Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Caught a Nasty Virus!

Well, actually my computer caught one. A trojan thingy called trojan.zlob.g I'm not sure how it slipped in, but I was looking at this beautiful photography site with gorgeous areal photos. It was taking a very long time to load and acting a bit jumpy. I also noticed that most of the photos were from Russia or the Ukraine.
That's where the bug is from. It's a scam where they infect your computer and a pop up window says you've been infected and directs you to a website to purchase protection. It's essentially extortion. The bug makes your computer start doing scary things, like shutting down randomly and closing internet connections (except to their site). Ironically, if you actually purchase and download their 'spyware' it does no good and may actually load even more crap onto your machine! Or so I'm told. The longer you leave it the more damage it does. You really have to shut down right away.
Fortunately for me, Krista's laptop was uninfected and I was able to get good advice on cleaning it from various forums. But I entered into a world of paranoia, since some of the google links may also have been scams and done no good or worse.
I finally chose an automatic removal software (which was free) and got it onto my machine, but it didn't work! I ended up following a series of fairly complicated instructions to get rid of it manually. Which really took me out of my knowledge/comfort zone!
But it worked. So I'm here to tell you--don't fall for this scam. If it happens to you, shut down and get help from a trusted internet forum.
I'm so happy and grateful to have my machine back!

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