Fairly New Virus On The Loose
I have had two friends tell me that they have just been hit by a nasty virus that has locked up their computer. I know the name of the first one, but not the second one yet. From what that person told me it sounds like it might be the same one. Here is what one of my friends had to say happened to him.
"My system has been siezed by "System Care Antivirus" it prohibits execution of all software and programs with request for purchase of $59.99 to fix problem (?) and of course wants credit card with security code. All software, uninstall, system recovery, etc will not execute."
Here is what the second person had to say.
"Saturday night a window opened on my desktop that looked like an antivirus program. It showed that there were viruses on my computer, and had a bar to click to take care of the problems. When I clicked on it several listings went away. When I tried to get rid of the others, I was taken to a website to buy the upgraded software to take care of the rest of the viruses. Since I didnít recognize the software, I went back to my desktop, and discovered that everything was frozen! Sunday afternoon I took the CPU to the Geek Squad at Best Buy, and itís going to cost me a lot of money to get it backed up, cleaned up, and useable again. I havenít seen any warnings about this, but you might want to spread the word. There is nothing to open Ė it appears open on the desktop, and looks quite legitimate, but it is the virus. Two other people here have gotten hit on their home computers."
It is important to know that if you visit a website and it suddenly pops up a warning that it has just scanned your PC and found a bunch of virus's on it, get out of that website quickly. Or if that message suddenly pops up, shut down your computer. If you find your computer locked up, you might have to follow the instructions below by going into Safe Mode. It is either a website that is trying to sell you their software by generating a list of virus's it said it found on your PC (which, if you have an anti-virus software installed already, it should have found. However, I am reading where the major anti-virus software programs are not detecting this). OR, it is a website that actually contains a virus and wants you to click on a link that takes you to a link that has the virus in it and it will infect your computer. DO NOT click on anything like this that comes up as a result of visiting some website. The idea behind this software is to infect your PC, then direct you to a website where you can buy the "fix" for it. They ask for your credit card information and your security code. If you give it to them, they will probably max out your credit card... This is, apparently, a fairly new virus that started showing up in April.
Here is what a company with removal instructions for this virus has to say about it. If you google System Care Antivirus you will find a number of websites that have a way to get this virus off your computer. You might want to print this out so you have it if you ever have this problem.
Vista Security Cleaner Pro is said to be another one of these infection programs to watch out for also....
Here is how to clean this one. Again, you might want to print this out because if one of these hits you, you are probably not going to be able to get into your PC to read these.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but these virus authors are real smart people.
They REPLACE your files with their own. That means you can't 'clean' something that isn't there. The only thing you can do is to replace THEIR files with your own (back to the beginning). They also put instructions on your pictures and other commonly used programs to re-infect your computer. Some of these worms and horses lay in the bushes and report the numbers you type, like credit card numbers and passwords. They copy and report your mailing lists to infect all your friends and relatives. You never know it's happening and you never get alarmed.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, take your important files OUT OF WINDOWS (directories), or they will be replaced when you reload Windows.
These are just some of the folders that Windows controls. Think of it this way, if Windows created the folder, it will be wiped clean and re-written when you reload windows.
Copy your important pictures and documents in your own folders on your C: drive. Better yet, burn a CD or DVD of your stuff. Do it NOW before it gets infected. That way you can always load it back into your computer at any time or you can run it on a temporary computer while yours is in the Geek Squad (I really don't like those guys for the prices they charge).
If the infection is real bad, the only way to get rid of it is by formatting your hard drive and reloading all your software over again. I hate doing this but sometimes it's the only way. I keep archived files of Squarebirds.org files in a very safe place and it is NOT infected.
Remember, antivirus companies are always trotting after the virus. They must reverse-engineer the **** thing, and that takes time. Sometimes they don't get it all, and leave fragments of it in quarantine.
Ray is right. I don't let Microsoft 'automatically' update my windows. I go there and ask for it, or it isn't going to be upgraded at all. I don't ever trust emails and popups from places and people I don't know. Java, Quicktime, Windows Media Player or any other upgrades? Nope. I go to their site and ASK for the update. These virus guys can make ANY screen look very legit. They simply copy the real screen and add their own buttons and links.
Just yesterday I got an email that said it had 'a secure encrypted message in a zip file, waiting for me to open it with 'this' password'. I immediately deleted it from my mail.
Never feel guilty or compelled to open strange emails or downloads. If anything is urgent or important, let them call or write me. Same goes for the telephone. Leave a message if you want me to call you back. Don't want to leave your number and I don't know you? Then I can't return your call.
Never be too careful. I use Norton because it comes with Comcast. Others are just as good, but NONE of them are ahead of the virus guys. Prepare your computer to be reloaded at any time. Back up your stuff on low-cost DVD blanks. Once they are 'closed' they cannot be infected and they will not crash. All other drives will. DVD's quickly reload if you ever need them. - Dave
Fairly New Virus On The Loose
Dave gave you some really good information. Thanks to him I stopped using Windows My Documents and its sub-folders to store all my personal and important stuff in some time ago. He explained to me that if you lose Windows you lose all your "stuff". He suggested that I create a folder on the C: Drive, outside of Windows and back it up on a regular basis. So I created a folder I call "My Stuff" and park everything personal and important to me in it. Then I copy that folder over to my backup drive often. Now if Windows gets creamed, I have not lost my personal and important stuff. If I lose my C: Drive, and have to replace it, I have it on my backup drive, and I also copy it to a CD.
I run McAfee for my anti-virus software because, like Dave and Norton, McAfee comes with AT&T which I am on. But as he said and the websites I cited said, not even the best of anti-virus software packages can detect everything that you are liable to run into these days.
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