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Oi…wotta day…

I got up way early, hoping to finish Chernevog edits…went to a site I’ve been to a million times before…and found out the hard way that Avast Antivirus does nothing for spyware. Don’t know how I’ve avoided them for twenty years, but I got zapped good this morning with a nasty little thing call Win7 Security 2012. It grabs hold of your computer and every time you try to open an exe file (like, oh, Windows Explorer?) it gives you a popup you can’t get past telling you you’ve tried to open an infected file and you can’t get rid of it unless you buy this product by clicking on a button which will, of course, install all kinds of icky stuff on your computer.

I didn’t fall for it. Immediately shut my wireless off and went to another computer to figure out what had hit me. But I admit, I’m not the smartest at figuring out which help sites are legit and I was fighting a sick migraine to boot. Fortunately, I’ve got a buddy at on East Coast time by the name of Lynn Abbey who helps folks who like to visit gambling sites get rid of stuff like this all the time, so I called her whining for help.

She had ideas, but first she had her own fires to put out. So…I investigated a bit more, then decided maybe I’d just wait for her advice, took some Excedrine for the migraine, and resurrected my little Dell to continue working on Chernevog. By this time Carolyn was up. She commiserated while having her coffee and brushing Seishi, offered to help, but there really wasn’t much she could do. She’s as dumb as I am about judging the quality of help  sites on the internet. Besides, she shortly thereafter was on the phone with NewYork sorting out the copy edit disaster.

The problem of course is that the same type of people who enjoy zapping you are going to get their giggles giving you just the wrong advice for getting rid of these pesky things, and I really wasn’t in the mood to wade through all the bad advice and commercials for anti-spyware stuff looking for somebody I trusted.

Lynn came through with, as it turned out, excellent instructions for getting rid of this thing from here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/ remove-win-7-security-2012 that involved downloading several files (on a different computer and putting them on a flashdrive) and (somehow) opening them on the infected computer. Evidently it doesn’t always stop you from getting into WindowsExplorer, but I was lucky. I finally managed to open it by right clicking and opening as administrator from…I think it was the start menu, ultimately. Each time I managed it, if I had to do it again, the route had been hacked so I had to find a different option.

It was…interesting.

Finally, with only a couple of restarts of the scan thanks to Sooper Shu’s “help”, I have finally managed to get this buzzard off my computer (have you any idea how long it takes to scan these big disks!)….while working my way through a couple of knotty problems in Chernevog. The book’s not finished (hopefully tomorrow) but I’ve got ComCast’s version of Norton on my computer, (thought they still had Macaffee, which had given me lots of problems) sorted out the disappearing LastPass logins, and have a nice couple of new weapons in my arsenal which hopefully I’ll never have to use again.

OTOH, I’ve decided setting myself deadlines is a surefire way to court at least a week of disaster. So…the updated site is coming…when it comes, complete with Lynn’s Time books, more Rusalka, and maybe even a couple of shorts from yours truly…tho I’m making no promises.

Meantime…a teaser: CC’s new splash page:

13 comments to Oi…wotta day…

  • mitha

    Whew! [taking notes for future – hopefully unnecessary – reference…]

    “…setting myself deadlines is a surefire way to court at least a week of disaster.” –if that’s not already one of the Corollaries to Murphy’s Law, it should be!

    Glad to hear that things are looking up for y’all.

    I *like* the new splash page!

  • Lynn

    You’ve got it right about the deadline curse! Here’s hoping today is…less eventful for both of us.

    Oh…Gak…just noticed the banner — there’s a WordPress Upgrade pending…from 3.2.1 to 3.3. We’d best fasten our seatbelts again. No sense bringing up the new Closed Circle store on an out-of-synch WordPress.


  • pholy

    Love the new splash page! Really cool (kewl?)

    And happy to hear about the Time series – The first one is reference only at the Judith Merril – sit all day and read in a not quite comfy chair…

    Thank you!

    • They’re great books, never really appreciated by Ace, I fear. They certainly didn’t support them…then typically wouldn’t let them go, either. Sometimes I wonder about the power games publishers play and if they’re even aware what they’re doing to the creators whose gifts their jobs depend on…

      Anyway, she fought hard to get them back. And she’s got them ready to go…except for covers. She’s scrambling to get some nice temporary ones for the reopening, but has some exciting news about where the covers will eventually come from. :whistle:

  • forkfail

    Believe it or not, paranoid, supposed knowledgable guy yours truly got nailed by that one too.

