My computer caught a virus
December 13, 2013
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– and home remedies didn’t work.
Two emails written in Russian found their way to my inbox last week. At least they were written with the Cyrillic alphabet and I think they were Russian. The only part I could read was the dollar amounts. I knew they were not good news and hit the delete button. I should have known better — I do know better. All that does is move them from the inbox to another folder labelled deleted. It does not get them out of my computer and if they are infected the infection can spread from there.
I don’t know that these emails were the source of the infection, I didn’t open any attachments or anything so it might have come from somewhere else. But when I stated up my computer Monday morning there was a message that the Norton firewall was disabled. I idly wondered how that had happened, switched it on again and carried on.
Wednesday morning the message about the Norton firewall turned up again. Belatedly, I realized something unpleasant was going on. Especially as my computer was pretty sluggish that morning. I turned the firewall back on and began to scan my computer with a second anti-malware program. This program got as far as identifying nine infected items on my computer then froze. I found that my whole computer was now frozen, I couldn’t even turn it off with keyboard commands.
I held down the switch to turn the computer off, disconnected all the cables and took it to the Thorstad Computer hospital in the nearby town of Outlook. When I went to get it two days later they informed me they had removed 30 items of malware.
I have Norton 360 Premier Edition installed on all three computers in our home. No doubt it is a good program and protects our computers from most kinds of viruses and malware. But it doesn’t seem that any one protective program can catch everything that is out there. For several years I have made it a practice to periodically scan our computers with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It will occasionally catch something that has snuck past Norton and I believe it would have found and eliminated the malware this time, had I used it soon enough.
I am freshly aware of the need to not just delete suspicious emails, but to also promptly empty the deleted folder to remove them completely from my computer. And to do a scan of my computer with a backup malware program at the slightest suspicion that something funny is going on. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is recommended by Thorstad. It comes in both a free version and a paid version. The free version is probably all that most home users need for use as a backup to our regular antivirus software.