Exercising good judgment averts need for ‘exorcism’ - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Business

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Exercising good judgment averts need for ‘exorcism’

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 12:00 am

I received a call the other day that went something like this; “Hi Mike? Do you guys do exorcisms?”

“No. We are a computer repair company.”

“Yea. I need somebody to come over and exorcize the demons out of my computer. It has a mind of its own now with stuff popping up all over the place and taking me to Web sites I don’t want to go to. It is possessed! The only place I can go is to this Web site where they want to charge me $40 for some software that they say will get rid of my problems, but I don’t trust them. Can you guys help?”

Sound familiar? It may, because in the past couple of weeks, we have been flooded by calls from people who are having these same issues.

Many people ask us: “What did I do to get this stuff? I didn’t go anywhere bad.”

You do not have to visit questionable Web sites to get infected with malware (the term for any type of spyware and/or viruses). Some people never get infected and others seem to get infected every week, and I believe it has to do with updates and the type of protection people use. I used to believe people who used a dialup Internet service were immune to malware until last evening when an Ahwatukee Foothills resident e-mailed me asking for help. He had NetZero as his Internet Service Provider. That was a first.

The symptoms of these issues are generally a window (or perhaps multiple windows) that incessantly pop up telling you a virus has been detected on your computer and instructing you to click on the pop up for removal. You are transported to a Web site where they demand a ransom of about $40 to $50 for removal.

The bad thing is when they do remove this spyware (and it is spyware and not a virus) generally another Trojan is installed on your computer set to activate at a time in the future, thereby, ensuring the company has an ongoing income stream. In more severe cases, your entire Internet connection is shut down to every Web site except theirs so you cannot get on the Internet to download any programs, update any existing protection programs or do much of anything.

I have seen the malware reprogram your Internet connection to a proxy, which allows you to only access the Internet through a designated computer, meaning whoever the insidious individual was who installed that malware on your system. This is a form of Internet hijacking.

Is it illegal? Yes, of course. If these programmers were on United States soil they would be arrested and prosecuted to be certain, but they are generally located in another country or on the ocean, miles out to sea. It is virtually impossible to find and prosecute these individuals.

So what to do? Make sure you have an anti-virus program and keep it up to date. I have been using Avira. You can download it free at www.download.com. Make sure you have at least one anti-spyware program and keep it up to date. I like Super Anti-spyware and Malwarebytes.

Super Anti-Spyware can be downloaded for free at www.superantispyware.com, and Malwarebytes can be downloaded free at www.download.com.

Nothing will protect you 100 percent so don’t think you can go to questionable Web sites and be protected. As always, if this is more than you care to do yourself, you can always e-mail or call us.

 

Mike Smothers is president of Smothers Computer Services and lives in Ahwatukee Foothills. Send questions to mike@smotherscomputers.com or call (480) 753-7667.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Ahwatukee couple puts the Ahh! in Red, White and Boom…and 86 other area fireworks spectaculars

Like most of us, Ahwatukee residents Kerry and Lori Welty are prepping for the Fourth of July holiday. But unlike the rest of us, their weeken…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:44 am @ http://www.ahwatukee.com/arts_life/article_7a9f97e…

Selling Stem Cells in the USA: Assessing the Direct-to-Consumer Industry: Cell Stem Cell

Businesses marketing putative stem cell interventions have proliferated across the U.S. This commercial activity generates a host of serious e…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:44 am @ http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-…

Growing Greens in the Spare Room as ‘Vertical Farm’ Start-Ups Flourish

They include City-Hydro, a farm built in a spare bedroom on the second floor of Larry and Zhanna Hountz’s three-story rowhouse in Baltimore. M…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:45 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/business/smallbu…

L.A. woman, teen among slain in Rancho Santa Fe home

Two of three people whose bodies were found this week inside a Rancho Santa Fe home have been identified as the homeowner’s teenage daughter a…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:14 am @ http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jun/…

One look at the enemy and you’ll get serious about food safety

What could be more frightening than an unseen enemy — one so stealthy and powerful that it can send you to the hospital or even kill you? And …

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:15 am @ http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/06/one-look-at-…

ABT and Herberger Theater Center Partner to Present A Christmas Carol This Holiday Season

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) and Herberger Theater Center (HTC) extend their partnership, announced earlier this year, by co-presenting A Ch…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:26 am @ http://azbroadway.org/arizona-broadway-theatre-her…

The Long Road to Immigration Reform

A deadlocked Supreme Court has effectively squashed any chance of significant immigration reform before President Obama leaves office in Janua…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 8:13 am @ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-30/…

VA Colluding with Union to Promote Anti-Reform Rally

BY: An official at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital is helping the largest federal employee union oppose efforts to reform the agency…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 8:11 am @ http://freebeacon.com/issues/va-colluding-union-pr…

Growing Greens in the Spare Room as ‘Vertical Farm’ Start-Ups Flourish

They include City-Hydro, a farm built in a spare bedroom on the second floor of Larry and Zhanna Hountz’s three-story rowhouse in Baltimore. M…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 7:43 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/business/smallbu…

Dispatch from Philadelphia: The City Prepares for a Soda Tax

It’s been two weeks since Philadelphia approved a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages, and the city’s streets are still littered with t…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 7:13 am @ http://civileats.com/2016/06/30/dispatch-from-phil…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…