Monday, October 24, 2011

Vicious Malware almost ate my computer

Last night I was really tired and planned to go to bed early, or earlier than I normally do. However, I thought one stop over at Pinterest wouldn't be a big deal. So off I went looking and laughing and pinning when I came upon something I thought particularly witty and clever. I clicked to the linked site hoping for more witty and cleverness but instead a big scary Malware monster attacked my little 'puter.

Suddenly there were scary little pop-up windows declaring that my system had a "Delayed Write Failed Error 32". Another scary looking window said I needed to do a restore and a system scan and sacrifice a goat while burning a ritual candle in the name of the Computer Gods.

I immediately closed all the windows and they Kept Coming Back!!! I logged off. I re-booted. I watched my files just Poof! disappear. Then I did what any other normal person in such a situation would do. I panicked. Fingernails got chewed. Hair was pulled and also chewed. The husband was yelled at even though he was quietly minding his own business playing a game on X-box.

I ran my super-duper virus protection program in its limited capacity because I haven't yet updated it. Yet!  I will! I am! I also said a little prayer to God to please take a moment or two out of his busy schedule to save my computer and not have all my files be lost into the Great Unknown.

At this point it's almost 3 am and my perfect little plan of going to bed at a reasonable hour has been blown to bits. I decided to go to sleep and hope that maybe when I wake up this will all have been some ridiculous nightmare or maybe an episode of  Scare Tactics.

After a light, uneasy sleep of 4 hours I get up and get the Little Man off to school. And then I boot up my PC, fingers crossed the whole time. And....nothing. It wasn't a nightmare and Tracy Morgan didn't jump out of the closet to assure me that my husband set me up for a good fright.

I did some online research and after finding a free down-loadable scanner through Microsoft  that removes these pesky programs and finding out how to bring my file and folder babies out of "hiding" I am happy to report that all is well with my Dell laptop.

Lessons Learned:

Always update your virus protection software! (a little PSA from me to you)
Always backup your files! (another PSA)
Never click a link you are unsure of. (duh!)
Scare Tactics is funny.
Scary malware is not!
Go to bed when you plan to and get off the dang computer!

Hey! Come check out Lovelinks. Read some cool blogs, leave a comment or two or three and then come back Thursday and vote for your fave.  


  1. I guess I should know malware is everywhere on the Internet, but on Pinterest? It's a cruel, cruel world.

    Thanks for linking up at lovelinks!

  2. My biggest computer nightmare!!! Glad you got it sorted. I just updated my virus thingy, thanks for the PSA :)

  3. Yikes! That horror movie music is playing over and over again in my head. I HATE when stuff like this happens. HATE IT. I am so glad you were able to get your files back. We all know what constitutes safe Internet practices and what doesn't, but still, these things happen. And they suck. But they happen. Hope you can get some rest tonight and that the Malware Monster stays away for a long, long time.

  4. @Erica,

    I still love Pinterest. But yeah...ain't nothin' sacred? lol. I heart lovelinks so, you're welcome AND thanks to you as well.

  5. Alison,

    If I can help save one computer, then it's all worth it. I am thankful I still had a web browser to get on and look up the help I needed.

  6. Laura,

    This was NOT a fun trick! I hate crap like that, too. I mean really...are you *that* desperate to get buyers for your lame-ass software that you have to creep on a site and hold some poor, unsuspecting hausfrau's computer hostage?? Stay tech-safe. :)

  7. Oh man... I freak when crap like that happens. My whole life is on my computer. It's amazing how dependent we've all gotten on these little devices that (for the most part) we didn't have growing up. I just don't understand why there are assholes out there who create these things. I mean what benefit does it bring them to ruin a part of someones else's life??

  8. Hilarious entry! :) Glad the Computer Gods have deemed you worthy of a SAVE this time round. Haha!

  9. Whew! I'm right there with ya! My 10yo downloaded something she shouldn't have and a hijacker piggybacked on it. Precocious 10yo then downloaded what she thought was a spyware remover to remove it before I knew about it. Malware. So then we Googled. I found the directions to remove it and let her follow the step-by-step. Would you believe, she did it? Amazing. Then she said, "Lesson learned."

  10. This blog has just made me review my entire security operation. I've even changed the locks on the windows to stop airborne malware from attacking my spider plant.

  11. I would have FREAKED too! Those damn evil people, don't they have anything better to do!

  12. I just went through the exact thing last night for 4 hours and now I'm rethinking my Pinning activities (so sad). After running updates and being clear, the silly messages wouldn't go away and I couldn't close them. I restored my computer to 24 hours earlier and it worked in 5 minutes. I still feel like "they're in there" like the Poltergeist movie :(