    I’m pretty sure that they released a really aggressive and capable version of that thing recently, with multiple attack vectors, probably with the thought that they’d get Christmas shopper’s credit cards (specifically, get the folks who don’t want to take the time to fix it, and are therefore just that much more likely to just pay the ransom to try to free their machine so they can get back to Amazon. Also, folks tend to have their shopping money in debit and credit accounts right now).

    Also – it really is a ransom virus, not spyware. Some of the anti-virus companies are calling it spyware to make their own ransoms more palatable for their customers (i.e., their charging a hundred bucks to “clean out your system” after you’ve been paying their premium prices for years). But it isn’t spyware; it takes your computer by the privates and holds it for ransom. And – paying it off doesn’t make it go away.

    I wound up blowing away my entire Windows box and re-installing. Painful, but at least I had everything of note backed up.

    In closing, despite my negativity about anti-virus companies in the above, strongly recommend that folks don’t take that as an excuse not to continue to keep their anti-virus programs updated and running. The security battle never ends; the white hats can’t ever win, the black hats only need win once, and then that round is over. They probably racked up a lot of wins on that one overall, the goal again is to push their next win out as far as possible once more.

    • Interesting! The fix was pretty simple, once I managed to get into Windows Explorer so I could open the files I’d downloaded elsewhere. There was one registry-fix file, another that stopped certain processes, then I just ran Malwarebytes.

      But I had to get into explorer to do it. And I had to have another machine to access the sites that told me how to do it. Other sites gave instructions how to do it manually, i.e. direct attack of the registry and deletion of files in a specific order…which I would have done if Lynn hadn’t pointed me toward the bleepingcomputer site. I assure you, I had no desire to do that with the migraine that was attacking my brain! 😆

      My biggest problem was, when I went to install Malwarebytes and it tried to update…I got weird error msgs about missing files. Finally figured out that I’d turned off my wifi! But that was after I’d done a might of flinging and wailing and hair-pulling.

      Actually…I think the hair-pulling helped the migraine….. :blush:

      • forkfail

        Yeah – I saw how it could be expunged as well. Thing is – once my system was compromised, I just didn’t trust it at all any more.

        Also, because I was lazy/cheap, the Dell box that got infected was still the factory install (another rant about how you cannot buy a clean Windows install anymore; it will always have the bloatware on it, no matter what you tell the supplier). I had been looking to rebuild that box for some time anyway, so it was a good excuse.

        Glad you found a solution that worked for you 🙂

  • forkfail

    PS: I’m pretty sure that I got this thing via a flash video on (irony here) Failblog’s M thru F site. Finally had to give up Firefox and go to Chrome; it has better sandboxing.

    • It’s wicked. I know I told Avast to delete or not open or whatever it was…but I know I didn’t tell it to run or sandbox. As I understand it, no matter what you click, it does its thing….and the box kept coming back, so I finally just closed Firefox…and then found the present it had left on my desktop.

  • WOL

    I like the new logo. It would look killer on a black tee shirt — (Hint! hint!) — especially the red swirly stuff.

    Do you like Chrome better than Firefox? I have not used Chrome and don’t know much about it.

  • Profoundest sympathies about your bout 😉 with that malware. I got something similar a couple of years ago on a former computer. Nasty thing.

    Hey, the new CC image looks fantastic, very purty!

    Jane, please don’t sweat the deadlines. We fans would rather have you three ladies happy and healthy and (mostly) sane, than to see you all driving yourselves to distraction over any self-imposed deadline. We can be patient, as fans. We know there’s good stuff upcoming when y’all are ready with it. That’s enough. 🙂 (Besides, that way, we save up our raisins for Sunday.)

  • WarriorofWorry

    Oi is right. I got smacked by a version of this virus early this year, and didn’t have an east coast Lynn.
    I eventually found the way to do it online too, but ! screwed up the fix ! Now the virus is gone, but I’ve been running with a jury-rigged sort of entry to each of my programs, and still find things that I must have messed up in the process. Eh, way it goes.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the flash page!!!
    otoh, dearest Jane, working yourself to death is not pleasing!!!
    Take it sorta easy, okay? :wub:

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