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Topic: Restoring your PC after being hit by a computer virus.
Message: Posted by: gfdiamond (Jul 9, 2008 12:04PM)
Hi guys,

I noticed a few posts about people being hit by spyware, adware, unwanted toolbars, trojans, etc.

here is something I did to restore my pc.

if you have been virused, here is a good way of getting rid of all the crap.

do a system restore.

go to start on desktop
go to all programs
go to accessories
go to system tools
go to go to system restore

it will ask you to restore the computer to an earlier date.

then choose an earlier date when you know the computer was in good shape. the system will restart.

then your system should be ok.

its frustrating getting virused, but this should work and remove all the rubbish, spyware, adware,unwanted toolbars, etc.

this is often the way computer specialists fix your system and then charge you 100 bucks for the service.

regards,

geoff diamond
http://www.tvmagicians.com
Message: Posted by: Sir Pharaul (Jul 9, 2008 01:10PM)
I finally got fed up with all that stuff and bought a mac, problem solved.
Message: Posted by: gfdiamond (Jul 9, 2008 01:17PM)
Hi sir pharaul,

yes I might join you.

regards,

geoff.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jul 9, 2008 01:53PM)
I have a friend whose Mac got taken down by a virus, so what's the difference? Are the Macs unpopular enough that no one bothers developing viruses for them?
Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Jul 9, 2008 07:27PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-09 14:53, ClintonMagus wrote:
Are the Macs unpopular enough that no one bothers developing viruses for them?
[/quote]

That is correct. The majority of the population use PC's, while only a relatively small number use Mac's. The people who create these viruses go for the majority.
Message: Posted by: tom_stamm (Jul 10, 2008 12:56AM)
Macs are less likely to suffer Malware for a couple of reasons:
1) Macs are about 8% of the market. Virus writers want to target the larger PC market.
2) Mac is currently based on BSD Unix. It has a more robust security model than past versions of Windows. I do not have enough exposure of Vista to comment on its security model.
3) Historically Microsoft has been reluctant to draw a line in the sand and orphan older systems. Businesses love backward compatability. Apple has done this THREE TIMES already (68000 processors to Power PC to Intel and OS 9 to OS X). This means the Mac could abandon old weaker technology for the next gen stuff. (It is a bit hard on developers though).

Remember:
Regularly backup or system (at LEAST once a week). This goes for Macs too.
Don't open unexpected email attachments.
BE REALLY REALLY careful downloading music and movies from Peer networks (LOOK at the FILE SUFFIXES).
Practice SAFE computing.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Jul 10, 2008 01:05AM)
1) Switch from IE to FF.
2) Install, update and run Adaware, Spyware Blaster and Spybot Search and Destroy weekly.
3) Don't run .PPS, .EXE, .COM or other executable email attachments. Videos and images are fine.
4) Be wary about downloading things. You can pretty much trust things from reputable sites like download.com, shareware.com etc, but otherwise be careful.

If you use your head you'll be fine. I've never had a virus in 15 years.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Jul 11, 2008 12:54PM)
FDISK c:/
Message: Posted by: Law (Jul 11, 2008 02:46PM)
I wouldn't fdisk unless you understand the consequences:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255867

It's good for a clean slate though!

I'd include an antivirus app with Futureal's suggestions above - there are several decent free ones (Avira, AVG, avast!). I also wouldn't assume that videos and images are fine - all attachments are suspect, even those from trusted sources. Some viruses are crafted to go through your email contacts and send an email from you with a virus attachment. Be wary of attachments unless you know that someone is sending you one (reinforcing what tom_stamm said above).
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Jul 11, 2008 11:32PM)
The format thing was clearly a joke.
Message: Posted by: gfdiamond (Jul 12, 2008 01:28AM)
Hi

yes, I find avast is a very good anti virus program. its completely free and updates itself on a regular basis.

regards,

geoff.
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Jul 12, 2008 01:55AM)
Why struggle with Windows?

Goto http://www.ubuntu.com/ and download a free cutting edge operating system with thousands of software packages that are completely free.

You can run Firefox and all your flash goodies, can run Photoshop(well not free but still it runs), an open office suite comparable to microsoft's, plus so many more pieces of software without the headache of virus's.

You don't even have to install it or change your computer to try it out, just pop the cd or dvd in and it will let you try it out without any changes!
Message: Posted by: mud (Jul 12, 2008 02:56AM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-12 00:32, Futureal wrote:
The format thing was clearly a joke.
[/quote]

If you have a virus or spyware, a format, check of the MBR, and complete reinstall is the only way to definitely get rid of it. Anything else and it's possible that the virus is still there. Formatting to get rid of a virus is not a joke, it's the only real 100% sure solution.

That is why you need to be so careful and follow basic internet security advice (keep up to date software, make sure you have a firewall, don't run programs from the internet if you don't trust the source, NEVER execute programs or open word documents sent to you by e-mail or IM, etc.).

Also, fdisk isn't for formatting, that does something else (it's for if you need to change the partition table)...and also I don't think Windows even comes with fdisk any more.
Message: Posted by: tom_stamm (Jul 12, 2008 06:29PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-12 02:55, Daegs wrote:
Why struggle with Windows?

