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The pop-up window that ruined my PC!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / November 20, 2009 6:22 AM PST
Question:

The pop-up window that ruined my PC!


Last summer, a screen popped up on my computer saying that my computer had all sorts of harmful files on it and said that it would scan and remove them. I clicked on "OK" and the software started running and it ruined my computer, blocking my Trend Micro PCillin Internet Security antivirus and preventing any upgrades. I had to get my computer guru to completely wipe out my hard drive and reinstall my applications and what files she could save. She then installed Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program the make sure the bad application was wiped out.

She told me to not shut down if this ever happened again, but to run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and then Trend Micro before shutting down.

On Friday the 13th, a similar thing happened. The bad application said its name was "SWP2009" and offered itself for purchase. I could not delete or minimize it, but was able to shift its screen to where I was able to get to my Malwarebytes Anti-Malware icon. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware responded and started running. I did a complete scan and Anti-Malware found six rogue files. It deleted them and rebooted my computer. Everything seemed OK, but I ran Trend Micro to be sure. Trend found 13 items, which it deleted. All this took some 4 hours.

Has anyone else encountered similar rogue software? What else can be done? I thought my anti-malware and antivirus applications would stop this, but they didn't. Apparently it was connected to some Web site I opened. I'm running Windows XP Home.

--Submitted by Royce B.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

Antivirus 2009 and its successors... --Submitted by Acaykath
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.html?messageID=3179759#3179759

Beat those rogue anti-virus pop-ups, BEFORE they do any damage --Submitted by si
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.html?messageID=3179777#3179777

Some basic safety tips will help --Submitted by gordios777-websites
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.html?messageID=3181851#3181851

Has anyone else encountered similar rogue software? --Submitted by Watzman
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.html?messageID=3179771#3179771

Malware masquerade --Submitted by davismccarn
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.html?messageID=3179713#3179713

Don't believe pop-ups that you don't really know --Submitted by cdcjeff
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6132_102-0.html?messageID=3179700#3179700

Thanks to all who contributed!

If you have any additional advice for Royce, please click on the reply link and submit it. Please be as detailed as possible when submitting your answer. Thank you!
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The pop-up window that ruined my PC!
by HALISON1 / November 22, 2009 8:20 PM PST

This has happened to me on two seperate occasions.
I was even forced to purchase their software in order to remove their virus laced POP-up. This is called "hi-jacking."
However, i filed several complaints and contacted numerous of their sponsors and they refunded me the EXTORTED amount.
I also made a copy of their softwareand kept it on my flash drive; should this ever happen again.
I now us NOD32 and AVAST. I now feel that my computer is relatively safe. I've removed several trojans from my PC since then.
I FEEL YOUR PAIN; THEIR SHOULD BE A LAW AGAINST EXTROTION ON THE WEB.

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Install security app to your web browsers
by GRUPONEX / November 22, 2009 8:31 PM PST

Most of times, these trojans might be detected by such app's or they might advice you when a web page is dangerous (For example, I use WOT on Mozilla's browser). It's very usefull and also very easy to understand.

Hope this will be helpful to you

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Pop up window, fake anti-virus
by PUMKINN / November 22, 2009 8:34 PM PST

I too had this happen to me. I have gone over some of the answers and while telling someone not to click on the pop-up window is a valid answer, in my case, I did not click on the pop up itself. I was actually on line on Tagged, a web site similar to MySpace. My computer started acting strange or slow and then that's when it hit. That annoying YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED message. I did not click on the window nor click yes to clean the computer because I knew it was not my personal virus remover. I use McAfee. I quick ran Malware and it subsequently found the virus and I removed and deleted it. Told me I had to reboot and so I thought, Great, I caught it. To my dismay, when I rebooted, there it was again. My McAfee also popped up and told me it had blocked a Trojan, but, it DID NOT!!
Then, all kind of windows started popping up, Viagra, Porn, Erectile Dysfuntion, you get the idea.
Long story short, I could not access any of my programs and eventually could not get to any online sites to remove it. I actually had to call Dell tech support and restore my whole computer. Luckily I had saved my pictures and files to a seperate site so I didn't lose too much.
I have since updated all virus and malware programs and run my firewall at high. I wish I would have known to quickly use Task Manager to close the rougue window.
Anyway, telling someone not to click on the window is obvious. I did not click on the fake virus scan but it still hacked into my computer.

