Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bad Program!

Before she left for work yesterday, Beth said her computer was messed up. Some antivirus program had suddenly appeared and started scanning her machine, telling her that she had all kinds of infections. After she left, I had to go into her room to leave some of her laundry on the bed, and her computer was repeatedly restarting itself - blue screen, restart, blue screen, restart... - so I turned it off. The weird thing was that, as I turned it off, I momentarily saw her desktop and running programs. That's not normal.

Last night I remembered that I wanted to turn the computer back on and see how it acted. It booted up, and immediately this program (Antivirus XP 2008) started up and started scanning, saying she had multiple infections. So I started searching for this program online and found that it is definitely a problem. It installs itself without permission, scans your system, and tells you that you have a bunch of fake security risks that can only be removed if you purchase a license to this program that you didn't ask for in the first place. Real nice, huh? It also won't let you uninstall it in the usual way. The blue screen thing? Fake. If you attempt to scan your computer with a real program, this one doesn't like it and tries to trick you into thinking your computer is really messed up. OK, if you have this stupid thing on your computer, it is really messed up. It really needs to go away.

I downloaded the latest version of Spybot Search & Destroy and ran that. The bad program repeatedly tried the blue screen thing while it was scanning, but Ctrl-Alt-Delete pulled it out of it. Spybot found the Antivirus XP 2008 as well as a whole bunch of other stuff, removed most things, and had to restart to remove the rest. So I restarted, Spybot scanned again, the antivirus thing tried the blue screen a couple times, but by the time Spybot was done it didn't list Antivirus XP 2008 in the list of things found. It was past my bedtime by then, so I'm still not sure if it worked. I hope so, because some of the directions for removing the stupid program are just too complicated.

The whole thing just makes me mad. Seriously people - spend your time and energy on creating a good program that people will want to buy instead of on figuring out how to trick them into needing your program, and having to pay you for it. That's just plain mean.

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  1. Ugh, that sounds like such a pain. I hope it's gone for good now! :)

  2. If she still has problems, lmk. I have a couple free programs (other than spybot s&d) that finally got rid of a virus I had. It took a lot of time and scanning, but I have been virus free for a few months now : )


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