Spyware, Viruses, & Security

General discussion

Computer virus

by princess1 / September 6, 2004 4:14 AM PDT

Some time ago everything on my hard drive was zapped.
I sat down at my computer which had been on a while, and to my shock and dismay there before me was a regular-looking message box, but it contained a visicious, ugly message. When I recovered from the shock of the message, I tried to re-start my computer and found that everything on my hard drive was gone.

I have always suspicioned that this was a personal attack sent only to me via an email? Is this possible? Please give me your thoughts about this, and Thank You.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Computer virus
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Computer virus
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by Mark5019 / September 6, 2004 5:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer virus

you got a virus yes directed at you only i doubt it

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by princess1 / September 6, 2004 6:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

Thanks very much for the input.

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by CharleyO / September 6, 2004 9:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus
Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by princess1 / September 7, 2004 5:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

Thanks for your input re: my question. However, I am not familiar with the "Messaging Service" that you mentioned. I have AOL and use if for all my e-mail.
I'll appreciate further input from you. Thanks much.

Collapse -
Email?
by CharleyO / September 8, 2004 1:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

*

Email has nothing to do with this ... nor does AOL.

Please read the link below. The information you need is near the bottom in a paragragh that begins with "If you are running Windows NT..." but read most of the page for background understanding.

http://www.fotopages.com/articles/Kill_The_Messenger_(Service).html

If you do not understand or can not find what you need, come back and post again to let me know. I will give you step-by-step instuctions.

*

Collapse -
Re: Email?
by CharleyO / September 8, 2004 1:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Email?

*

For some reason, the link above didn't come out right. But, it will take you to the home page that has the link on it for the information. You may want to read that anyway.

So, here are the step-by-step instructions for killing the messenger service on a W95/98/ME computer. Any one with these operating systems should turn this off if you are the owner of the computer. On these computers, the messenger service is called WinPopup.

1. Go to the Control Panel and double click on Add/Remove programs.

2. In the Add/Remove Programs Properties box, click on the Windows Setup tab.

3. In the window, scroll down to System Tools and double click on System Tools. This will open the System Tools box.

4. In the System Tools box window, scroll down to find WinPopup. Uncheck the box beside this by clicking the box once.

5. Click OK and also close all others by clicking on OK ... or Apply if that is available. I don't think you needed to do a restart but it would not hurt to do so.

I hope this helps you! Happy

*

Collapse -
Re: Email?
by princess1 / September 9, 2004 2:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Email?

Thanks CharleyO. I did get the link to work, by adding the little bit below it that hadn't been highlighted as part of the link. I really appreciate the time you've taken to help me understand this. Thanks again.

Collapse -
Re: Email?
by princess1 / September 9, 2004 2:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Email?

Thank you very much for the info. I went to the link you suggested and it was very helpful in helping me understand about the Messaging. Again, many thanks

Collapse -
Re: Email?
by CharleyO / September 9, 2004 6:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Email?

*

You are very welcome, princess1 ... glad I could help you! Happy

*

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus destroyed my Hard Drive
by RMcGowan / September 10, 2004 12:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

You probably imported the virus from a program either given to you on a floppy, or one that someone sent to you over the Internet. More than six years ago, A virus I contracted via a Game I had loaned to a friend, and later re-installed on my computer infected the computer by creating two false partitions, one of which became the boot partition, and rendered the program partition unrecognizable at bootup. While troubleshooting the drive with "FDisk" utility, I discovered the bogus partitions, and removed them, as I knew I had not created them. Voila, on reboot, the drive functioned normally, booting to Windows. This may not be your case scenario, but its worth the look with "FDisk" to determine if it has happened. Boot from a floppy that has "Fdisk" on it, to examine your hard drive. Seek help from an IT trained person if you are unsure of what to do.

Guru Bob

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by dawillie / September 7, 2004 10:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer virus

' sat down at my computer which had been on a while, and to my shock and dismay there before me was a regular-looking message box, but it contained a visicious, ugly message. When I recovered from the shock of the message, I tried to re-start my computer and found that everything on my hard drive was gone.

before you get any further, please tell us what you did, what operating system etc.

was the computer turned off and this message appear when you turned it on?

or did it appear on sensing you were sitting in front of the computer?

if so what did you do and what happened when you tried to re-start?

david williams

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by princess1 / September 8, 2004 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

I have Windows 98.
I had been working at my computer, then went into the other room for a while, maybe 45 minutes. When I came back and sat down at the computer the dialog box was there with the horrible mesasage. I believe I closed down right then and then restarted and got nothing on the screen except the blinking white symbol in the left hand corner of the screen. The Hard Drive was completed erased.
Thanks for your help re: this.