Goto http://www.ubuntu.com/ and download a free cutting edge operating system with thousands of software packages that are completely free.

You can run Firefox and all your flash goodies, can run Photoshop(well not free but still it runs), an open office suite comparable to microsoft's, plus so many more pieces of software without the headache of virus's.

You don't even have to install it or change your computer to try it out, just pop the cd or dvd in and it will let you try it out without any changes!
[/quote]

Daegs:

Ubuntu (Linux) is a good solution, but it may be too geeky for some and others may have Windows software not easy to replace. It depends on each of our needs.

If you are stuck with Windows. You just have to practice defensive computing - There is a lot of great advice here. FireFox is great (I use it). IE7 is far superior to EI6. I'm very fond of Adaware for any windows boxes I have to use.

And of course avoid all those problems by using Linux or Unix if you don't NEED Windows.

And don't forget regular backups.
Message: Posted by: chias (Jul 13, 2008 08:35AM)
You don't always have to format your hard disk, or perform a system restore whenever your computer is infected. You'll always have the risk of losing some important data.

Just letting you guys know I run a website with several other security analysts:
http://www.parasitedb.com

Am willing to offer my services for a subsidized price, or even for free. ( Magicians should help fellow magicians. :) ) Pm me.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Jul 14, 2008 03:02AM)
Yeah that's totally over the top. I've been a serious computer user for 20 years and that's the first time I've ever heard someone say format your hdd if you get a virus.
Message: Posted by: mud (Jul 14, 2008 03:00PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-14 04:02, Futureal wrote:
Yeah that's totally over the top. I've been a serious computer user for 20 years and that's the first time I've ever heard someone say format your hdd if you get a virus.
[/quote]

That's not what I said. I said that formatting is the only way to be completely sure that the virus is gone. You may or may not care if you're 100% sure, most people don't. Personally, I use my machine for banking and private communication so I would definitely format and reinstall if I ever got a virus (I am relatively security concious and I use Linux so it hasn't come up yet).

The point of my post was simply to point out that formatting to get rid of a virus is NOT a joke. Viruses are serious business if you care at all about being in control of your own hardware.
Message: Posted by: Banester (Jul 16, 2008 11:34AM)
Use a good Virus program and I would also recomend spybot or similiar programs. Also, make sure your firewall is up and if you have a router LOCK IT DOWN! Your router is open to anyone unless you setup the hardware firewall.

System restore is useful; however, a good virus will stick around while you just erased everything that was most likely clean.

Some food for thought:

[quote]Apple's OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux operating systems are to be pitted against each other in an ethical hacking contest [/quote]

This was in Vancouver. Vista was broke into in less that 2 min. The Mac was also broke into, but took a little longer. Linux was not penetrated. The exploit that was used came from a hole in adobe software. Make sure you keep all of your software updated, not just the operating system!
Message: Posted by: mud (Jul 16, 2008 12:49PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-16 12:34, Banester wrote:
Use a good Virus program and I would also recomend spybot or similiar programs. Also, make sure your firewall is up and if you have a router LOCK IT DOWN! Your router is open to anyone unless you setup the hardware firewall.
[/quote]

Every router I've ever seen is set by default with none of the ports forwarded (in other words, the firewall is on and locked down by default). Are there really routers that aren't like this? (I'm honestly curious how that would work, as it seems like the router would have to guess which machine to forward traffic to.)

Good advice otherwise.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 18, 2008 11:23PM)
A few misconceptions exist in the previous posts.

1) Macs are not immune to viruses. There just aren't many Mac viruses. But they do exist.

2) You can send a virus through an image file.

3) The routine where you restore your system to a previous good version works in some cases, but not all.

One of the best antivirus programs and ad blockers is AVG. Panda is also very good, but it is way too aggressive for most users.

Possibly the easiest version of Linux to install is Mandriva.
Message: Posted by: mud (Jul 19, 2008 12:14AM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-19 00:23, Bill Palmer wrote:
A few misconceptions exist in the previous posts.

[...]

2) You can send a virus through an image file.

[...]
[/quote]

While that's happened before and may be technically true, it's extremely rare (as in, I can only think of one virus spread this way and it was basically a proof of concept that wouldn't realistically spread). Traditionally only executable files can spread a virus, but some classes of bad bugs in software can make non-executable data trigger a virus or other nastiness. If your software is up to date and you have antivirus installed, an image giving you a virus is basically not worth worrying about.

The bigger threat here is in people not noticing the file extension when they go to open a file (or Windows hiding that file extension). Always make sure you have file extensions shown, and be careful that the image you just downloaded is really an image before you open it.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 19, 2008 08:20PM)
One time when I was using Norton I ran into a virus. the virus entered my computer. Norton did catch and remove the virus within one minute. But there was already damage done to my computer. The damage would not let me restore it.

I now use Kaspersky after doing a lot of investigating. One time I was on a heavy virus site, (limewire.com). Kaspersky noticed a virus and stopped it from entering my computer.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Sep 20, 2008 12:14AM)
Grandma's chicken soup. No virus can stand up to it!