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Rogue antimalware and its effects
by OlderThanOld / November 22, 2009 9:50 PM PST

This scenario is being played out on countless computers daily. Microsoft has identified this type of worthless program as one of the biggest threats PC users face today.

How to deal with these pop-ups is a subject that changes daily, it seems. It used to be that you could open Task Manager and kill the Internet Explorer process to eliminate the risk. Now, that may no longer be possible. Sometimes these rogue programs will leave bits of themselves present, even when you've used Task Manager, and you'll be seeing new pop-ups soon after. Recently, when a user has come to me with an attack such as this, I've had success by just turning off the PC. In those cases where I've done this, deep scans after powering back up have shown no traces of anything connected with the rogue software.

Therefore, the advice I offer is somewhat more generic, and more focused on prevention.

First, make sure that you have a reputable antivirus/antispyware program installed, and that it's absolutely up-to-date.

Second, make sure that Windows is up-to-date on its own patches, and that commonly used programs such as Flash, Acrobat Reader, Quicktime, and Java are updated as well.

Third, consider using an alternative browser such as Firefox (the most recent version), Chrome, Opera, or Safari, in place of Internet Explorer. If you use Firefox, make sure that you're using extensions such as NoScript and AdBlock Plus to provide extra protection from compromised websites and the junk they sometimes spread. The bottom line here is that no browser is without vulnerabilities, but some (with tweaked settings and/or extensions) can be safer than others.

Fourth, don't accept the old recommendation that if you keep away from "questionable" websites, you'll be safe. Mainstream websites such as the New York Times, CNN, and others have been the means of badware being distributed--not intentionally, but through compromised ad server networks and so forth. The bottom line is that you can be attacked even from the most well-known sites.

Finally, make sure that you have current backups of any files you want to preserve. This is something that a lot of us have lost sight of over the last few years, particularly as our hard drives have gotten larger and we've put more data on them. External or network-based hard drives, though, have never been less expensive, and there's no excuse for a computer user not to be backing up personal files anymore. If you can afford a computer, you can afford the means to preserve its data in the event of a PC mishap.

Efforts are being made to put the purveyors of rogue antimalware out of business, but as with so much else on the internet, these people are often very hard to track down and made to account for their crimes. We can hope that these efforts have more success in the future, but for now, the main burden of defense is upon us as individual PC users.

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Antivirus System Pro is another rogue software
by mkilpatr / November 23, 2009 12:01 AM PST

Yes, my daughter's PC got hit with Antivirus System Pro this past Friday 13th, even though she is has a Limited account, is monitored by McAfee, and is also running XP home. It, too, is a rogue adware-like program that found its way in, somehow. I went to <http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-antivirus-system-pro> and downloaded both the rkill and malware program, and after running it on both my Admin side and changing her account type to an Admin (wouldn't complete with her as a Limited) and runing it, it appears to be gone - not to mention the PC is running better as well. Now to check out the remainder of the PCs in my home. And to let McAfee know that Antivirus System Pro is still slipping by its protection. Mark

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The purpose of viruses?
by wawafoto / November 23, 2009 12:12 AM PST

After reading the posting about MalWare and needing 4 hours to undo the results of one pop-up window, I can only say i am glad I have a Mac!

But this brings to mind two questions.

#1 -- Whay is the Mac OS relatively immune to viruses? And if there is a protocol to explain this, why don't PC manufacturers adopt it in their products?

#2 -- Beyond the question of detecting or defeating them -- what is the PURPOSE that virus-writers have in creating them in the first place?
For a while it was in fashion among vandals in the UK to throw a Molotov cocktail into public mailboxes: something like an evolution of graffiti. Is this the idea? Just anonymously destroy for the nihilistic pleasure of it? Seems strange that those with enough intelligence to become hackers would have such a primitive motive.

Also, why have virus-creators been unable or uninterested in cracking Mac security? Why are Mac users particularly exempted from anti-social destructive behavior? One would think the Huns would be especially interested in Apple's pretty castle...

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purpose of vires
by pegpluscol / November 23, 2009 12:54 AM PST

wawafoto you're so on the ball. Thks for a nicely written response.
Er,,, I tried covering the PC with a MAC but it got very hot - hahaha just joking.
"why don't PC manufacturers adopt it in their products?" Perhaps because they daily go on line with their 'Automatic updates' to their security centre, which can take quite a while to download. (In any case, I see very little difference after that)
Perhaps to outwit Mac.

