Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Slo' mo "Nooooooo"...

Have you ever clicked on a link and immediately you knew you shouldn't have? And within moments you are scrambling to desperately fix your computer and back everything up...just in case?

Perhaps you've been there. When you see the minuscule fine print just as you are clicking your mouse?

That really, really, small print that informs your brain that "this page didn't originate where you thought it did and boy is this going to be bad please God don't let my computer crash because I forgot to back up my hard drive even though I promised myself that I would every week since the last time this happened to me oh please no...."

You might have heard me. Anywhere. Around. The. World.

I was the one screaming in slow motion, "Nooooooo.........!"

I bought an external hard drive for my laptop. About a year ago.
A very nice, cute, sleek little device that is supposed to be easy to use and would give me the peace of mind needed if my hard drive ever got corrupted.

Because, if my house caught on fire, I would try to save all my photos first. Right after the humans and animals, of course.

On my computer...it's the same. I'd want to save all the digital images I've been downloading there for years.

So, I ask myself, why would I buy this device, let it set on the bookshelf in my office and never use it? Probably for the same reason that my treadmill has become an iconic statue in my dressing room. Not used, just looks nice.

The other day I saw a tidbit on the news about a boy in Chicago who died due to a brutal beating. Supposedly, it had been caught on tape. A street gang fight that killed a teenage boy, an honor student who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. It peaked my interest. Not due to the violence, but how could a bystander catch this footage and not help? I wanted to see it for myself, not just the few frames shown on the news.

I ask you, where would you expect to find the amateur footage of the fight?
Why, yes. The internet!

Thus the beginning of the long drawn out overuse of profanity and my vocal chords.

I clicked on a link that I claimed to have the uncut footage I was looking for. Voila! A window opened on my desktop claiming my computer was under viral attack. It looked like it was from Microsoft. I assumed it was from Microsoft. But it wasn't from Microsoft.

Oh No! That can't be! A corrupted file? On my computer? *%^#@*!

And then I did what you aren't supposed to do. Yes. I clicked the button that said "fix it".

I have now spent the majority of the last two days trying to get this bug off my laptop. SecureWarrior is the culprit. If you look at the small margin at the bottom left hand corner very closely, it identifies itself. But not until the damage has already been done.

It bogs down your system. It's collecting your data. It send pop ups every 4 seconds for you to "buy the full protection system".

I've removed the offensive program, however it doesn't fully erase it. It still sends pop-ups and is running in the background. It won't even allow me to restore my computer to a earlier date before the invasion of the warrior.

There are a slew of programs that claim to have the capabilities to remove SecureWarrior, but they want to download 12G's into your system and then charge you $30. I think not. I can do this. I'll figure it out.

"Damn, Nancy." I thought I was smarter than that.
I panicked.
I outright panicked when I saw that on my screen...

I might not have been smart at that very moment, but I am now.

I've donned my battle facepaint.
I got all Braveheart on the SecureWarrior.

I opened my sleek little exterior hard drive box. I plugged it in. I backed it ALL up. All my files. All my folders. All my photos. And now I'm getting viral on the virus.

Oh yeah.
They've not seen viral yet. I'm going to wipe them clean.

My daughter said to me yesterday as I was swearing (out of earshot and under my breath, thank you. I'm a good mommy...) at my computer screen as yet another try to restore did not work..."Mommy, it might be time to buy a new laptop."

Do I want one?

My little Sony Vaio owes me nothing. It has served me well. Some of the letters are worn off the keys, but I know which ones are which, so it matters not to me. But it is a good little computer and I will not let it come to it's demise because of this trojan attack. I will succeed!

I will buy a new laptop when I choose to. Not when I have to due to brilliant people using their brains for, well, no good. Pissing people like me off.

I will buy a new laptop after I've extinguished the Warrior from my little Vaio.
And I did.

I'll be damned. I did it!
Now I can sell my own solution on the internet! I'll collect enough dosh to retire to Cabo. Maybe even enough to bring you all down to vacation with me.

Enough money to buy a new computer. I think I'll get a Mac.
They don't get hit by virus's, at least as often.

Now, how do I get this blue make-up off...


  1. I have so been in the same situation. I chose to fix it myself as my husband kept assuring me that I completely ruined the computer. (I had to do it to save face.) I finally figured it out and all is well.

    But boy is it tough not to click on those "Your system is screwed unless you click here." pop ups.

    Good for you. Good luck on marketing the solution. On that particular night, I would have paid almost anything.

