IE how to display web pages. That's the only file I know of that is corrupted. But apparently I can get along without it, as long as I use Firefox. (Or the AOL browser)

If you do not have Firefox on your computer, go get it now! At least keep it as a back-up, even if you want to keep on using IE. You never know when something will tear up your Internet Explorer, and then you will be left with no way to get on the internet.

Took me a day and a half to fix this one.... What a lucky stroke of luck that I had the AOL cd and thought to use it... (Get a free AOL CD at any Walmart store...)

I am VERY happy with the service I received from HP in the person of Alfieri - She spent nearly SIX HOURS on the phone with me, helping me fix my computer. She was so very helpful and kind!

(Ha! I also found out my computer has support guarantee until the year 2103!!! Think I'll live that long?)


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Thank you very much for your hub. Nice to see you care for others, I will make sure my virus software is all up to date.

I love Hewlett Packard! Their service and follow up are exceptional across all their excellent products. First class service is always appreciated.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

Thanks for reading, earnestshub! Yes, HP really went above and beyond in their support. Most companies would just tell you to take your computer to an specialist and get it fixed. This girl really went through every option. I don't know how she managed to sit there for that long with no break! She was very, very nice! (Makes me want to move to the Philippines, if everyone there is as nice as she is!)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 6 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

WOWEEE..tHANKS..:o) hUGS g-mA


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Well, Magic, I can tell by reading this hub that you know a quadrillion more things than I do about computers, but I was interested in your plight because I was 'Phished' a couple of weeks ago and wrote a hub about what a fool I felt I was.

Thing is, though, I have come to realize that these fiends prey on everyone, and scams/schemes have gone on for years.

We're not the only ones!

Laurel


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 6 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

I'm glad that you found Firefox MaStER, It's the bees' knees. I've been using it for years and it, with the help of a couple of anti virus programs and firewalls keeps me out of major trouble.

Cheers,

TOF


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

There are so many tricksters out there. Thank you for the "heads up".


Drwibble profile image

Drwibble 6 years ago from UK

One useful thing to do now you have your computer working is to download and burn a live cd of ubuntu.

With this you are able to boot up the computer directly from this CD, for most computers it detects all the broadband/wireless settings. Then you are able to access the internet on a safe manner to find more information and advice to correct your windows installation.

When you are finished just remove the cd, boot up the computer normally and you will enter the windows operating system.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago

Thanks for the information. I will be sure to pass it along to those I know with a Facebook account.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

To The Old Firm: Yes, I had Firefox before, but I was so happy with the Avant Browser, that I did not put it on my new computer, but should have! Thanks for reading!


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

To Micky Dee: Yes, I don't know what the hackers think they are gaining by destroying other peoples' computers... They need to be arrested for criminal damage to property! Wish we could get a law like that passed. But, alas, they are too busy deciding if we are all "terrorists"...

To Drwibble: Thank you, I will check out Ubuntu - I have heard of it, but don't know what it is.

To Trish1048: Thanks for reading - yep! Tell 'em don't download anything from Facebook!

To lorlie: I am pretty good with a computer, and luckily I had good security programs - I've got this thing wrapped up like Fort Knox! I've been pretty lucky so far, but it can happen to anyone, no matter how savvy, so don't feel bad. They keep getting better and better at their hacking.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

Thanks, for warning.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

To amillar: You are very welcome. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I was lucky, but others may not be. Most people I know do not have the proper security software on their computers, nor do they do proper maintenance, because they do not know how. Maybe I should do a hub on these 2 topics...


esmein profile image

esmein 6 years ago from London

I've lost my passwords to some nasty keylogger once and I was so angry I didn't see out of my head. Thanks for letting us know.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

Hi esmein, thanks for reading! Seems there has really been a surge in hacking and phishing lately. I have never had trouble like this until lately. To keep your passwords safe and all in one place, I recommend AnyPassword, secure password keeper. You can even tell it to encrypt all your data! Keeps it safe, and it's handy because you can just write in your username/password/url data as you are working - I really like it. See my "Essential Software" hub for the link to the download.


Delaney Boling profile image

Delaney Boling 6 years ago

That's a real horror story! Hope everything worked out in the end but chances are the virus didn't come through Facebook. Anytime you see a Trojan Horse virus, it usually comes through a phishing program (malware designed to capture sensitive information such as credit card #'s, social security #'s, etc...), and their designers are clever in the fact that they will create "false windows". False windows appear to look like they came from a secure site (like Facebook's photo-uploading program or a windows spyware warning) and once you click on them, they can damage your computer... as you're well aware. The best recommendation is to constantly be updating your firewall and anti-virus programs and only use reputable anti-virus protection like Symentic or Norton Utilities. Don't let the Facebook thing scare you off because it really is a great social media platform (and a terrific way to drive traffic to your hubs), but before attempting to set up your account again, make sure those trojan's are completely off your machine (not just quarantined). On another note - glad to hear your experience with HP customer service was good. Your story is the first one I've heard about HP being at all helpful. I've had to deal with them in the past and they've always been horrible. That's why I'll never buy another HP again... ever.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I have been hit with the the program that wants to download the 'Anti-spyware' several times in the past, but never on facebook. The first time it happened, I freaked out, pulled the plug on the computer, and left it for my husband to deal with. He turned it on, ran a scan and found nothing. That is when I realized it was a scam.

