I know a fair amount about computers having spent my entire career worrying about them, but nothing prepared me for what happened a couple of weeks ago.
I run both Semantec and Microsoft’s Security Essentials. That had been recommended though now there is talk that the two might conflict with one another. I am very careful not to open attachments I am unfamiliar with and also careful to avoid suspect web sites.
Here is what happened.
- I received a message to update my Miro software. I updated it and it then worked faster and had additional features. All seemed well.
- I received a window which said that XP Security 2012 Alert found 32 problems on my machine and that for only $59 I could receive the software to cleanse the problems. I clicked the X to get rid of it. That turned out to be bad.
From that point my machine was infected and the infection got worse day by day until I was unable to open any SW including a variety of malware programs. Before total infection I ran Malwarebytes (it is free and you all should get it and run it periodically) and it located two problems, one of which was Miro. However, the uninstall could not eliminate all of it.
Eventually I took the machine to Staples which took nearly a week after initially failing on all their “simple” solutions. They had to rebuild the Registry. Rebooting did not work, not did starting in safe mode. I thought that they were going to have to rebuild the machine from scratch. That is OK in terms of data (including favorites and address book) but I would have lost all the SW that I have installed since purchase.
One thing I learned was that on some Malware clicking ANYWHERE on the bogus window starts the acceptance process. I think, but am not sure, that shutting down the machine, instead, will work.
Another is to save a list of all the SW you have on the machine so that you can re-install it if necessary. If it is purchased and you have the original disks that is best, though you will be re-installing what might be a very old version.