  2. OMG you've totally gone and done it. Now I hae another blog that I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and see if it was as funny as your last post.
    Been there done that. I haven't backed up either but my laptop is an emachine that's screen goes black when you push on the spacebar which you do more than you think.
    Also you haven't seen funny till you've seen a hunt and peck typist when they figure out part of the keys are worn off, it's priceless.

  3. You know I always get those on the Dells at work. I have a Vaio also, absolutely love it!

    Some people have told me that they've had bad luck with Sony but I have found it to be a very good computer. I also have worn off some of the letters ;)

    You have to let me know how you got that virus off your computer just in case something should happen to mine (fingers crossed it doesn't).

  4. I love my Vaio. Although I'll have to admit, the only reason I chose it was because it was the only laptop that came in the color "champagne".

    As far as the "virus", I feel for you. And I'm impressed that you were able to fix it on your own. My kids downloaded a free music program called Limewire and it totally corrupted the hard drive on the "big" computer. Needless to say, it's still broken and everyone has their own laptop.

  5. I played with the hamster again.

    Did I say that out loud?

  6. hope that will never happen to me or else i will die. :(

    glad you sorted things out. :)

  7. thats my worst nightmare.

    in other news: i really EALLY want someone to invent an undo button for real life.

  8. hey these cyber terrorists don't leave anyone unharmed. Few months ago, I was a mute sufferer and now I am not !!!!

    guess what !!!

    I am using Ubuntu(linux...).

    I am giving a little advice from my experience. Use ComboFix. It's free and only 3 MB. Trust me, it will wipe all the evil from your computer like holy church water ..

  9. Hey Nancy,

    Ouch ouch ouch ouch OUCH!

    Would love to say I've never done it, but that would be a lie, right? The house still echoes with $£*@?! and *$%@£#?! from last time.

    You kicked ass, and I take my hat off to you.


  10. Almost the same thing happened to me about two months ago, I went to some page I shouldn't have and Wham, the attack began. I hit ctrl+alt+delete
    and shut it down to give me time to get the blue face paint properly applied. To make a very long story short .... I won. I also broke down and bought Norton 360 for protection.

    We build our own computers so we are our own tech support, it's good except I have no one to complain to when something happens.

  11. I almost fell for that also. It popped up on my computer too. Luckily I came to my senses just before I clicked and downloaded it. I am feeling really stupid for being so gullible. Hope you get your problem solved soon.

  12. Bewteen my husband and I we have three computers - (1 laptop each and a CPU in our office)and there is a reason for that. My blessed husband is a bit naive when it comes to the internet. If a screen pops up that says the computer has a virus - he'll download the "free" software. God knows how many programs he's downloaded to clean one thing after another (Why am I thinking about the Old Lady who Swallowed the Fly?) So I got myslef a laptop and now I keep all my important stuff on it - which I could easily tuck under my arm in a fire - and just use the CPU for faster surfing or watching dvd's.

    Good luck! - G

  13. @FumblingConfidence - I thought about paying one of those services, but then thought that it might just mess it up worse! Or even maybe it's the same people! So I bucked up and got down to business...
    Geek Squad ain't got nothin' on me!

    @TC - Hey TC! Welcome! Perhaps you should mke a video with the hunt and peck typist. Now THAT would be viral...

    @Senorita - If something happens, call me. I'll share my warpaint with you!
    I've had some people tell me that Sony is blahblahblah, but I gotta say, I love my Sony stuff. It's done me good, so I'm not jumping ship.

    @Thersa - Your so vain...."champagne" color computer? I'm with ya'...however I bought mine becasue it came in black. Go figure.
    And Harry my hampster told me "he loves you"!

    @Cher - You have NO IDEA how much anxiety I had! More than any I've experienced thus far in my life! Which is odd, since it's a computer...

    @sas - Wouldn't an UNDO button just be the best!? Or a delete? Sometimes I'd even settle for a mute button...

    @asit dhal - "wipe all the evil from your computer like holy church water"
    THAT is the best comment...perhaps EVER.

    @Indigo - Thanks Indigo! I did feel pretty damn righteous! I was doing the victory dance. Thank God my blinds were closed.

    @SquirrelQueen - The funny thing is I had just gotten another Kapersky Internet protection. The last wone expired and I hadn't put it on the laptop yet. I had it on the desktop computer but not the laptop. See what procrastination did to me! Bah.
    We rock the blue paint! Yea!

