Thursday, July 15, 2010, AM | Leave Comment
On Monday July 12, 2010, at about 6 P.M., my home computer was attacked by some kind of spyware. It got total control of my PC. It kept popping up a message that my computer was invaded by different kinds of viruses.
It kept displaying the message that the only way I could get rid of the culprit was to buy and download their anti-virus software. I was given three choices:
In round figures, $50 for 3 months, $60 for 6 months and $70 for lifetime.
I was unable to use any browser. My default page in FireFox is Google.com. It would not display it, kept saying the website you are trying to access is attacked by virus and is infected. I tried Yahoo.com, MSN.com and a few others but came back with the same message.
I clicked on Control Panel to see which startup programs were loaded but the spyware won’t let me. The calculator button on the keyboard was also disabled.
I disconnected my PC from the Internet through the Network icon on my taskbar. I then shut it down for the night. Next day, I went to the local library and used one of the computers to post my article “The Importance of Keeping Records For Tax Filing” for the day which I had already written.
I then visited a few mom-and-pop computer shops in my town. One guy said he had not seen anything like it and was unable to help me.
The second place I visited said “Yes! We can help but will cost you $99. It takes 6 to 7 hours to fix it. We will run anti-virus, anti-spyware and all the rest of “anti-culprit” software that we have in our weapons arsenal.”
I said “Of course, you will fix it alright but what guarantee can you give me that it will not happen again.” He was unable to do so and I don’t blame him because of the nature of my and other folks’ clicks. No matter how much I try, sometimes it so happens that I click on a “culprit.”
I visited a third shop. They offered to clean up my PC for $120 with no guarantees, of course.
On my way back home, I was thinking about the problem. It kinda hit me to start the PC in “Safe Mode”. Microsoft loads only the absolute necessary software in safe mode. And I thought to myself, hopefully it will bypass the culprit that was controlling my PC. If it worked, then I would restore [Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore] the software from the Sunday Restore point when my PC was running fine.
When I came home, I powered on the computer and when it started to load Windows Vista Home Edition, I turned PC off. A couple of seconds later, I powered it back on and after doing its BOIS rituals, the page appeared with options of how to continue. I selected Safe Mode and it started loading the absolute necessary software. When it finished doing that, I went in and restore the system from the Sunday restore point and low and behold, it worked just fine.
You can also start windows in safe mode by pressing the F8 key right when Windows starts.
By the way, I have Windows Defender and AVG anti-virus software running all the time. But I reckon it was not a virus. The closest culprit I can think of is spyware by its nature of how it was controlling my PC.
Now the culprit…
The spyware or Adware or whatever it was, goes by the name Antivir Solution Pro and its website is antiviractivate.com. It was displaying its own website just fine along with some porn, viagra and a couple of other such sites. I assume Antivir Solution Pro is an affiliate of whatever website it was displaying.
The scum is hungry for money…
If I had a business of selling anti-virus software, like any other legitimate and fair websites, I would never ever go so low to make money by forcing folks to pay the scums to get rid of the virus. There was no virus. That’s all a scam. We all should try to run our online businesses fair and square and not use scamming methods.
In a Nutshell
Whenever your computer is struck with similar lightning, don’t panic. I have had my share of getting struck many times since I bought my PC over 4 years ago. What I always do is restore the system with a previous point that I know was working. But this time, I had no control over the computer and I was unable to even open Windows NotePad. Starting my PC in Safe Mode saved my PC and with no money spent whatsoever. Read all about Antivir Solution Pro.