09 March, 2010

Out, Out Damn Virus

I have been infected. A nasty nasty trojan invaded my computer and I have just wasted the last three hours trying to fix up the mess. Normally when something goes wrong with the computer I can act superior and blame someone else for breaking it. Not this time. This one is all mine.

All it took was one glorious moment of dumbness. I received an email last last night from UPS telling me a parcel I had send could not be delivered. While this was unusual, it didn't ring alarm bells. All sorts of purchases and sales occur on eBay at our house and I never know what is going on until the courier arrives to either pick up or deliver.

As soon and I clicked on the attachment I knew I had made big mistake. My computer took on a life of it's own. Screens started popping up everywhere and my virus scanner went into overdrive. At this point I took the only sensible option: Turn the damn computer off and went to bed.  I  believe denial is a legitimate solution.

Morning comes with a renewed sense of optimism. Maybe the computer fixed itself overnight while it was turned off. Perhaps it was just a bad dream and it never happened? 

Nope. It's busted. Totally stuffed.

The sneaky thing about this trojan is it appears to have disabled my main virus scanner and then took over the default Windows virus scanner. It dutifully told me I had been infected and started flashing increasingly urgent messages telling me I was at risk of a) having my personal details stolen, b) having my banking passwords stolen, c) causing a nuclear meltdown and triggering global destruction. (ok, maybe not the last one but that's what it felt like) . I could stop all of this by upgrading my Internet security. All I needed to do was send my credit card details.

I can understand how people get fooled into giving their card details. It is incredibly frustrating when your computer doesn't work and upgrading the security seems like a really good idea. Lucky for me the credit card is already maxed so it was never an option.

Three hours later I had resurrected my main virus scanner which was then able to find and remove the trojan. The process is a like chemotherapy and some pretty important files were killed along the way. My computer is now limping along as I try to replace these files. I'm doing lots of re-installs.


  1. Oh, you poor thing. That sounds incredibly painful. It's so easy to click on the wrong thing though - we're all inundated with so many emails every day. Best wishes for a speedy 'puter recovery :o)

  2. Oh bugger! You poor thing, that sounds awful. Why would someone invent a virus - hideous creature - hope you get it all back together soon!!

  3. oh yuck. betcha swore a lot.

    [fenclavo - the medical instrument that you need to extract a nasty virus from your main memory :)]