"what is the PURPOSE that virus-writers have in creating them? (vires)... strange that those with enough intelligence to become hackers would have such a primitive motive."

Personal power - that's all it amounts to. Wee *****, oppressive boss, wife, inlaws, roadhogs, etc. IOW, anti-social behaviour. We should really ignore them because complaining satisfies their evil intent. They are simply trouble makers - nothing less.

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XOXO to pegspluscol
by wawafoto / November 23, 2009 1:56 AM PST
In reply to: purpose of vires

Thanks for the props and concise answer! But one thing. I don't understand why or how those from the Isle Of Wight are particularly anti-social...

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Security through obscurity
by thenunz / November 23, 2009 1:04 AM PST

Macs benefit from "Security through obscurity". Since the majority (93%) of computers are Windows, they are the biggest target. Only 5% are Macs. There are 19 times more Windows then Macs. This is why there are so many more choices when it comes to legitimate software too. 1% of the Windows machines are greater than 100% of the Macs.

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That's an odd statement.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 23, 2009 1:13 AM PST

Much if not all of the OS source code is open to inspection.

Quite an odd statement you made there.

However any monoculture (see http://www.answers.com/topic/monoculture ) is a bad idea. You might be thinking that diversity helps security and on that point you would be right but this is not obscurity.
Bob

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why viruses and malware (Trojans etc.)
by jolysmoke / November 23, 2009 2:04 AM PST

Thanks for raising the issue. On this thread most people just refer to these people as criminals. One should look deeper.
In former years the planting of viruses was both a sport for nerds, a career choice and a form of revenge. In the world of hackers one got enormous street cred(credibility) if one could knock out hundreds of thousands of PCs by a virus like the Iloveyou one. Moreover there were jobs with the PC security firms to be won by successful virus producers, on the principle of the thief turned thief-catcher. Someone who could produce a successful virus was, it was felt, someone who could track viruses down and produce counter-measures.
Then there was revenge. Not just those sacked by Microsoft had a motive, but huge chunks of Silicon Valley were enraged by the MS "monopoly". It was felt that it was not worthwhile producing helper applications for the Windows system, for if you did you would end up like Netscape - the giant would study what you had done and, if it was interesting, then produce something similar themselves for Windows, and in a latter issue of Ww you would find that your original programme would not run any more. Take a look at the original transcript of the States vs Microsoft trial of 10 years ago or so and the accusations flung around then. If the MS monopoly was ended, lots of people in Silicon Valley would be able to be far more creative, producing better systems and programmes, they felt. So why not try and point out that the giant had feet of clay by assaulting it with viruses? And if you felt your product had been "stolen" by the giant, well, out of a job you could practice certain skills...
But these days viruses as such are almost a thing of the past. The vast majority of malware now produced has the object of gaining either commercial secrets or strategic intelligence (Govware) (that is espionage). The two biggest producers of malware are Russia and China. One has become a sort of semi-dictorship under an ex(?) KGB man who was trained in spying on the West from his bureau in Dresden in the GDR East Germany), the other is a "Communist" dictatorship that is far more nationalist and Fascist than communist now, and has been making cyber-war on the West with great success for some years. Tons of commercial secrets have been lost because firms and their research engineers have had and still have the stupidity to run certain PC software on their machines and have ended up with Trojans that stole their commercial and technological secrets and passed them to China. If you can get a new Trojan into a key computer you have the opportunity to loot it before the AV firms get to know of it and produce an antidote. And once the secret is gone, it's too late. A couple of years ago the South German truck firm MAN realized that a copy of one of their brand-new trucks was on sale in China before they had even got their own original one out in Germany! And then, which was the original?
So now the producers of malware concentrate on producing Trojans, and malware that will open the way for setting Trojan horses, knocking a backdoor in Windows. There seems to be evidence of cooperation between criminal mafias and intelligence services too. Once a criminal gang has knocked a hole in the back of a machine, lots of other spies can follow through the same hole. The other day I got a spam mail for the notoriously criminal fake "Canadian pharmacy" but it had a link that led to a site ending in .cn, not Canada as some would think momentarily (that's .ca) but China.
Then for years there have been the spambot networks, directed by criminals who harness the computing power of thousands of PC MS computers that they have managed to take over without their owners realizing it, computers that often sit in huge offices amongst thousands of similar machines and remain plugged in and on day and night. Trojans turn them into zombies controlled by the spambot kings, and so tehy can be used for sending spam, or for other task like coordinated attacks on bank or ministry passwords etc. Perhaps too some of these spambot chains co-operate with intelligence services.
The frightening thing is how little Washington has done to end criminal activities. One leading Russian mafia business using Trojans was based for years in San Diego, and responsible for over half the criminal spam in the world, and yet the Bush Admin did nothing, and the NY Times had to run a year-long campaign until the US service provider woke up to what he was hosting and pulled the plug on the Russians and their US acolytes. Go Google for McColo for it!
I leave to the techies to explain why the Mac OS is so safe in comparison.

