Saturday, November 21, 2009

Malware...brrrr



My computer has been giving me a hard time lately. It is six years old, and completely exhausted . I'm proud that during these years it didn't require any technician work; I was the only one to touch its inside when opening the case to clean the ventilators and throw a loving look at the Motherboard. There were problems with it now and then, but I managed to solve them with whatever little knowledge I have on computers.

Only once did I need the intervention of an outside factor. Two years ago, the computer got attacked by malware. It was a shocking, frightful experience; it looked as if some kind of monster
within the box was trying to torture me by interfering with my work in various nasty ways. In fact, I couldn't do any work.

It started with the sudden appearance of a big blue Microsoft ad in the middle of the screen offering an anti virus program. Luckily, I understood right away that it was not Microsoft but some dangerous, invasive agent, and so I didn't get tempted to install the program. After a few unsuccessful trials to deal with the situation, I phoned Microsoft technical support and they promptly emailed me an anti malware software. It helped, of course, but it took me several days to make sure everything was under control.

The whole thing scared me so much that I tried to forget all about it. When the attack was on I took a shot of the ad but apparently didn't care to save it.
Anyway, that's all behind me now, and I'm looking forward to get a new computer, hopefully by the end of next week. In the meantime, things are not easily done and certain things (slideshows, for instance) will have to wait .




43 comments:

Land of shimp said...

Ah DUTA, yes, anyone who has been on the internet for any length of time has encountered at least one form of malware, and they are always so unsettling. I think the first one I can recall is the infamous Good Times virus hoax, which was a hoax but had everyone up in arms regardless. There are some very funny spoofs of the Good Times hoax out there, one I remember still makes me giggle, "Do not open this email, or the Good Times virus will spread, leaving dirty socks on your floor, refusing to pick up its wet towels!"

Sadly, most aren't hoaxes. I've only ever had one and most of the people I know ended up getting it at the same time. A virus that caused computers to shutdown/restart/shutdown/restart in an endless loop. A system 32 attack.

To put it quite plainly: Man, that one sucked. Luckily some techies made a rescue disk for me, and I was able to purge it.

It is funny, when we get new computers, and most of the people I know have been through several, there is something rather sad about retiring our 'net warrior friends. I felt that way about all the computers I had to retire.

All except my Gateway, that crashed and burned so spectacularly, it took out roughly forty word processing documents with it. I learned my "Back up regularly, no...really...back up regularly for goodness sake!" lesson on that one!

Good luck with your snazzy, new machine!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Getting a new computer is one of my favorite things to do. I'm giving away my age here (as if I haven't already) by saying my first computer was a VIC-20 that I never really understood how to use. It even sounds strange to me to say that I remember when there wasn't an internet and now I don't know how I'd live without it! I still have a desktop, but I never use it. I'm all about the laptop these days.

Sue

Sandy said...

Every computer owner's worst nightmare! Good for you that you have had it so long and not needed much professional help. Good luck with the new one. Will look forward to hearing about it.

Dimple said...

Thanks for the visit, Duta!
We had a malware attack not that long ago, it took a lot of work to clean the computer afterwards. What really bothers me is that these malware programs are written by people for the express purpose of harming other people.

Jo said...

My service provider has a really good (free) security program, so that might be the first thing you will want to get when you get your next computer. It can be a nasty world out there, trying to get into our homes.

Keep us posted!

Cheers,
Jo

Cheryl said...

We had a new computer that was infected by some malware. It was a major blow to us as it completely destroyed everything. So when we purchased our new desktop we purchased an internet security package that covered the main computer and the kids laptops. I recently purchased myself a laptop and love it. I am still very cautious when something unusual pops up!

The Bug said...

We had that very same malware a while back - VERY annoying! Fortunately Dr. M was able to use his laptop to figure out the problem & what to do. Unfortunately it took him the better part of a day to get it sorted out!

Sue - I remember having a job in 1989 where I had to switch floppy disks out to run programs & to save documents - there was no hard drive. Good times!

DUTA said...

Land of Shimp,

Indeed it's sad to part with the old " net warrior". We get attached to devices that serve us faithfully.

You're right, of course,about backing up, it's a must.

Thanks for wishing me Good Luck with the new computer.

Sue(Someone's Mom),

With me it's the opposite. I have a laptop but
don't use it often. I'll have to do some practice to be able to make a real switch from the desktop to the laptop.

Sandy,

I usually make it a rule to learn maintenance of each device I own. The internet helps me a lot in this direction.

Thanks for wishing me Good Luck with the future one.

