Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Frigging viruses

My wife paged me at work today. That never happens. I get messages, phone calls, but never pages. So I thought, naturally, that someone had died. I called her back right away and she informed me that we had a virus on her computer (We have separate computers - geek, remember?). It had happened while using Facebook, and she was freaking out. Relieved no one was dead, I told her to turn off her machine and I'd look at it when I got home.

When I got home I did a quick search online using my machine (should have used the Linux box but used this one instead) and identified it was most likely the Koobface virus that has been hitting Facebook for a while. The link, by the way, is to a news story, not the actual virus ;o) The descriptions matched what she had told me about almost exactly. Armed with this knowledge, I turned on her machine and started to tinker with it. I ran Norton quickscan and it caught one malware program that had been installed, this one that, ironically, says your comptuer is infected with a bunch of viruses and invites you to pay for and download this (bogus) antivirus software. I had helped a friend with that one before, so I knew what was up with it. But for some reason Norton didn't even touch the Koobface stuff, or this adware redirecting thing that was hijacking the browsers search functions or this other one that was bringing up BS popups all the freaking time. I ran an Adaware scan, came up with lots of stuff, quarantined it, but no change (Adaware always finds lots of stuff, most of it low threat). I checked the processes and found some Freddy46.exe process (a Koobface variant as it turns out) and a few other weird ones. Then I did some more searching (again on a different PC) and came across recommendations for Malwarebytes malware removal tool. I double checked to make sure it wasn't malware, downloaded it, and it seems problem is solved. I'm in the middle of a full system scan with Norton now just in case, though my confidence in that software is considerably diminshed now. All told this has taken an hour and a half of my life. Sheesh.

I've never actually gotten a virus/trojan etc. on my pc that I know of, but that's mostly because I'm obsessive about NOT opening, clicking, viewing anything that I don't expect and know a lot about. I figure eventually I'll get something on one of my other machines though. What a pain in the ass.

So the point of this post is 1) be careful what you click on from facebook, 2) malware sucks (I was going to say viruses but technically I don't think any of that was a virus, worms mostly?), and 3) the Malwarebytes Malware removal tool seems pretty handy. It was WAY faster than either Norton or Adaware and got right to the problem.

No comments: