I created this hub as a little reminder for us all about Malware. Such is the Internet these days that this hub has been copied by another. It is on a website and as yet I have been unable to address the problem. This note has been added, so that readers know the hub is my own work. After one particularly stressful afternoon, trying to deal with spam, I have the mental scars to prove it.
So read on, take in and watch out for those who copy other people's work also.
Our computers are potentially under constant threat from bugs, viruses, phishing and malware. I am not one of those foolish Internet users that does not use anti virus software. I regularly update it and try to be a sensible Internet user.
Sometimes though none of this is enough.
I arrived home from work a little later than usual on Friday 20th August 2010. There had been a bad road traffic accident in my city. After a welcome cuppa I headed upstairs to the computer, in order to produce a little work and catch up with emails and the like.
Initially all seemed well.
I did have a few problems whilst accessing the news reporting website Allvoices. As one of my new found but favourite freelance writing sites I was annoyed. I read many articles and was able to leave messages but could not rate any articles up, or down for that matter. As you need to remain active on the site to earn money this posed a problem.
Still I persevered and then started getting messages that my computer was under attack.
I should have took the sensible option and signed off. Of course I did not and it seems as if malware got through.
I ran a scan on the computer which identified four problems. My software was only able to disinfect and remove two.
Switiching on the computer, late Saturday morning, the extent of the problem became all too clear.
A fictitious anti virus component had attached itself to the dektop toolbar and it was going nowhere.It would not let me do anything much on the computer. It kept opening windows explorer in porn and viagra sites, whilst flashing up warnings about potential password threats. There was no way I could close this program or delete it.
I am no computer whizz kid but know a little. Anyone more naive may have followed the instructions and signed up for the software. It claimed to be a free trial.
I was eternally grateful that I pay a basic computer maintenance fee to PC World. There call centre soon talked me through what would hopefully rid my system of this nuisance and it worked.
There are a few morals to this story I guess:-
- If new and suspicious virus software appears on your computer it is probably MALWARE.
- Never do what this software advises.
- If you can afford it, pay for computer maintenance.
- If, whilst you are accessing the Internet, strange messages begin appearing log off as soon as possible.
- Up date your computer anti virus as often as possible, and use it.
I have anti virus running which could not cope with this attack. The call centre helped me download free malware protection, which I shall now use frequently.
I am not sure but I think the attack happened via a Twitter feed showing on one of the article pages on Allvoices.This is not meant as a criticism of Allvoices, as it could have happened at any site and at any time.
However, you have been warned to stay alert. Once the attack is in full swing you will probably be powerless to stop it.