Dimple,

You may be right about malware programs written for the purpose of harming people's computers. I was "lucky" that the malicious ad had Microsoft name on it, so they were eager to help destroying the invader.

Jo,

The free security programs do the work in the beginning, and then they start slowing the computer, unless you buy or upgrade to the 'full' program.

Just Playin' said...

Oh that malware is bad stuff. I got tangled in it once too and had to get help getting loose! You will LOVE your new computer! Yea!

Coralee said...

thanks Duta, this post made me smile; particularly the photo...it's sometimes amazes me that more us have not electrocuted ourselves. ..

Kathy said...

I wouldn't know what to do if my computer had a serious issue. Mine is a very old Dell that has been wonderful, but sadly is starting to really slow down and do some strange things. I really do need a new one, but don't know what I want or what I really need. I'm having one of our tech guys at work help me figure it out. Don't want to spend a ton if I don't have to. Can't wait to hear about your new one! How cool that you are able to fix them yourself! I wouldn't even know where to start.

Thanks for visiting my blog....I agree about IKEA. We did buy our little chairs there and like them, but they aren't something that is going to last a long time. I love all of the little stuff at IKEA though. We had fun today. I've never tried their food...I guess I'll have to do that next time we go.

Jennifer said...

The computer I am using which is a lap top, completely went hay wire. Looking back I'm not even sure how I fixed it, but I did...reinstalling main programs from websites, etc, etc. I lost a lot of music, back up is important, which I am still not good at. UGH. Thanks for the reminder to be more responsible of my $$ by taking care of all of the resources that are housed on my computer.

Alicia said...

Hi Duta,
I think I received that same malware a few years ago. I had to take my poor little baby into Geek Squad and about $300 later I was ok.

I've had my computer for about 8 years now and so far so good. But I'm hoping to get a lap top in the future. Nothing worse than computer problems!

jeannette stgermain said...

I am hopeless when it comes to computers, so I let hubby do the technical side. They say that the life span of a computer is about 5 years, so you did good!

Janie B said...

Don't you hate it when the computer isn't working properly? When I think that just a little over a decade ago, I didn't even own one, and now I'm completely addicted to its use, I cannot believe it. Glad to hear that you are getting a new one. They are so much better now than even six years ago. You will be impressed.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

The photo itself says a lot!!

St Jude said...

I love getting new computors, but I hate having to adapt to the new software and operating platforms. It is such an ache having to load all of my favourite things onto it too. I'm sad I know but I get very attached to my laptops.

TallTchr said...

My computer at school was infected with what may have been the same malware. I asked our techies to fix it for me. They did so by reprogramming my hard drive without warning me first. I lost all my recent files including grades for my kids. Another reason why I'm going to retire soon.

Angelina said...

You should consider getting a MAC computer, so far no downsides to owning one.

I love mine.

Vera said...

I am well impressed with your ability to deal with such monsters, and I hope your new PC does you years of service. I could do without many things, including a shower and a roof over my head, but I cannot do without my PC. It stayed packed for six weeks when we first moved here, and it felt like half of me was missing. My withdrawal symptoms became so bad that my husband rigged up my PC on a camping table, to keep me quiet I think as I fell into quite a moany mood for a while. As I have said, hope your new PC works well for you, Duta.

Ronda Laveen said...

Wow! You really did well riding your computer along for that long. We had to get a new one in April. The other one died a very deep death. But at least it gave us warning the drives were dying.

Getting the new one sorted out wasn't fun. Lots of little glitches (oh, some big glitches too). But finally (with fingers crossed) we are running and not crashing hardly at all anymore. It was not the joyful experience I was hoping for.

My astrologer friend said I shouldn't have bought it during Mercury retrograde but I din't have a choice.

Sending you good wishes.

nomore said...

Why don't you prepare a Samsung for the new...

DUTA said...

Just Playin'

I'm sorry to hear that you've also encountered malware. I hope and wish that you're right about my future computer.

Coralee,

I'm glad my post made you smile - smiling is always a good and healthy thing.
Well, before opening the case I disconnect all the cables from electricity and I pray to God to protect me.

Kathy,

I wish you lots of luck with your future computer. As for Ikea, I happen to be there once or twice a year ; it's a place which provides much fun and you always buy something, no matter how small.

Jennifer,

It's good to hear that you're capable to fix things in your laptop. 'Back up' is for me also a problem; I'm lazy when it comes to do it.

Alicia,

I like your humour: "poor little baby...and about $300 later I was OK".
8 Years is quite a long time in terms of a computer. Nothing is worse than health problems and computer problems.

DUTA said...

