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20 January 2009 @ 11:48 pm
Okay, okay, I GIVE IN. There are fifty-two pop-ups in my tabs - mainly involving poker, but with some online dating services and green card offers for variety - and more all the time. I cannot turn on my computer without being assailed by them. They break into whatever else I'm doing - writing histories in Word, people! - and THEY JUST WON'T LEAVE.

The last time this happened it turned out to be a pop-up VIRUS, what the fucking fuck, and I had to pay seventy quid to defrag my computer and lost everything on my hard-drive despite having active Norton. I don't even know what I did to contract it - Megaupload and Mediafire are usually pretty sound, and I don't dl anywhere else.

Snakelingsnakeling on January 21st, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
I've read that there's been a particularly nasty virus running in Windows these last few days, so that might be it :/ Sorry I don't have enough information; I'm on Linux.

(Also, if you think you'll need to reinstall Windows, you probably can save your data by using a Linux Live CD. Basically, you're running Linux from a CD, you can transfer your data from one HD to another, wipe your computer clean, and port your data back. Of course, you need to identify the virus first, because otherwise you'll just move it with you.)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: maskscoradh on January 21st, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
Huh. Okay. I understood about three words in that.

I'll just have to buy a couple memory sticks and take it to the shop, DAMN IT ALL TO HELL.
uminohikariuminohikari on January 21st, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
What anti virus programs do you run? Spybot and ad aware are pretty good, though if snakeling's idea that it's the newest virus, you may be stuck :|
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on January 21st, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
I just have Norton. And I think I ran the scans for the first time in like a year when this all started. Oops?

What would I do with spybot? Would it TAKE THEM AWAY?!!
uminohikariuminohikari on January 21st, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
Spybot and ad aware will remove viruses--if it can find them. :| If the virus is new..
Sachaelsachael on January 21st, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
I second the vote for Lavasoft Ad-Aware. It works, it's easy to use, and best of all, it's free.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra butterfly facescoradh on January 25th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
In the end I paid someone to get rid of it for me ... I'm not very technologically minded. :D
hpstrangelove: aaaHarryAndSeverushpstrangelove on January 21st, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
How computer savvy are you? How much work are you willing to do? If you want to tackle it, I can give you some links, and also a forum where you can post and they will help you.

Try these programs:


Look for Hijack This here, it's free


and this forum - they will guide you through it:

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra child with a cat on its headscoradh on January 25th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
I tried malwarebites without success, so ended up taking it in to be fixed. Thanks all the same, though!
amazing vaguely humanoid armadilloperson: apocalyptic: suspiciouscryptid on January 21st, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
I am rather computer illiterate myself, but I read this post a few days ago, which seems to describe a similar problem. Several of the people responding to it did mention that Malwarebytes thing that hpstrangelove suggested, and it seems to have done the trick there, so I guess that might be a good idea? I think that post might be a good place to mine for advice, anyway, since ursulav has a rather large and all-knowing following.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra girl with umbrellascoradh on January 25th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I tried that and failed ... so I got the creepy little man in town to install half a million spywares on my desktop, and voila!
Geoviki: animals - aargh by janicechessgeoviki on January 21st, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, virus, babe. Called Virtumonde. I picked it up 2 wks ago, and I tried several programs to stompity-stomp the thing. As mentioned above, the malwarebytes program did the trick. Download it (it's free), click to install, then run. Presto!

Don't leave your computer go too long without doing this, because there's mention that it also logs keystrokes and effs up your security.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra green facescoradh on January 25th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the name! It's all gone now, thank the lord.
daybreaqdaybreaq on January 21st, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)
Get a Mac ... Sorry, I know like most people, you probably aren't ready to buy a new computer yet; but keep that solution in the back of your mind. After my last malware attack, I made a decision that when I got another one, I would buy the Mac. About three weeks ago I started seeing signs of the sniffles in my four year old Dell. Then the pop-ups started coming. So two weeks ago I was in the Apple store and I'm now typing at you on my beautiful 24 inch iMac. I tore out the infected hard drive from the Dell and gave the computer to my assistant. So I'm finally Windows free and loving it!

Here's how I got rid of my previous malware attacks as I recall.

1. Called the Dell tech help phone line and paid for service over the phone.

2. Dell tech talked me through the steps to allow him to be able to control my computer.

3. He downloads a bunch of "cleaner" software onto my computer. (This is what I kinda really needed him for because the Malware itself tends to disguise itself as cleaner or anti-virus software and I wasn't sure which ones were really safe. I'm sorry I don't remember all the *real* cleaners we used. Some of them were: Smit Fraud Fix, Webroot Spy Sweeper, and the software by Lavasoft.)