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by dawillie / September 8, 2004 3:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

i hear what you are saying, but how about the atart button in the bottom left of screen.

you may be able to recover your O/S by 'scan disk' and 'repair' bad sectors?.

can you do anything at all on the PC?

david

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by princess1 / September 8, 2004 11:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

The O/S was completely gone. I could do nothing on the computer. I am using another one now. A relative is getting/got the computer fixed for me.
Is this much devastation common or uncommon with a computer virus? That is, to have your entire O/S lost?
Thanks again for all your help.

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by dawillie / September 8, 2004 12:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

It is possible, and I have heard of one or two cases in the time that I have been a reader and contributor in this forum.

there are three things you must do in addition to Grif's suggestion about file sharing.

1. Run a proper anti virus and perform daily AV scans.

2. Run a bot checker like Ad-aware to eliminate spyware that will get planted on your hard drive when you surf the net. This scan should also be on a daily basis.

3. Get behind a router and you will be protected from intrusion.

From what you have described you sound like you were attacked by a Trojan that took out your O/S.

Reccomendations 1 &2 are free if you want and I can provide links as to where you can download.

#3. will cost you around $50.00 and there are several good routers available.

If you cannot afford one then I strongly reccommend at least a free software firewall like Zone Alarm which i used to use or Kerio verson 2.1.5 which I use in conjunction with my router and which is equally effective.


Please post back if you have need of the links.

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by CharleyO / September 8, 2004 12:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

*

Kerio firewall has a security problem. Please visit their website if you have not already done so.

*

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by dawillie / September 8, 2004 1:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

not quite accurate and if you are going to make a post like that back it up with the link.

you will find that Kerio version 4.0+ may have a problem.

you will note that I recommended Kerio version 2.1.5.

that is safe, tried and has been in effect since 2002 i believe.

the poster has come here for help.

unsubstantiated statements do not enhace the value of the thread.

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by CharleyO / September 8, 2004 2:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

*

Not many people will be using an old version of Kerio. The post was for information only. Kerio is a very fine firewall. It is easy to find a link to Kerio. But even the best of products have a problem from time-to-time. Nothing is perfect and neither am I ... nor are you.

Please do not attack me for that.

Since you feel you are safe, you might want to read this link:

http://secunia.com/advisories/12468/

And this is for Kerio 2.x directly:

http://secunia.com/product/1493/

I do not post information without some knowledge at hand. I am at fault for not posting the links in the above post. Now, you have them.

*

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by dawillie / September 8, 2004 2:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus
'I am at fault for not posting the links in the above post. Now, you have them.

thank you for the links.

no it was not meant to be an attack.

you have to realise that people who come here for the first time or even frequent posters sometimes lack the knowhow to fix a problem, and making an all embracing statement like the one you made, does nothing or very little to help them overcome whatever it is that concerns them.

that said, thank you for the additional information and yes I am pretty secure behind both Kerio v.2.1.5 and a router.

please continue to post here and do not let my critique of your post discourage you.

we are all learning how to fight off the kiddie scripters and any help you have to offer will be welcome.

be well. be safe.
Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by woody-som / September 10, 2004 4:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

I don't know about a virus destroying your HD, but last year, I used the update facility from a well known antivirus software (McAfee), and afterwards, my system refused point blank to boot to anything.

I tried every single restore method i had, including the rescue discs. Only option was to re-install the OS, and all my software, and since then a new AV software package.

Collapse -
Princess, Stop Sharing Your Files !
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / September 8, 2004 3:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer virus

Although this type of thing could have been done in a variety of ways, (including AOL's Instant Messenger, or e-mail, or by accessing your computer's hard drive through physical access at the machine or "hacking" it from the outside), outside access to the computer should NOT be allowed unless you are required to share your files on a network. Read the information at the link below on how to disable "Microsoft File and Printer Sharing".

How To Stop Sharing Files With The World

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
One more...
by Jmichaels / September 8, 2004 3:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer virus
Collapse -
Re: One more...
by Jmichaels / September 8, 2004 3:50 AM PDT
In reply to: One more...

