Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday This and That

My computer's infection this week with the dastardly System Care Antivirus, which itself is a virus, was only the beginning of a long quest that has not ended. I am on the hunt for every kind of malware, spyware, trojan, and every other kind of malicious software on my computer - and I've found more.

The original virus, which took over my computer, is gone, as verified by two programs, but I had to finish the removal job myself. I was annoyed beyond belief when I went to the "computer doctor" get my computer at 4:00 Friday and was told it would be Monday before he could finish. All he was doing was running a free Malware program - the very program that I had in the instructions for removing System Care Antivirus that I had downloaded and printed online. He had removed the virus, and he started a quick scan for others while I waited. One came up, and I asked him to delete it. I told him I was taking my computer as soon as he could shut it down.

He didn't want the computer to leave potentially "dirty." However, I told him I was just as capable of running the malicious software removal program as he was, and then my computer wouldn't have to sit there until Monday afternoon. I brought my computer home and ran scans by multiple programs until it reported "clean." I thought the drama was over.

On Saturday morning, I clicked on a Google search result for "Print USPS Postage," so that I could finally send out Erin B's prize. I was re-directed to a car site. At that moment, I knew I had another problem. I posted a question on the Firefox support site, and two gentlemen promptly provided assistance. One gave me links to about 10 free scanning programs and told me to run all of them because some pick up one bad actor, but not another, and so on. It made sense to me, so I have been downloading, installing, and running anti-malware programs all weekend. That has left me unable to blog.

One made me pretty angry. I wasted Friday night on Kaspersky, advertised as free. When it found and identified dirty files, it wanted me to buy a license before it would fix them. It was advertised as free, but was hardly free. I uninstalled it from my computer. By then, I was ready to kill a hacker.

Today, I think Microsoft Security Scanner found the redirect culprit: Win32/Medfos.B. It is malicious JavaScript that redirects search queries when you use search engines. It is installed as a malicious Mozilla Firefox extension. How did I get it? Who knows? It's gone now.

My Facebook friends have suggested some other cleaners, so I'll be running them tonight. I'm going to run these detectives until my system comes up clean to all of them. Meanwhile, I'm losing valuable blogging time. I'm sorry I've appeared missing in action, but it's important that I get this right.

I saw The Conjuring this past Tuesday night. You know what Klout is, right? It's a social media site that "rates" your influence. The higher your influence, the more perks you can earn. Perks are freebies. Clearly, my influence isn't all that good because the perks I have received have included cat food my cats wouldn't eat and sugar-free ice cream coupons, which would be nice if the brand were available in the stores I frequent. Anyhow, Monday, Klout offered me free tickets to an advance showing of The Conjuring, and I accepted for myself and my friend Paul.

The movie ran from 7:30 to 9:30 (way past my bedtime). Even though I do not like horror films, I have to tell you it was very well done. The film stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators who come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in the Rhode Island farmhouse they just bought. From the start of the movie, it is evident that the house is possessed, and the suspense builds from start to finish.

What is seriously amazing about this film is that it's based on a true story. The Warrens were real, and Mrs. Warren is still alive. You can read more at this link. The movie was called by Variety "one of the most viscerally effective thrillers in history." I must agree with the use of the word "visceral." During the whole movie, I realized that my stomach was in knots. I wish I had known to pop a Valium before I went.

The acting was first class, and the sound effects were extraordinary. As I said, this isn't my kind of movie (I'm a The Devil Wears Prada kind of gal), but if you like terrifying movies, you must see it. It opens on July 19. Caution though...if you think your house is haunted, do not go. I'm now wondering, though, if evil spirits infected my computer.

I must go select a winner for this past week's giveaway contest. Then, I am going to try to write a feature for this evening. There's a new fragrance I want to describe before Saks has its gift card event Thursday.

If you want to know the names of the anti-malware programs I have found most effective, just leave a comment. Thanks for bearing with me!

Update: I need to point out something. You have no exposure from this blog. My blog is hosted by Google, not my computer. Google is pretty bullet-proof.

Update #2: I am so exhausted, I'm going to bed at 7:00. I will approve comments at 4:30 am tomorrow, and I promise I will write tomorrow when I get home from work. There are no options I can summon. I just need to sleep. I'm tired of getting up in the middle of the night to instruct one program and launch another to scan my computer.

Photos courtesy of thenorth.com, amt.com, and The Conjuring

23 comments:

Nemo said...

Can you buy a new computer? That's what I ended up doing when I encountered a serious virus. Meanwhile, Cg, please google Wasabi Chan, the world's cutest kitten. Looking at her will make you happy!

Carolannotated said...

Sorry to hear about your computer woes. Avast antivirus has kept my system safe for years. The free version is as good as the paid. I also use Malwarebytes along side with it. Love your blog. Good luck! BTW your captcha software is a nightmare to read and post. I had to to it like 10 times.

Anonymous said...

teachmetry malwarebytes anti-malware
I believe it is free. have had good results

Charleston Girl said...

I agree, Carolannotated,

Catpcha is a pain in the butt. It's not my Captcha, it's Google's Captcha, and it keeps me from commenting on blogs. Reading it to type it is a horror.

It's unfortunately, the only way to keep out spam bots.

Charleston Girl said...

To those who think the virus that infected my computer was somehow a problem for theirs, I use Google Blogger, which is not a computer-dependent platform. Sometimes, I get the same "bad actor" messages on legit sites.

It's your own anti-virus software. If Google isn't safe, nothing is.

Eileen said...

Bonjour Clarisse,

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! Tonight I'll be attending a special Bastille Day celebration at a friend's French restaurant. Serge is a real party animal so it should be a lot of fun--champagne will flow and the food will be excellent. I hope you also have a wonderful celebration. À votre santé!