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THX
by wawafoto / November 23, 2009 2:33 AM PST

(Not THX 1138, George) Super response. Many thanks for unexpected insights.

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Prevention
by corsagna / November 23, 2009 1:52 AM PST

Hi Royce. For the future, be sure to follow the response from John3347: "Never, Never, Never accept an offer from a pop-up security scan. NEVER! These pop-up programs ARE the malware that they pretend to be wanting to protect you against." John is right on! Corsagna

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Some basic safety tips will help
by Gordie37080 / November 23, 2009 2:24 AM PST

I won't get into all the reasons why I handle pop-ups the way I do. I'll just say that these "habits" serve to protect me from the type of problem you encountered:

1. I find that the Mozilla Firefox browser does an excellent job of blocking most pop-ups. At worst I get a BROWSER warning at the top of the screen advising me that the site I'm on has attempted to open a pop-up. I then have the option to allow or block the pop-up. In addition, for trusted sites, I can also choose to "always" allow pop-ups.

2. If the pop-up appears in spite of my browser settings, I'm immediately on alert. No matter what it offers, I will generally look for the red "X" in the upper corner of the pop-up and attempt to close that window by clicking there.

3. I DO NOT click within the pop-up, for example: when it offers a "yes" or "no" choice, or some variant.

4. If that does not work, I'll move my mouse down over the task bar at the bottom of my monitor screen. There should be a new window indicator there, just as there would be if I were multi-tasking and have more than one program open at the same time.

5. I then "RIGHT click" with my mouse over this section on the task bar and choose "CLOSE" from the pop-up menu.

6. Often that does the trick. However, sometimes it doesn't. THEN I hold down "Ctrl" and then "Alt" and then "Delete" (so that I am then holding down all three keypads at once). This will either open the Windows Task Manager, or it will take you to a screen where you can choose to open the Task Manager OR perform any of a few other functions, including shutting down your PC.

7. When Task Manager opens, you simply choose the item/window listing that you want to close. Again, that SHOULD do the trick.

8. HOWEVER, sometimes this will get you a "program not responding" message. You do NOT want to wait...you choose "close now!".

9. If all of these things don't work, try to close out as many programs as you can and log off your PC(sometimes the pop-up won't allow this). Last resort is to hold down the power button on your PC for about 5 - 10 seconds until the PC is forced to turn off.

10. There is more than one kind of pop-up. The type I've been talking about actually opens a new "window". That's the standard type, and more easy to avoid. I'm going to guess that you encountered a "Flash" pop-up, which is very similar to what we are seeing these days in advertisements from McDonald's to Sears. If you look closely at these types of pop-ups, you will usually also see an "x" for closing them. HOWEVER, the best rule of thumb is to have as little interaction with this sort of pop-up as you can, especially if it is not an ad from a nationally known retailer AND it appears on a site other than one you normally trust (let's say, Yahoo or your ISP home page).

11. You usually don't get these pop-ups by "accident". Reputable sites don't allow them, so if you see a pop-up such as the one you encountered, it generally means you are surfing a questionable site (I.E. one of the many "lyric" sites which then gives you pop-ups for ring tones).

12. Finally, ANYTIME an add or pop up reveals that it knows something about my PC, I run the other direction. This is especially true if it is an add that knows what town I live in.

In reading back all of this, I'm sure I could have edited this better. I'm just trying to distill the habits I've learned over many years into one quick post.

Safe surfing! :^)

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One caveat, item 11
by Igiveup2 / December 4, 2009 10:42 AM PST

Bad popups can happen on any site that has been compromised, not just sketchy sites. An aggressive popup or redirect should raise your alert level regardless of where you are on the net.