Oops, sorry, wrong forum...

Collapse -
What I can sugest
by guybw / September 9, 2004 10:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: One more...

First off,
STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
check your anti-virus right now, is it uptodate? upto date being within the last week. You should update it atlest once a week if not more if you can.
If you don't have one install one now from here.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/sp2/antivirus/default.mspx
As for a firewall download.com has a good list of them there.

Anyway if you O/S is wiped by a virus/ or if your hard drive is wiped in general the first rule DO NOT RUN SCANDISK OR ANY TOOL LIKE THAT!!!
The first thing is take that drive and put it into another computer then run a program like "PC Inspector File Recovery" download it from download.com and see if the data is there if you can find it then you should be able to recover it if not then reinstall your O/S.
Need help? email me at guybw (at) hotmail (dot) com

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by lbingo / September 10, 2004 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer virus

Just to answer your initial question concerning whether it is possible to attack a single person/computer the answer is yes!I ahve seen this on more than a few occasions. The only advice I can give about preventing such attacks and the ensuing damage is to have a good antivirus program (I recommend Network Associates products) and to be careful about opening e-mails (using the preview window in Outlook will help to prevent this, I never open e-mails until I have had a preview which has saved me a few headaches? Good Luck!

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by princess1 / September 10, 2004 1:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

Thank you for the information. I appreciate your taking the time to answer.

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by GloryRoad / September 10, 2004 10:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer virus

Actually, it very well could have been directed just at you. I am a member of an internet community that has been attacked by an individual that was banned from posting on our message board. The email containing the virus was specialized to the topic of our group to ensure that most of us opened it and our email addresses had been lifted from our member profile pages. Those members who hadn't listed their emails didn't receive the virus.

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by DMB / September 14, 2004 4:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer virus

Hi Princess,

Here's hoping you get your computer up and running again.

I had a similar problem, but it was "right after" I
did the MSN UPDATES. I watched in horror as my files and .dll were being "stripped" from my computer.
The monitor icons were glowing as they were being stripped. I clicked onto them and saw bytes being "sent" in mass quantity and NOTHING being
received.

Yes, I ran firewalls. Yes, I ran an updated version
of AntiVirus. Yes, I did a virus scan 2 times a day.
No viruses ever found.

The Microsoft Internet Explorer program was version 6.0.... A CD that Microsoft had sent me (via postal carrier)to update from the old 5.0.

Since "that particular computer" is used mainly for my
novel writing and news publishing, I was extremely upset. I used Windows 98SE on it.
Now I have been borrowing another computer which has
WindowsXp. I absolutely hate the XP program for what
I use a computer.
It's going to cost me around $800.00 so I am told by
my tech to get my main computer up and running again,
as I cannot even get the windows program to pop up.
I've tried F1, F5, etc. and still nothing.

Yes, I ran Norton AV and even "pay" annually to have the updates. I even tried to call them to quit taking the money from my charge account. They didn't.
That ticked me off even moreso. Now, I hate SYMANTEC and their Norton AV Program with a passion.

Perhaps someone can tell me where I can get a copy via
floppy or CD of the Window's 98SE program. I have tried online several times and have failed with a resolve. To top that off, my tech says he can't find the copy, which was MY program in the first place.

I have a children's book (not yet completed) frozen
in that computer as well as a Novel (almost complete).
Hundreds and hundreds of hours down the drain!

Thanks for any help I might get.

Sincerely
Dede
Oklahoma

Collapse -
Re: Computer virus
by CharleyO / September 15, 2004 5:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Computer virus

*

Try ebay ... there are usually a few copies of W98SE there for sale ... many of which are brand new.

And, when you get the computer back, try Avast!4 Home anti-virus. It's free for home use, updates automatically, udates many times a week (sometimes more than once a day), or as needed to cover new outbreaks. You can find it here:

http://www.avast.com/

*

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 47,885 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,322 discussions
icon
iPhones, iPods, & iPads 3,188 discussions
icon
Security 30,333 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,177 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,932 discussions
icon
Phones 15,713 discussions
icon
Windows 7 6,210 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,510 discussions

Tech for the holiday

Find recipes for July 4 with these foodie apps

The Fourth of July means fireworks, fun and food. If you're planning on a barbecue this weekend, we've got the apps to help you find holiday-inspired recipes.