I know this has nothing to do with computer woes, but I didn't want the day to escape without sending a greeting to the charming Clarisse.

mamavalveeta03 said...

Hi CG! I completely understand the computer drama. I've been having problems with viruses that I think have made my computer run very slowly and have made it freeze-up a lot. If you've got the names of the free ones you found effective, I'd LOVE them! Thanks!! (do you need my email or you still have it?)

Adam & Susan said...

I appreciate when you provide links that enable me to more quickly purchase beauty items. the link you provided today enabled me to spend the last hour reading about people's experiences with the spiritual realm. fascinating. good luck with the virus decontamination, CG!

jessigreer said...

My parents went to see the Warrens speak at the country club in our town in CT when I was young while my brother and I stayed at our grandparents house. It was just a date night for them, I think they thought it would be like movie and then dinner-it wasn't the type of thing they sought normally. I will never forget how scared they were after the presentation for at least several months after...and my father wasn't the type to be afraid. I'll never forget that!

Christina said...

I am sorry you hare having problems with your computer. We've had a storm here, blackout and flooding. The flooding did not affect our home and our food is okay, so we did not have to through it out.

I found out that I can't get Surge Lutens makeup ship to Canada and so disappointed because I really wanted to try this brand.

Have you thought of switching to Apple computer?

Olivia J said...

I suggest you either get a MAC (computer) or install in part of your hard drive Linux Ubuntu or Linux Mint, both easy and user friendly Linux operating systems with a great support system! I use Linux on one of my old computers and use that one for banking and any of my online ordering.

I hope your computer gets well soon. And, I am jealous that you got to see The Conjuring. I love paranormal stuff!

Dlori said...

I'm sorry you're going through all this aggravation with your computer. I've been in your shoes and it's not fun. I don't know what these people find fun about causing others so much upset and harm. To derive happiness by inflicting pain upon others is so incredibly sick and what a waste of time and money for the victim.

If it's possible, can you please send me the secure links you used to clean your computer of viruses. I use Safari and I have a MAC computer,

As for the movie, The advertisement on TV scared the bajeezers out of me especially when the woman was standing on the top of the stairs to what appears to be her basement, she lights a match for light and to her left side, you see what appears to be a person squatting next to her, who claps his hands twice I believe, and then the light blows out. And to make it even scarier, when I found out it was based on a true story, well, that really creeped me out. However, I still might have to see it because it did look good.

Hope you're doing well.

Diane

Ava Smith said...

Thanks for telling me about Malwarebytes, CG. It appears to have worked. My laptop no longer shuts itself off and it runs much faster. Two virus and Trojans were caught. I should have looked to see which ones they were, but I was so anxious to remove them that I said "Ick!" and followed the instructions to delete. I'll follow your example and run some of the other programs this weekend. Hope you got some rest!

Charleston Girl said...

Everyone,

I will post the list of programs in a bit. I can copy it easily on my PC. I'm still in bed with my iPad, getting up the energy to dress for work.

I do have an Apple, a lovely little MacBookAir, but my photo software is on my PC. I need my photo software to blog.

Ava, I am so glad it helped. Literally everyone recommends Malwarebytes. Microsoft Security Center found three Trojans Malwarebytes didn't.

Jessi, I would love to have been with your parents!! After seeing that movie, I have a renewed interest in paranormal events.

Charleston Girl said...

BTW, Carol, all of your comments worked. There were about 10 of them. Since I am moderating comments now, many people enter them over and over, thinking the aren't "taking." It's because they can't see them until I click on publish.

Charleston Girl said...

Nemo, you are a hoot! Who has that kind of money? You didn't need to buy a new computer to clean viruses, although I'm sure you enjoyed it. The Dell I have now is fairly new...and loaded, so it would not be cheap to replace.

Unfortunately, they don't accept used makeup as barter for computer parts or services.

I will go find the cutie today.

Charleston Girl said...

Clarisse, I feel badly about Bastille Day. I had planned a post, but it went the way of my computer day. All I managed to eek out was a tweet.

Charleston Girl said...

Dlori, imagine those trailers multiplied by 50!

The software list is for PCs. You shouldn't have virus issues with an Apple.

Anonymous said...

Hi CG,

Sorry to hear about your "Lost Weekend." Thank you for your kind offer of helping your readers through your own misfortune. I rely on my nieces & nephews as my computer gurus, but they are not always available.

Charleston Girl said...

As promised...

Please scan with all programs because each program detects different malware.

Make sure that you update each program to get the latest version of their databases before doing a scan.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware:
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php
SuperAntispyware:
http://www.superantispyware.com/
Microsoft Safety Scanner:
http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx
Windows Defender: Home Page:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/defender/default.mspx
Spybot Search & Destroy:
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
AdwCleaner:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Antivirus/Removal-Tools/AdwCleaner.shtml
Kasperky Free Security Scan:
http://www.kaspersky.com/security-scan
You can also do a check for a rootkit infection with TDSSKiller.

Anti-rootkit utility TDSSKiller:
http://support.kaspersky.com/5350?el=88446
See also:

"Spyware on Windows": http://kb.mozillazine.org/Popups_not_blocked
See the answer.

solanace said...

I love horror movies and I'm most definitely watching this. hope your computer's "exorcism" turns out well.

mamavalveeta03 said...

Thank you, SOOOO much, CG!!! I hope this helps and I don't have to fork over the money for a new computer!

BooBooNinja said...

Oh CG, your troubles have me wanting to kick this evil hacker in the shins. GRRRR. Then I'll hand him/her over to you so you can do what you want.

Take care!