20 August 2012

Pinners Beware!!

For the past couple of days, I've been trying to save my computer from a nasty infection. Somehow, I managed to get the Win32.Sirefef.A and Win32 Sirefef.AHF trojans and Win32.Malware-gen. My antivirus program detected them, but couldn't get rid of them. Thank goodness at least I knew they were there and needed to be removed!

Once I read about them, I realized that I had to have been infected by clicking on a link on Pinterest. I remember clicking on a picture to read the original post and it went to a blog for a second, then immediately went to a site for something totally unrelated (it was spam for a diet program) - but that page didn't load completely. Soon after that, my Avast alarm started going off every few minutes, telling me of the infected files.

I use the free Avast antivirus program - and I highly recommend it. We have it on all of our computers (well, except for Lulu's MacBook). You can go here to download it. I trust them, so I went to their site to see if I could find out how to get rid of those ugly little beasties romping around in my computer.

They directed me to the geeks to go site. Wonderful site! And they will give you free help if you can't figure it out on your own. I read their Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide, and decided to start there.

First - let me say - I recommend checking them out if you have any issues. I'm going to tell you what I did - but I am not a professional and I do not recommend doing anything without checking with a pro first.

I attempted to download OTL by Oldtimer, as they suggested, but nothing happened. So I looked around, and sure enough, there was a tutorial on their site called Malware Removal Tools Won't Run Tutorial! I'm not going to provide links to the programs they recommend downloading - if you want to check them out, please go to the page I linked to above...

So now I attempted to download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (MBAM), as they suggested. No dice. They thought this might be the case. So I tried downloading 8 different versions of rkill and exehelper (these will clean the computer enough so that you can download other cleaners) - still no dice. I couldn't even download them to a flash drive using my computer. I ended up using Gus' computer to download the programs onto a flash drive - then I was able to run those two programs (rkill and exehelper) on my computer. Those programs cleaned it up enough that I was then able to download the MBAM program.

The MBAM program found and cleaned 48 infected files. But I was still getting the alarms, so I knew I still had work to do. Next, I downloaded the VIPRE Rescue Program (a new anti-malware utility) and ran that. I don't know exactly how long it took for it to complete - I watched it for 3 hours, then went to bed. When I got up this morning, it had found an additional 10 infected files. After it cleaned those and I rebooted my computer, everything was fine. Thank goodness!!

I have to tell you - I was totally freaking out. My life is in my computer and iPhone. I do have a back-up on an external hard drive, but I would prefer not to have to use it. Needless to say, I plan to run these programs at least once a week to make sure my computer stays clean. Note: VIPRE recommends going to their site and downloading the latest version whenever you need/want to run it. They update the program very often, so you want to be sure you have the most recent version.

I hope you never need this info, but if you do, I hope it will help you find an "easy" fix!