My computer got hit with a ‘SWP 2009’ virus on Thursday night, and boy is it a nasty little bug.
This virus poses itself as a virus scanner. Yeah, real convenient. It pops up, saying that your virus protection is out of date, and that you have 60 some viruses on your machine. It een looks like it is scanning your hard drive file by file, discovering new viruses. Of course, this is all a ploy.
The virus then recommends that you purchase their anti-virus software at $50 for a three month subscription. Way overpriced, and just a way to capture your credit card.
The tricky part comes in here. When you launch internet explorer to look for information about this virus, it has already hijacked internet explorer, and won’t let you surf around. Microsoft “is unavailable,” Google “is unavailable,” and so on and so on. And if you try to run your programs, even hitting a Ctrl-Alt-Del or the Start button, it pops up a message box saying that executable is infected, click here to protect yourself. Yikes!
Luckily for me, I run two other browsers besides Internet Explorer on our machine, and I was able to launch those to figure out what was going on. I downloaded some new tools, but I couldn’t get them to install because of the virus. Since at this point it was 12:30 AM Friday, it was time to turn of the computer, and attack it later, which is right now, Sunday morning.
I am typing all this from my laptop, which is sitting next to my home PC while it is running a scan in safe mode. Hopefully I can get an update soon as to the progress of my work.
For file backups on my home PC, I use an online tool called Mozy. I am restoring files from that site right now to my laptop so Melody can get some work done that she needs to do this week. As she said again this morning, what a bad time for a virus. But is there ever a good time for it?
Update: It took about four hours, but I got my PC back with no ill affects. 5 system scans, two of which did automatic cleanings, and one required manual cleaning. Also, I had to manually change the proxy setting for IE, as the virus set it to 127.0.0.1. No wonder I couldn’t get to the internet when the virus had my machine. But it makes me wonder, how does somebody clean and get rid of this kind of thing if they are the “typical user?” I guess it just sucks to be them.
Update2: I am now researching a External Hard Drive. Anybody have any recommendations out there for me? I don’t think I need Network Attached Storage (NAS), and I don’t need it to be portable, just a good review and decent price. Anybody?