4. He then talked me through the steps to reboot my computer in "safe mode." I always forget how to do this but it's easily Googled.

Oh, and there's one more thing you have to do. You need to turn off the option that remembers your previous setting (I'm sorry again. I don't recall exactly what it's called or how to do it but that step is also found when you Google about cleaning Malware from your computer.) so the Malware/virus can't reset itself.

5. Run all the cleaner software in "safe mode." This takes a few hours.

6. Go back to regular mode and upon seeing an apparently "clean" computer, thank the tech profusely.

7. About 8 hours later, look at my computer in dismay upon seeing all the pop ups come back in full force. See, computer viruses are like herpes! (Ha! I know as a med student you'll get that analogy.)

8. Go back to step one and repeat the whole process all over again ... about five times or so. (To be fair, Dell only charged me once. Still each session with the tech took hours.)

The techs varied somewhat in which software they wanted to use and in which order. At some point I realized some suggested disconnecting from the internet (in my case, pull the ethernet cable) while running the cleaners and then calling them back. So I thought ... what if the way this works is the malware thugs' (And they are thugs! I've read they are run by major crime organizations.) computer keeps a running program of their "marks" and once it has a "working number" it just keeps reconnecting? So if I leave the computer disconnected for more than a day after cleaning it, maybe it will appear to be a "disconnected phone number" and I'll get dropped from their "call list." I don't know if this is the mechanism; but leaving the computer disconnected for a little more than a day after a "full wash" seemed to do the trick.

Still I eventually got another attack like I knew I would. So I just gave up entirely this time and got the iMac.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra india eyesscoradh on January 25th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
I tried a Mac when I did a graphic design module and HATED them. I much prefer the windows application. And, well, it only cost forty quid to lose the virus, so I'm not that bothered. :D
karorumetallium: omgdedkarorumetallium on January 21st, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
I just get rid of Virtumonde today, after almost three weeks of infection. Kaspersky AV, the one I had installed, detected the thing but it couldn't delete it. My comp was running fine save for the avalanche of ads I blocked using Firefox only (the virus attacks directly from IE) and the AdBlock plugin. So I was able to install SpyBot, who detected it but wasn't able to delete it since the damn thing duplicates and hides in the registry.

I went to the spybots forum and asked for help, I had to wait four days for a response because the forums were swamped with desperate people in need of help. Yesterday and today one of the technicians offered me help and guided me through the process. We tried various programs, and Malwarebyte's did the trick. But you need to know what to do with the info it provides and what to delete, and that's why the opinion of experts counts.

Go there and ask for advice, please.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra pink carp of luckscoradh on January 25th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
I got rid of it - or rather the tech in town did - it was SO ANNOYING OMG!
omegarromegarr on January 22nd, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
Toolbars are evil. No exceptions. Ever.

What you need to do is get better internet security and a new browser im guessing. Or stop clicking ads, but i assume you know better.

Step 1: Get rid of norton. There are way better alternatives. Most of them arent free, but there are easy ways to bypass security. I recommend kaspersky 7 or 8. They require no maintenance and offer best protection imo. If youre interested i could mail you about where to get it and how to make it work, but its not completely legal. After installing perform a complete system scan and choose default options to deal with stuff.

Step 2: You need to get rid of the existing spyware. Im not sure how well kaspersky works for that, because ive never had any. You can try some freeware spyware cleaners and hope for the best, but they wont remove everything that annoys you. There is an alternative solution though. First of all try uninstalling them yourself. Good places to start are start menu and the uninstall programs option in "My computer". Alternatively, find out the names of programs that cause problems and search (F3) for them, delete what you find. Dont delete stuff you arent sure about (like windows stuff). Then make a new user account for yourself. That should get rid of most of the annoying stuff. (installing kaspersky might be best after making the new account)

Step 3: Get Firefox, keep it updated. Search google for adblock plus, an addon for firefox that blocks most of ads and allows you to block anything else. Its easy to install, will take you 5 min max for both.

This should do it tbh. Make sure to never choose additional options when installing new software (yahoo toolbar comes to mind), less is definitely more in this case.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra sariscoradh on January 25th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind getting Kapersky, although I just assumed since I'm paying hundreds for Norton that it works properly. Grr. Is there much difference between Firefox and IE? I'm so used to IE now...
omegarromegarr on January 26th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Norton used to be good a few years ago. Thats the reason it comes preinstalled on so many pcs nowadays, old contracts im guessing. Now its quite crappy. Just searched google and it consistently scores low on almost every test. The way to go is BitDefender or kaspersky.

About firefox, its really not that different from IE. Same interface and menus, just safer. With right addons and caution its possible to stay virus-free without using any internet security apps (dont try it though).