Friday, July 24, 2009

A Trojan horse?? GOTCHA!!!! (Personal Antivirus REVEALED)

What do staring at a computer screen, running repeated scans, fuming, and 2 AM have in common? A malicious Trojan computer virus! Trojans are an interesting breed. They for one thing, reproduce freely on your hard drive until arrested, and are hard to apprehend. I should know, for I spent the better part of last night and today trying to remove one particularly evil program from my computer. I think it's gone now, but as a matter of fact I'm running one last scan as I write this to make positive sure! It all started when I clicked on an innocent little news link in a mass email I am subscribed to. The screen went blank, and a security message came up that an email worm had been loosed into my computer. Almost immediately, another message came up, featuring a "Personal Antivirus" program, instructing me to download it to remove the detected threat. Not knowing what "Personal Antivirus" was, I clicked it, and it did a very fast scan, detecting 145 Trojan horses and password stealers. It then instructed me to register, and pay $80 to activate the program to enable it to remove the threats. That stopped me, and I began running scans to try to detect the infection with my antivirus program. Since it was warning me about the start menus, I decided it would be bad to turn off the computer, so I disconnected the internet, started a full scan, and went to bed (2 AM.) Back at it again this morning, I ran another scan with another antivirus program, and found one virus worm. (probably the original infection) "Personal Antivirus" continued its warning flashes attempting to alert me to the undeniable facts that THERE WAS A MAJOR INFECTION. I continued to run scans with this and that, and finally got the idea to do an internet search on "Personal Antivirus". Imagine my surprise when ALL the search results said the same thing : "Personal Antivirus is a TROJAN. Do not install it, and if you have it, it is strongly recommended to UNINSTALL it." Yeah!! You don't get too far when the so-called antivirus program IS a virus! Like I said, I think it's gone now, but it wasn't easy to uninstall it!! Being a trojan, it copied bits and pieces of itself into about 150 different places, making it inaccessible and uninstallable by normal means. With a good free malware program (Malwarebytes) I was able to successfully remove all traces of it now. (after many scans and many hours) Okay, so that's all fine and good, but unless you really like to play with malware and viruses and all that, NEVER DOWNLOAD "PERSONAL ANTIVIRUS"!! It is a trojan, and can not be deleted easily by normal means.
Thanks! Have fun computing...........

Joel Wiltrout

P.S. If you don't have a computer, please disregard this message. It doesn't apply to you.