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Tips For POP-Ups
by DivineLight50 / December 5, 2009 11:45 AM PST
In reply to: One caveat, item 11

I have 4 POP-Up sites here and some advice to take care of them.

PC Mighty Max

Anti Virus 2009 PC Antivirus

Personal Antivirus

When you get any of this don't click the big X at the top left because this will get stuck in your computer.Just press control-alt-delete and remove it by clicking the X at the top right.It cost me $124.43 to have it removed at my computer store

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Very good advice, but here's a good preventative measure...
by TripodGal / December 4, 2009 12:56 PM PST

I, too, over time learned to do as you as you are doing. It is undoubtedly a very bad idea to interact with a suspicious pop-up in any way. There was one earlier this year that touted itself as being a PC cleaner that would not close at all. I use IE 8 optimized for Yahoo with my Vista Home Premium, that has tabbed browsing. It has better security than IE 7 by far, and virtually solved many of my Vista issues when I installed it last fall. I use either that, or Firefox as you suggested. Both give you pop-up allowance options. When the pop-up in question would not close, I pulled up another clean tab, then totally closed the tab that offered the offending pop-up. It got rid of it. But I didn't stop there...I figured I must have taken on cookies for the pop-up in the first place, so I finished what I was doing in the new browser window, then closed out everything, got offline, then cleared my cookies and cache, did a disk clean-up, then ran my anti-virus/anti-malware (ZoneAlarm) to make sure everything was cleaned out. I had been using a cheaper version of ZoneAlarm at the time, so I upgraded to Extreme Security with browser Forcefield when my subscription was due. It is the absolute best deterrant for this type of problem -- well worth the price. Now I have NO WORRIES about this type of pop-up problem. A speck of dust on a knat's *** won't get through this security system! It is actually too good sometimes, and I have to lower my security a bit it to use trusted sites, in order to gain full access. It also gives you the option to NOT use Forcefield, and also an option to use a non-protected window if you have access problems. It has a 7-layer incryption that is great for folks that are on the net a lot and are transacting money and doing banking online. I can't say enough good about it. I NEVER have to deal with these type of pop-ups with ZoneAlarm Extreme Security.

Best advice: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Safe and happy browsing to you, and Happy Holidays!

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Zone Alarm Extreme
by GabeKW / December 5, 2009 2:15 AM PST

Ditto! I have exercised all of the mentioned methods of avoiding pop-ups and questionable sites. However, recently, I was on a reasonably reputable site reading the news. Suddenly, my beloved Firefox browser starting acting strange. I found myself at another site. I closed everything up and ran my free anti virus scanner. Nothing showed up. I then ran my Spybots program. Bingo. A trojan which Spybots captured. I did some research and found that this bad guy could capture my banking info. The free anti virus site did not have any definitions for this trojan. The free anti virus updates itself automatically (which I checked again). My free firewall also did not detect it. Windows Defender did not detect it. Spyblaster did not detect it. The next day after finding this, the free anti virus site did have the definition for it, however, that did not help me the day that I needed it. Since this thing can capture banking info, I headed straight for Zone Alarm and got their heavy duty firewall, anti virus, etc. It is important to stop the bad guys from getting onto your computer. It is, also, important to be able to prevent a program from accessing the internet, which this version of Zone Alarm can do. It takes a little tweaking to get the firewall to work with your programs, which is easy. I, especially, like the private browser option although it takes awhile for this browser to open. I do not know anyone at Zone Alarm. I was not using their free version. I am very happy with this product and feel somewhat safer about surfing the Net. Hope this helps someone.

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In response to gordios777-websites
by melusineusa / December 5, 2009 8:10 AM PST

Re.: your parting comment;

you may not win the Pulitzer but you have earned my thanks for a very readable and comprehensive review of how to cope with these killer pop-ups.

I use Firefox and AVG so I do have all pop-ups blocked automatically. On the rare occasions one sneaks through, I "X" it stat. It is the same for page forwarding, I have to allow it first before it opens up. On occasions, it may seem a little tedious but I consider it a small price to pay for peace of mind and safe computing. I have four years of virus free computing and minor malware infestation. What AVG may miss, Spybot does not.

