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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: August 18, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    So… about that spyware…

    Ciara O'Brien

    So today was not a great day. It wasn’t the early start that did it. it wasn’t even the mysteriously crashing word processor that took a good 40 minutes’ work with it. No. Today was the day I inadvertently installed malware on my PC.

    It was an innocent-looking enough pop-up that started it all. But when I tried to get rid of it, things started to get a little weird. It installed itself, ran a “spyware scan” on my PC and threw up a load of fairly realistic-looking security alerts. Which it of course then offered to remove – for a fee.

    The problem is that it looks a lot like Windows software – but it’s not. ¬†And chances are that those security alerts were fake, given that I was on an office PC which has fairly good security protection. Which brings me to another thing: considering I can’t even install iTunes or other harmless programmes without an administrator password, how did it even manage to get there?

    Cue me having to trot down a floor to tech support and ask very nicely if they could please come and remove the dodgy programme I had somehow managed to install on my PC. Red-faced. Mortified.

    To sum up, today was a bit like this: (courtesy of the new Jackass 3D film)

    YouTube Preview Image

    Next time I’m discussing PC security, feel free to point, laugh and even do a Nelson-tyle “Haw haw” in my direction.

    • Mairead says:

      The same thing happened me, I was browsing at home, being careful etc etc and this just appeared. Dunno if I can mention the name or anythign but it’s ********doctor. It was crazy bad. It wouldn’t let me open the control panel, barely let me on the internet, and after i googled how to remove it, it wouldn’t let me open any of the links that would show me how to do so. I managed to get it off with rkill.exe and malawarebytes but it was a right pain in the le fou de fa fa!

    • That’s the one!! They ended up just swapping my PC while they cleaned off the old one. Last I saw it was 21 infected files and counting…

    • Mike says:

      The same thing nearly happened to me. The “scareware” pop-up appeared. It looked like the real thing.
      It told me my computer was infected and invited me to download an application to get rid of the malware. Fortunately my ESET Smart Security 4 stopped any attempt to download.
      Shows the importance of up-to-date internet security.