Just this morning, I was hit by something that pretended to be windows, wanting to download anti spyware. I had been searching on Google, and this thing came up on when I clicked on a site. It was very persistent, and it did manage to almost stall my computer, but restating and scanning revealed that nothing had gotten through.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I have got "caught" two separate times by programs either claiming my computer is infected with numerous 'fake' viruses that I need to download a certain programme to remove, or that someone in our home owes money for a porn website use (even though no-one was home at the time they said it had been accessed and there were thousands of complaints on the Internet about similar problems with this company). Both of these problems were easily solved once I downloaded "Malware Bytes" a free program that seems to easily get rid of these fictitious warnings in one fast scan. I now regualrly scan with Malware Bytes and have not had a problem since. You can download the free version from

http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php

Seriously, I have never looked back since and highly recommend this to anyone with a computer.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

MagicStarEr - Thanks so much for a very informed and well written warning to us all. I have not joined facebook for that very same reason.

Anyways, if it is any conciliation, I would have probably done the same thing and downloaded the plugin as well. Viruses are one of my worst fears when it comes to my computers.

It is good to know that HP helped you out as all of my computers are HP.

Great Job on the hub, I am so glad you are back up and operating.

Sage


Delaney Boling profile image

Delaney Boling 6 years ago

FYI guys - the plug-in is not the virus. The plug-in to upload photos is a real tool from Facebook but some hackers are mimicking it to plant trojan horses. Sad but true. What I recommend doing if you're at all unsure about it but still want to use Facebook and upload your photos (safely) is to go to a library or internet cafe and use their machines. Facebook IS a great tool and it's a damned shame that these hackers have frightened some of you away from utilizing it's potential. If any of you have any questions about how to safely use Facebook, feel free to send me a message. I work as a Social Media Director at a very well-known advertising agency in CA and I hate to think that some of you would be scared off by unfortunate circumstances. FYI - You're most likely to pick up "phishing" viruses from Myspace.com.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

To all: I am behind on answering your comments. I really appreciate them all.

I have not let this experience deter me on Facebook. I just know now, not to download anything from there! I have not had any more problems over there.

I do enjoy Facebook, and I hope any of you who have a Facebook page will follow me here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile=1&id=100...

Thanks a lot, Misty for the Malwarebytes suggestion - I will surely check it out. I have had very good results with my Stopzilla and AVG Antivirus programs, too. AVG is what blocked the attack. And Stopzilla got rid of it. But it did cause damage to my Windows files that make Internet Explorer display pages from the internet. I now have Firefox, and have had no more problems. Internet Explorer sucks!


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 6 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Some great tips here on what sites to be wary of. So much for wonderful facebook. My girlfriend uses a Macintosh, wonder would I be better switching to the Apple, it seems to suffer less from that kind of thing. Thanks for the heads up here.


fits4life profile image

fits4life 6 years ago from Richmond

Thank you for writing this hub. It is also being sent in emails as a facebook follow up. And when you click on it to get the message it takes you past facebook and just keeps going until you stop it by turning your computer off right then or unplug it from the outlet. I too had to do a recovery. It took me 3 days to get online. And even then I lost important pictures that I could not recover.


George Hardy 6 years ago

Hate to tell you this but the stuff is still in your computer hidden away somewhere waiting to strike - get a copy of Window Washer and totally clean out you machine, then run System Mechanic for a complete scan and fix whatever it says needs to be fixed by clicking the radio button " repair all" once the scan is complete. Also, keep AVG running in the background and use their browser protection by letting it install its toolbar. Easier than it sounds and worth the piece of mind; but one still has to be careful.


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky Author

Check! Window Washer, done! Already doing the AVG. Plus I have lots of other trojan cleaners, Advanced Windows Care, Browser Hijack Retaliator,Firewall, and STOPZILLA!!! Stopzilla is really good at getting rid of stuff no other programs can find. Thanks for the Window Washer tip, it was a good one! ;)


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

This sounds a lot like a virus my daughter has on her computer now. She got it while on YouTube. We have been trying all sort of things before buying for a high price tech. It looks like it will come down to it.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

Sympathies for your computer problems and glad you are 'recovering'. Don't do much online like Facebook but did recently sign up by request. So I will watch out! Thank you for tips here!


MikePlaysPool profile image

MikePlaysPool 6 years ago

I just happened to log in to Hubpages and happened to see your article. Great post and thanks. I'll share with friends on Facebook.


gwennies pen 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this hub Magic. I am with facebook so it is good to know.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 5 years ago from Texas

There are so many things to watch out for on FB. I probably don't spend enough time on there to be effective business wise; however, it's the viruses and privacy issues that curtail my using it to its full potential.

I keep getting the phishing e-mails advertising sex sites. I've turned these in to FB several times, but they just keep coming back every month or so... Thanks for sharing this experience!


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

Thanks for the warning. What a strange thing to happen! Glad you got it worked out. And I second the vote on Firefox being good.


celeBritys4africA profile image

celeBritys4africA 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Be careful with FaceBook, too many people with too many reasons....


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

I find this hub quite interesting. Voted up. 'To be forewarned is to be forearmed'

thanks

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