    @Peach Tart - :-) It was a sight to behold, that's for sure. Hey, didn't I hear that even diggs can be made alright there in the south as long as you add "Bless your heart" to it? :-)

    @Rae - I KNEW you were smarter than me! YOU didn't fall for it, and I did. Geez. I should really know better! They were probably laughing, but who's laughing now! ME!

    (plus I learned a very valuable lesson in the process...)

    Thank for your support guys! And welcome to the newbies! LOVE those comments!


  14. ARGH! this happened to me before; I was sooo pissed.
    Some dude who was totally channeling Jerry Garcia came over and told me this:
    "its broke"
    SHUTUP!! No way?
    Get out. Of my house.

  15. @Georgina - I keep all my 'good' stuff on my laptop as well. But that is the one that I corrupted with my stupidity. My brain was a second too late for my panic attack.
    But it's all good now!

    I'm filling out my application for the GeekSquad.

    @JenJen - channeling his inner Jerry, I like that. "it's broke dude"
    Get. Away. Now.



  16. Come to the dark side...you will LOVE a MacBook. They are cute, lightweight and the best part, you can run Parallels if you want to, which allows you to operate Windows (should you have a particular program you need that is only Windows based).

  17. You emerged victorious! Congratulations on fighting the good fight. Perhaps it was Sony that sent you the virus so you'd have to buy a new VAIO. (I've loved all my macs... problem free and no viruses... knock on wood.)

  18. Your experience is exactly why when I retired I got a Mac. I was unable to figure out how I might be able to protect myself. I also have an external hard drive that is actually connected. The Leopard operating system has a totally cool Time Machine that allows you to go backwards and retrieve stuff. I only had to do that for an iPhoto download that somehow got corrupted. I am glad, when I read stuff like this!

  19. OMG; I would have no idea what to do except cry. You are my hero!
    My kids have Macs and swear by them. I couldn't afford to buy myself one so I make due. After your victorious battle, I say go for it!

  20. Macs are amazing. You'll love it, I myself cannot afford one...but I like to pretend my zippy little red Dell is just as good. I almost believe it. Almost.

  21. i've done it once..believed me i was in frantic mode which key to press to stopped it down loading...to say the hubby got annoyed is an understatement.never heard the end of it for days!

    thanks for dropping by the salitype page, highly appreciated!

    have alovely day!

  22. I keep thinking I need to back up my hard-drive, etc...so your post makes me think the time is now!

  23. @Travel & Dive - I USED to hvae a Mac and switched because I couldn't get software. That'll tell you how long ago that was...but I'm going to go stroke all the new Macs and see which one loves me. And then I'm going to bring it home and worship it....

    @CatLady Larew - I did! I'm proud of myself too! And perhaps you are right, Sony WANTS me to have the bestest! :-)

    @DJan - I will never not back up my stuff again. I will never not back up my stuff again....

    See it's my new mantra!

    @Maureen - I haven't bought one either due to price. I figure I need this more or that more. But now may be the time. I wonder if I'll still be able to type if I can SEE the letters?

    @Jenna - ALL the new computers are so sexy now with the colors and patterns....and no worn out spots. But my little Vaio is like Wall*E, it's old(er) but still has good innards. :-)

    @Salitype - I hope to never, ever do it again. I just need to remember that when I hit panic mode next time! :-)

    @StaceyJWarner - This post was a warning call to everyone! Glad I could help!
    That'll be $30 please. :-)

    Thanks for the comments!! You guys made my day!

  24. It was a search for Pink and Cory Hart that did me in:). I am now the proud owner of a new Mac...

  25. I always wonder what kind of life the people who creat viruses must have. Is there nothing better for them to do with their time? How sad, you know?

  26. Heyy Nancy, you told me to come check out your page, I'm just wondering what the specific reason was :p

    And this has happened to me many times before... thankfully I have one of those daddys that can fix everything :)

  27. You are WOMAN, hear you ROAR! Yes! Glad you got rid of the virus! I'm married to a computer geek. That a good thing. But, God forbid something should every happen to him. I'm stuck back in the dark ages because he does EVERYTHING.

    BTW, you still have a blue smudge on your cheek. (smile)

  28. Turn about is fair play! I have an award for YOU on my blog. Come and get it!

  29. OMG, Nancy...I've had that damn thing POP up on my computer screen SO MANY times and the first time it happened I didn't know what to do. THANK GOD I didn't hit fix (but I almost did).