Just a quick response to a former post which said AVG allowed Trojan or malware to go through. I have not found that to be the case for me and in fact just this morning, I was chasing a particular sales item through numerous websites and not being my usual cautious self, when as I was going to open a particular site, a large message box warned me that this site "could be harmful to my computer"

I had not seen that before and it jolted me into a quick reversal of direction. It must have been one of the more recent AVG upgrades I presume, and an excellent one too. It may have saved my Holiday shopping.

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Yes There Are - Got a Bargain That Way
by Dr_Shalit / November 23, 2009 4:50 AM PST

Was I a Bad Boy? Maybe. Bought an otherwise perfect Dimension 4700 for a song after it was infected with something named "Windows Police" or the like. The owner didn't know what to do or how to do it. I did, and more or less did what the writer did. Reloaded XP Pro from scratch, reloaded drivers and updates from Dell, did all updates from Microsoft upgraded memory, and now have a decent additional machine. If I had to charge for my time doing it, it would not have been worth it. As an "after work" hobby project it was fun. That said, would the perpetrators of these toxic downloads be sued down to their shorts and do jail time. They are the "Horse Thieves" of the 21st Century. -S-

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Fake AntiVirus
by vocalizing / November 23, 2009 5:43 AM PST

Antivirus 2009 is evil incarnate. It sounds just like what happened to you. Unless you recognize the name of your own antivirus on the pop-up window, DO NOT TOUCH IT. I mean, you can move it out of the way and do a system scan, but don't run it. I like Spyware Doctor, by the way. It seems great when run in conjunction with an Internet Security program. My IT dude said to go with a lesser-known security program, so I have Norton 360 on a computer and I have Panda on another one. I notice very little difference in their preventative differences, and they have both worked fine. Which I guess accounts for the lack of difference. Happy

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Probably not completely wiped
by Orinoco123 / November 23, 2009 7:29 AM PST

That or youre continually going on a website that your allowing to download trojan software (not my business what youve been on!). Try putting up antivirus software which can check websites before you actually enter them like AVG. This will prevent you entering harmful, yet sometimes inconspicuous websites.

When i had a particularly nasty trojan i had to run my avg virus checker several times. It kept finding new trojans on each run before it proudly announced that it had found the .dll that was the source of my continuing problems. After it sorted this for me it comes up with an error that my computer could not find a certain .dll every time i start my computer but it works without any problems so it obviously did the job! Cutting it at the source.

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Easy Fix
by tyranusex / November 23, 2009 8:38 AM PST

As hackers and subsequent programs get more and more savvy, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine what is safe and what's not. Navigating the web and email is increasingly subject to creative ways to fool you into thinking it's something you need or need to click on to read. Temptation is a powerful thing, hackers are counting on it.

I am telling you now the best way to avoid harm to your computer is to treat everything that tempts you as a potential virus. Many in fact are just that. Once you link in, malicious software can continue to run even if you shut your computer down if you have DSL or a Cable connection that is "always on", meaning your computer still has ability to recieve a potential virus unless you severe not only the connection but the power as well.

Any pop-up that alerts you that you have harmful files (if it were in fact true) has already gained access to your system and has run a scan without your knowledge. That should scare the dickens out of you, certainly not prompt you to run the software, anytime you do that you are allowing a program right into the heart of your computer. It would be like letting a stranger into your home.

If a program tells you that you have spyware/harmful files on your computer, simply close that link, go to your Anti-Virus software and run a scan if you are in doubt. Never give a program you know nothing about control over your system, this is why we purchase protection.

In essence the best protection is trusting only sites and emails you absolutely know to be safe.

On that note, I would also recommend downloading Mcafee's free "Site Advisor". This handy little program lets you know before you link in if the site is trusted or not. If you mistakenly click on or open a questionable or bad site a big red warning box pops up to warn you.

Theree are several free pop-up blockers as well. You can find some right on "Cnet".

Hope that helps you.

