Monday, August 24, 2009
Computer Virus Warning--New and Wicked
I'm running this email with permission from an author friend. I, too, got the pop-up she's talking about but was fortunate enough not to continue with it. But this one is easy to fall for, and the consequences aren't good. Beware!
This morning I went online to look up something. I noticed a lot of spam pages minimized below. So I began Xing them out. And then I remembered that I shouldn't be having that problem. So I immediately went off line to check my Norton and BOOM! I was infected by a Trojan horse. It rebooted my system and then completely wiped out Norton's software. The long and short of it is that I had to call and pay a Norton tekki to get rid of it. It's a nuisance spyware program that is very nasty and masquerades as a Window Live update--even uses Windows logo. It would not allow me to visit the Norton website--a nasty little side effect of this infection.
It embedded itself on my register. That was early this morning and here it is 3:45 and I'm just now getting back to work. So just an alert. Please pay attention to any update programs that look like Windows and be careful what you approve.
The Bogus name is PC AntiSpyware. And one of the search engines it installed in place of my Google bar is called My Websearch. And its plugins are toxic.
The Trojan horse, called braviax, embeds itself so deeply in the register that even the tekki had to call in his boss. It was a nightmare to get rid of it. It is a spyware program but periodically it shuts off your computer without warning in the middle of your work, so you have to just stop and get rid of it.
Also, the box that pops up tells you that you have a virus. But when you X it out, it just keeps popping back up. That little piece of action is the button that sends it deeper and deeper into your register. Found that out the hard way too.
Another author just emailed and said she just went through this two weeks ago. It's very deceptive. It even pops up a bogus program that looks like Windows is running a virus check. Then it tells you that you have 25 threats and need to update your program. When it asked me for credit card info, I immediately shut off my computer. I had to call Norton and then we rebooted over and over (maybe 20 times or more) blue screens, opening in safe mode, and then finally reinstalling Internet Explorer in order to give them access through the remote program.
To be clear, the pop-up I saw is the one my friend mentioned in her last paragraph. I was online, went to some web site and up popped this "Microsoft" box, telling me I'd been infected by numerous viruses and to click the Microsoft link to fix immediately. I got suspicious because of the number of hard-core viruses it claimed I had. Just didn't look right. So instead of clicking the link, I hit the X to close the box, went to Norton and did a scan, which turned out clean. If I had followed the link on the pop-up, the virus my friend got would have been downloaded. Once it's downloaded and you have the virus, then hitting the X to close further pop-ups about it will only drive it deeper into your computer.
Anyone else encounter this? How about you techie folks--have you heard of this one? Please share your experience/knowledge with the rest of us.