Archive for October 26th, 2007

26 Oct 2007

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

Spyware, bah!!

Well, instead of working on figuring out the vexing problem of how to get a photo gallery attached to this blog, I’ve been fighting malware on my main computer. Brenda was doing research on how various schools approach the issue of background checks for volunteers and, while on the website of one of the two big school boards in Calgary, managed to get a virus. It was one of those unpleasant ransom-ware style “virus scanner” deals, the virus pops up a WinXP style system tray alert box that warns of nasty viruses detected on the computer. Well, Duh!

The hook is that the malware tries to get you to buy a “full featured” version of some product (in this case, something called AntiVirGear) to remove the infection. Of course, if you’re dull enough to fall for it, the likelihood of being rewarded with a clean machine is pretty low. Anyway, it was a bear to get rid of: Norton, Adaware, Spybot and TrendMicro Housecall all were unsuccessful – although each one did find and remove some parts of the infestation. The last remnants of the virus relied on a randomly named and timestamped dll file in the system32 directory which had to be discovered and deleted by hand. Eventually I did clean it all up, but it took about 8 hours of effort.

I still think that I may rebuild things from scratch, just to be sure.

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