Jeannette Stgermain,

You are blessed with a wonderful husband who's a very gifted man, so you don't have to worry about anything, including computer issues.

Janie B,

I'm addicted too. And of course, I'm not happy at all when the computer isn't working properly.

Phivos Nicolaides,

Oh, Yes, the picture is, as they say, "worth a thousand words".

St. Jude,

Well , I get attached not only to computers but to any item or device that serves me in some way or another.

TallTchr,

I'm sorry of what has happened to your hard disk, but I'm glad you're going to retire. Teaching is a tough profession and retirement , I guess, should be a blessing to you.

DUTA said...

Angelina,

Many praise the MAC computer, maybe I should indeed consider it. Anyway, I'm glad you love your computer.

Vera,

As always, you describe things with great humour , not forgetting your lack of roof and shower . Thanks a lot for wishing me well with the new computer.

Ronda,

I believe I did; so they all say, that the computer has served me well for a long period.
Mine is also giving warnings that it's dying. I have also fears about a future computer.

Nomore,

Thanks for stopping by. I thnk the computer I'm going to get has some Samsung parts.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

I admire your technical knowledge. I am totally pants with computers! xx

RainyWest said...

Really interesting post Duta. Those viruses are nasty. My sister forgot to install anti-virus software with a new laptop some years ago and within minutes something venomous had wiped her hardrive!

Well done for being so hands-on with your old friend and good luck with the new one!

Nezzy said...

Hate it. We had one a couple of years ago that we just had to replace the computer. I can fix most things myself but when I really get into a bind my son owns his own Tech Co. so all I have to do is yell "HELP" and he comes runnin' 'cause ya'll know if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! :o)

Sweet Duta, Have a blessed week remembering to give thanks. (It's our Thanksgiving week!)

DUTA said...

Josephine Tale Peddler,

Well, I wouldn't say I have technical knowledge, but whenever I encounter a problem, I try to learn it and find a solution with the help of both : the information available in the instruction manual and on the Web.

Rainy West,

Thanks for your comment; You always write the right thing and I like that. As for anti virus software, sometimes it's in itself a problem as it slows the computer.

Nezzy,

You're great as usual Nezzy. I'm sure your son comes running to help his mother in distress.
You're right - "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"
Have a blessed week you too!

matron said...

I have had three computers,two laptops and one desk top.The first laptop i passed on to my daughter when i upgraded to the desktop,but that one was served by Vista,which i found useless,so i passed that on on,now i have a Macbook that is the best computer,in my opinion,so easy to use.I also have good virus and malware protection.As for mending a computer,i would not have a clue where to start.You sound like a very clever lady.Good luck with your new one.

DUTA said...

matron,

I enjoyed reading your computer history. Thanks for the compliment and for your wishing me good luck, at the end of your comment.

Lisa said...

Hello Duta! I'm impressed with anyone that has been able to keep a computer running for 6 years with little trouble. Mine is a love/hate relationship - can't live with it and can't live without it. Hope you're doing well.

Nezzy said...

FYI...I'm blushing here Miss Duta. The "lovely young woman in the picture" is me about a month ago at my granddaughters birthday party. You just made an old farm chicks day!

God bless!!!

DUTA said...

Hi Lisa,

Good to hear from you. Yeah, it's like men say about women and women about men : "Can't live with them and can't live without them".

Nezzy,

I'm speechless. I always picture you as the one in the profile photo; so I saw the resemblance with the other picture but never for a moment thought that the slim model with the long blond hair is you. You look fantastic!

Nezzy said...

THANKS, running after cattle and the physical aspects of farm life has its perks. The pic in the profile is less than a year old, my hair is just in a pony~tail and I was goofing around with the granddaughters and their dress~up boa. I just thought a farm gal in a boa was funny!

Have a great day, you sure made mine!!! :o)

Nel said...

I know about the Malware virus...the blue pop up. My computer was infected by that last year, but I too found something to download to destroy it. Thank God! You are very lucky to have gone 6 years without any major problems.

DUTA said...

Nezzy,

I'm glad I've made your day. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Nel,

It's terrible when it happens, isn't it. Well,like with anything else,in computers also, there's no good without bad.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pinecone Camp said...

I've definitely had some computer issues with my mac, but nothing too sinister. I think I'd cry!

Sandra said...

6 YEARS?!!! Yeah, I'd say it's about time for another one. You'll be in computer Heaven! :)

DUTA said...

Pinecone Camp,

Welcome! May you have no problems at all with your MAC!

Sandra,

Thank you. I hope you're right on that.

Ladybird said...

Wow...good luck, great blog.

DUTA said...

Thanks. And thank you for stopping by.

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