Monday, August 02, 2010

Uh Oh - big Problem!

When I first turned on my computer this morning, something was very wrong. 

I got a pop-up about my “antivir protection.”  I don’t have “antivir”  I have anti-virus.  The little popup box  looked very similar to my Microsoft Security Essentials anti virus protection, but it was different enough to make me suspicious.  I  kept getting other little messages popping up saying some file had a virus, trojan, etc.  I was very careful not to accidently click on any of them.  They appeared to be from Windows Essentials,(my antivirus software)  but I wasn’t sure.   I knew if I clicked the wrong thing, I could open the floodgates.  All I wanted to do was run my real security programs but I couldn’t find them!

I have the icon for the Microsoft Security Essentials on my bottom task bar menu, but this morning it was gone!  All I got was the “imposter.”  It looked very similar to the real  Microsoft Security Essentials,  but not quite the same.  I tried to go to my start menu and run security essentials. I would click on it, see the screen briefly and then it would disappear.  I was getting real scared!  I tried this several times.  I tried to put the icon back on the task bar, it would go there but when I tried to click on it, away it would go!   Oh NO!

I also have Malware Bytes on my computer, but I was unable to get it or the Microsoft Security Essentials to run.  I was getting very scared!  I just kept getting pop ups saying my computer or a file was infected.  Very scary stuff.

 No, my laptop is not backed up. 

No, I do not have a backup program like Carbonite

Yes, I meant to, but now I may have to suffer the consequences of my procrastination. 
I finally (after trying several attempts and methods)  was able to get both of my security programs running and they are currently doing full scans on the computer.  I did quick scans first and they came out clean.  I have my fingers crossed that I won’t have lost all my data or that my computer was hijacked.

I am writing this post on Windows Live Writer and will not attempt to post unless my scans come out clean.   I am afraid to attempt to go onto the internet until the full scans are completed.  Let me tell you, I am a LOT nervous!

If I dodge this bullet, I am going to immediately go and purchase  Carbonite,  or some other automatic back-up program  It cost about $5o annually, and right now, that’s looking like a pretty good deal!  It automatically backs  your computer up regularly and then if you have a virus, or lose your data, you can easily get your computer back up and running.  The commercials say it’s easy, but I have my doubts about that.

This might be a good subject for Rick to blog about. I’m sure we could all use some education on avoiding computer viruses!

The virus and malware programs are still running…very slow process.
No viruses found yet. :)
I got tired of waiting and decided to attempt to go online and see what happens.  I was able to log on so I am hopeful that my computer is not trashed.  The programs have not found anything bad..yet…
Wish me luck!
I’m doing some research on the online back up programs.  I want something that will do automatic backups.  I don’t want to have to think about it.  I just want my computer protected if I need it.  I found a link that has some information on a few of the top programs.  Click here for comparisons. 
There are coupons for discounts on all of these programs.  I thought I would probably use Carbonite, but in doing some research, I think Mozy might be a better option.  I guess I need to do more research.

My virus and malware programs are still running. It will probably take a few hours, but I don’t care.  I will wait for them to finish before I purchase the automatic back up program (probably Carbonite). 
I’m feeling a little better about my computer, but this morning I was sure I had a major virus and I just knew all my data was lost.  Let me tell you, that’s a very scary feeling.  My advice….back up…what ever way you choose, but just backup.  I had visions of all my photo’s being gone.  : (

Wish me luck!

p.s.  I tried to post this through Live Writer, but kept getting an error message.  Hope it will post through Blogger.  


  1. Karen, you need to download and run the free program Malwarebytes. You can get it here...

    You may also need to remove your real Security Essentials program, and then reinstall it after you run Malwarebytes.

    Good luck...

  2. Hi Karen...what happened sounds scary but it's not fatal, ok. You don't have a virus or a trojan. Antivir is just a typical rogue antivirus program. They all have the same goal of trying to get you to buy their software by creating bogus pop-up windows listing severe threats - they're phony.

    The reason your regular anti-virus programs didn't detect this is because anitvir isn't a virus. It probably came from a website you visited accidentally.

    I'll check around and see if I can find a program that will remove this junk and then you should be fine again.

  3.'s the link to fix the problem you have. You'll see a photo of the exact same thing that popped up on your screen, so you can relax a bit.

    You're on the right track by running Malware as that's the solution. Just make sure you've downloaded the latest spyware and malware definitions, o.k.

  4. Rick's info sounds correct. I had that same scary stuff about a month ago.

    I've seen the commericals for Carbonite, but it doesn't make sense for me to have a company make a back-up of my computer - of course they say they encrypt the info. I have too much confidential stuff on my laptop - although everyone and their brother seems to have everyone's information anyhow. Facebook was hacked recently and now someone has a lot of profile info from that.

    Then again, every time we hand our credit card to someone at a restaurant we've giving that confidential information to a total stranger.

    Glad you didn't lose anything. Back-up, back-up, back-up (and that's a message to me to run one myself).

    Don't know if you read Backroad Chronicles of our friends, Joy and Phil, but they have their system set to perform an automatic back-up onto their external hard-drive on a weekly basis.

  5. Thanks Rick. I went to the site you recommended. I had a problem because of an older version of Malwarebytes. I had to remove the old version before I was able to reinstall the newer version. I am running it now and it's already found 2 problems. The first version didn't find anything. After it completes running, I will try the site you recommended again.

    Kevin & Ruth,
    I hope I don't have to remove and reinstall Essentials. I've been messing with this all day and I'm getting tired of it. I do feel better though that it wasn't too serious.

    I did back up my pictures though!!


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