    I have Vista on my computer (which I truly hate), but the one thing (and only one thing) I like about it, is that the spyware protection is amazing. I have AVG for my virus protection (which is free) and that too is amazing.

    Anyway, girl...good for you for getting rid of that nasty virus!

    My next computer is definitely going to be a Mac.

  30. Nancy, it happens to all of us. But if you want to see a video just go to youtube.com. 99% of the time it will be there.

    Good thing you backed everything up. Sounds like you know what you are doing!

  31. Yeah, we have a trojan lurking here somewhere. Minor little character, a bit annoying at times and stops you doing what you came here to do. Reminds me of myself, in a way.

  32. My husband has put some hardcore virus protection on our computers and so far so good. But, I made him get me a laptop so that I wasn't using our big computer with all our important files on it for surfing the web. You never know what you are going to come across. Damn hackers!

  33. I feel your pain. My computer crashed and I just fixed it enough to slink along. I'm a coward.

  34. Maybe the blue paint could be your marketing hook for the new solution :) We have a couple of external hard drives and I DO use them. Brilliant invention!!!

  35. i have one piece of advice...get a mac. :-) no problems with such things there!

  36. While I did not hear you roar..I can certainly feel your pain. This, for lack of a better word, sucks.

    Glad to see you back online and making jokes though...whew.

  37. YIKES! I don't know anyone who hasn't been there....the scream of terror heard 'round the world! I can only imagine how many ppl will backup today, thanks to you.

    I know I'm doing it right now!
    GOOD for you....beating those bad guys at their own game! What I wouldn't give to be able to track-back those viruses.....

    Great post, as always!

  38. I know what you mean about not trusting links, so I've a got a few programs that let me know if they're ok. McAfee siteadvisor is something I was told about by an IT guy at my college.

    Once you get it downloaded and set it up depending on what you want, such as on Explorer I hide the toolbar because its in the way while on Firefox its installed more as a part of the browser. When you do a search it will show symbols out from the links that are color coded (green=good and red=bad). It also has reports about the sites when you hover your mouse over the symbols or click them. They even test downloads on some of the sites, but I still approach links with caution when it comes to downloading. Sometimes it may not have info on a site, but it doesn't happen often.

    If you use Firefox there are a few add-ons that are similar and a few others for ads that are under the security add-ons list.

    Here's the site if you'd like to try it out. It gives me a little peace of mind when clicking links.


  39. It always baffles me why people spend their intelligence on destroying other people's property. I had a similar smack myself upside the head moment about 6 months ago when a program prompted me to let down the firewall so it could be installed. Lesson learned. NEVER DO THAT. It took me weeks to get the computer back up and running. I was on the edge of my rope!!!

    Hope you get it all straightened out.

  40. Wait-- keep the blue makeup-- it's very empowering! You are WOMAN!

    I got what has to be the same stupid pop-up, and yes, it is VERY convincing. Don't beat yourself up... We're only human. But on that subject, why do some people put all that energy into messing with other people???

  41. and I forgot to say how totally proud and impressed I am that you were able to eradicate the villainous virus! You go, girl!

  42. i have so been through this whole scenario. except for the part about besting the vile virus. that deserves major props!

    we just recently switched computers to a recycled one from my husband's office, but all the pics and music are on the hard drive that i have yet to get scanned for the viruses.

    such fun pcs are :)

  43. Hi!

    adore your blog!
    u write so nice!


  44. found you through blog of note! great blog! and yes, do get yourself a Mac, time machine will do you wonders and no viruses!

    hope your date with cute campaign guy goes well! =)

  45. I really loved the point you make about the things that we buy to save us or help us and then never use them. My mom (whom I love very much) has an entire collection of exercise equipment that have become closets, clotheslines, and storage areas. What they do not get used for is exercise. However, do NOT make the mistake of saying "hey if you aren't using that can I borrow it" you IWLL not like the reply (grin)

  46. Hi! If you want to earn a little $ vkontakte are encouraged to register and confirm your registration, and I'll pay you
    obroschaysya or lichku Vkontakte can give prepayments
    my page http://vkontakte.ru/id17954523
    or ICQ 378758233
    Here is the link for registration

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. I make a living off of people who do exactly what you did... but don't want to attempt to undo the damage. Believe me... this happens EVERY day. And the majority of the people are well-educated people who just made one wrong move.

    By the way, I recommend Trend Micro's internet security suite. It does rather well. :)


Do it. Do it NOW!