Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    Incontrovertible Subject: Computer Bandits
    #1
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    From time to time, we have discussion here about whether there is anything on which there is unanimous agreement.
    I believe the only consensus heretofore is that there is no such topic.
    I have a nominee.
    I believe there is an especially intolerable place in Hell (agnostics and atheists pick an alternate undesirable destination) for those who deliberately infect other computers with unwanted programs and viruses and then try to ransom their removal.

    I have been down for a few days because about a week ago, I reported that I clicked a link on which others were streaming a meet with no discernible ill effects. Iwas immediately hit with a blizzard of malware and unsolicited programs.

    I spent a long time removing the unwanted programs, except one that seems invulnerable, from my control panel but did not have the knowledge/talent to find or remove the virus.

    My computer ground to a virtual halt. Curiously, I could access Outlook and Google but could not get on the internet otherwise. Cox customer service technical was stumped.

    At 3 am, I was awakened by a blaring voice and a screen demanding I call a certain number to fix the problem, threatening that if I ignored the warning and rebooted, my hard drive would be erased.
    My puter guy has instructed me that when I get such demands, if I immediately turn my computer off and do not click or try to remove the screen, it cannot take hold. He also admits that the bad guys will eventually find a way around that tactic too. He was right about that.

    Nevertheless, I hit the Off button and rebooted . I could not tell that my hard drive was affected but still could not get on the internet. Finally, Cox sent the varsity to my house. He plumbed the depths of my computer interminably, all the while declaring his mystification.
    Then, he clicked on something and said, "Fixed it." And, he had.

    Either he was incapable of explaining or I was incapable of understanding what he had done but my computer is running faster/smoother than it has in a long time and the virus has not resurfaced.
    Now, you may say, "All's well that ends well." but it is not.

    Aside from the inconvenience and expense, this happened when I was in the midst of dealing with a serious personal situation that required constant and frequent email communication.
    The miracle is that I could still get on email and by repeatedly rebooting when attacked by the virus, I was able to communicate during the three day ordeal.

    This incident may not make the top ten in problems of the planet but is close enough that I think it should be a capital crime.

    I know there are some computer savvy people on here. Does anyone have any idea of WTF happened here?
    Thank you for indulging my diatribe.
    Last edited by lonewolf; 06-25-2016 at 02:42 AM.
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    #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf View Post
    I know there are some computer savvy people on here. Does anyone have any idea of WTF happened here?
    Time for a thorough scrubbing by Malwarebytes (free download at CNET).
    Lucky for me that my youngest son is a computer tech guy and the one time this happened to me, he terminated the virus with extreme prejudice.
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    #3
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    First rule of modern computing -- NEVER CLICK ON A LINK THAT YOU DON'T FULLY TRUST. That should definitely include all links to "free" broadcasts from foreign lands, which almost invariably open a user to incredible computer abuse. No event is worth seeing enough to go through what you went through.

    Ransomware is unbelievably tricky to fully remove, as you now know.
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    #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf
    The miracle is that I could still get on email and by repeatedly rebooting when attacked by the virus, I was able to communicate during the three day ordeal.
    In order not to face this, I keep all my stuff on two computers, a desktop and the laptop and if some SOBs do this to me, I remain functional and lose nothing or very little. I transfer all the data every few weeks, it takes me less than 1/2 hour.
    A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact.


    Thomas Henry Huxley
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    #5
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    I hate computers, The Flop, Fiberglass Poles, and the The Spin. I do not hate automobiles, modern medicine, airplanes, or air conditioning.
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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukehjsteve View Post
    I hate computers, The Flop, Fiberglass Poles, and the The Spin.
    I do not hate automobiles, modern medicine, airplanes, or air conditioning.
    Notice that all the things you're OK with were invented before you were born.
    The things you hate came after your 'hey-day', as it were.
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    #7
    Just curious, lonewolf, do you/did you have an anti-virus program on your computer? Which one?
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pego View Post
    In order not to face this, I keep all my stuff on two computers, a desktop and the laptop and if some SOBs do this to me, I remain functional and lose nothing or very little. I transfer all the data every few weeks, it takes me less than 1/2 hour.
    I do the exact same thing, Pego, and use LapLink to connect them every 2-3 weeks or so. i also back up to Carbonite. Back in 1996 a virus infected my computer and I lost a lot of data - took a lot of work to get most of it back but never found it all.
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