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Question

Virus that changes fonts to symbols. Vista Home O/S

by Jlapinsky / September 16, 2011 12:35 PM PDT

I have a vista home o/s and recently have been attacked with some sort of virus that has changed all my fonts to symbols. It is difficult to even work with the computer because you cannot read anything. I have completed several system restores from the boot up and a few times it has fixed the issue. One one occasion I ran Malwarebytes and Spybot and it got several trojans and registry errors which I corrected. One of these such errors was a "task manager hijack" which I noticed completelty removed the option to open task manager when you hit ctrl alt delete. Now the system restore will no longer fix the issue and I am guessing the virus is deeper than I thought. What now?? Cry

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All Answers

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Answer
Maybe it needs to be said?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2011 5:21 AM PDT
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Not sure what you are talking about....
by Jlapinsky / September 17, 2011 12:01 PM PDT

Ive corrected my machine and its errors and it is way more complicated than that. This was a nasty virus embedded deep in the registry. Doing what you posted on the link is next to IMPOSSIBLE when every single character is in wingdings, unless you play follow the leader with another machine or remember exactly where every single thing is. That being said, I will post the hijacked files and registry changes this virus makes in the next few days. Once it is taken out, all your fonts come back and everything is cool. The best way to start attacking this virus I found was to do a system restore as far back as you can, this will at least enable your pc to run the fonts where you can read. Then I ran SPYBOT Search and Destroy as well as SUPERAntiSpyware and it did a great job catching everything. This was a nasty one.

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Answer
Are you sure it was a virus?
by Carol~ Forum moderator / September 18, 2011 4:34 AM PDT

J..

Are you sure a virus caused your fonts to change? I've found with this particular problem, user's have taken for granted (not always) a virus had to be the cause.

While Microsoft's article, "Windows uses the Wingdings or Webdings font as its default display font when you install updates with antivirus software" references those running an Windows XP-based system, last week I found it to be true with a Vista user.

Here you'll find a recent thread, where one (of a few user's) wrote:

"Yesterday I ran Windows Update on my Windows 7 Professional and applied KB2607712 and KB2510690. Upon reboot all system messages and menus appeared to have changed to a wingdings font or something similar. I ran the MS Boot stand-alone sweeper tool to check for malware and it came up clean. I then was able to run system restore (tricky when you can't read anything on the desktop) and was able to restore the system back to a usable state".

Some years back, a lot of McAfee user's were posting with the identical problem. The problem was due to an update.

I'm NOT implying your problem wasn't caused by a virus. Only that the possibility may exist, that it might have been caused by an update, a third party program, or the like.

It's my understanding from your last post, you seem to have resolved the issue. I'm taking for granted, you no longer need help.

If the above is unrelated, and the virus you uncovered has a name, it would be a great help to us, if we knew what it is. If not for now, but the future.

Thanks!
Carol

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I seen this today...
by yousuchafool / November 21, 2012 5:45 AM PST

I've never seen this before and it freaked me out. First things first i would say; back up everything to external, flash drive whatever just to be safe....its good to have everything backed up anyway right.?
I was basically wanting to get back to where i could read fonts so the goal was to "restore to an earlier date" as stated above. They also stated it was a pain, which it was but i got lucky. But i found and easier way was to get to system restore using the command prompt. this was vista btw. So, go to start, command prompt and type:

rstrui.exe and press enter...bam..! restore back, reboot and good to go...I left and had customer run malware bytes but after reading these posts i'm thinking yeah it could've been an update as well...vista stinks:-(
I would rather see users running win2k that vista! Also, this occurred today, hope the thread helps and not sure why cnet wants to end it already.
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