David

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UNWANTED POP UPS AND FALSE SECURITY ALERTS
by cheifstandingbear / November 23, 2009 10:00 AM PST

I'm just a novice with computers, but I can tell you how I was able to undo several like problems. Go to hipofile.com and down load spy bots. It's free and It works for lots of problems. If that dosen't do it go to my computer, open your system restore and just restore your computer to before you accepted that program. And trust no program that pops up and says it free or will give you a free scan. Especially if your on an adult site, some holyer then thou jerks seam to think You deserve to be punished for looking on those sites

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In response to looosing ability and memory.
by Debbieddt / November 23, 2009 10:20 AM PST

I had the same thing happen to me less then 2 weeks after getting an online assist system to prevent virus, malware, etc. Well I could not even get to the "helpers" to get the help. I had to hire some local PC Geeks, their name not mine for their company. It cost me $200 bucks and 10 days without my computer. It was a bad whatever?! He could piggyback onto his laptop and see my memory,programs and pictures, but no matter what, he could not bring it back to my hard drive. So basically I had just about everything whiped out. He did back up onto his computer but no matter what
could not reinstall on mine. When I got it back it still was not right, but at least then I could get back to the online support help, and even though it took them many hours, they got it working almost correctly again. None of the experts had any idea what this was. Anybody out there have a clue?

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It ruined my PC too
by LAG / November 23, 2009 1:40 PM PST

Here I was on a quiet Sunday morning checking my email and my computer seemed a little slow, I checked if AVG free had run its usual nightly scan and it had, no problems, so I just figured I'd reboot. From out of nowhere, there's this icon in my taskbar with a pop up telling me my computer was infected.....etc...but I knew this wasn't one of my installed programs plus the pop up was not grammatically correct. AVG has always caught everything but somehow this one got through.....I still don't know how it appeared so suddenly.
Needless to say, I right clicked on it to close or delete it and things went crazy after that. I was able to run Ccleaner and Advanced System Care but that did nothing. After that there was nothing I could do, everything I tried told me the files were infected. Any web page I tried showed up as porn. I also tried to get to system restore but that was infected as well. Ctrl Alt Del wouldn't work either.
End of story, I knew I was in big trouble but since I had been planning on getting a new computer (this one had run it's course) I bought a new one with Norton and Windows 7 a little sooner than I had planned but I really had no choice.
Got to have my computer!!!!!
Why do people send out these viruses??????

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Pop-up Malware
by jlawrence50 / November 23, 2009 11:59 PM PST

When such popups occur, you could try the Microsoft three-fingered salute (Ctrl+Alt, Delete) and display your Task Manager screen. From there, you can end the browser task containing the offender. Depending on the malware that's attacking your PC, these steps may solve the problem without requiring a lot of file recovery.

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Pop-Ups ruining my PC
by Debbieddt / November 24, 2009 1:52 AM PST
In reply to: Pop-up Malware

Thanks jlawrence. I put in my comment prior to reading a dozen or so replies. My problem did not come from a pop-up, as I never open those. Mine happened by getting slower and slower and shutting down or freezing, each time I would end the program and restart but it got to the point that I couldn't get it to do anything, and that is why I had to get a local person to help me. He was stumped, as were several of his co-workers. But I did learn about bringing up the Task Manager, very helpful. I am not very computer literate but I do try to keep up with what is new and what is safe. I have learned a lot.

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It Happened Again!!
by LAG / November 25, 2009 9:15 AM PST
In reply to: Pop-Ups ruining my PC

Further to my post above, yesterday on my brand new computer, I got the pop ups again!!! It was the same virus with a little variation in the name. Having only had the computer for 2 days I called a technician, he told me just to shut it down and bring it in.
Three hours later when he called, thankfully it had NOT infected my computer at all, in fact when he started it up the pop ups were gone.
We did discuss using the task manager which would work or to just shut down the computer.
The key is.....DON'T CLICK ANYTHING. He explained to me that it works like an attachment which unless opened will not infect a computer.
I'm happy to say I'm a lot smarter after 2 'attacks' and won't be surprised if I get more, the tech told me he's seeing a lot of this virus.
Hope this helps!

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knowledge and a firewall your best protection
by Bob.F / November 26, 2009 12:25 AM PST

First congratulations on finding a good tech she knows what she's doing and gave you a good product that even Microsoft techs use (quietly). Your computer is now set up ok so what you need is more knowledge to protect yourself. Microsoft has a free security news letter for home users and its not to technical to understand. It shows pictures of the fake anti virus sites you encountered. Join. The next think I would do is get or change your firewall it should do a better job of blocking these sites and ask for permission to load anything. Some users find this a pain but the protection is there. I like the free on line armor firewall. Learn all the features of your security apps now don,t wait until you,re in a panic that's my advice Bob F.

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