May 3rd, 2010

mushroom cloud

PSA: virus alert

Last night, I was testing links to various SF magazines, and some time during those clickings I downloaded a file called "check.exe" that wrecked my operating system and prevented it from rebooting once I realized what was going on. Awesome.

I'm not sure where it came from, but these are the sites I suspect: the old DNA Publications page (now dead) and SyFy's website. I suggest staying away from those until I figure out where it came from - if you work at SyFy.com, I suggest you check for malicious advertisements posted last night.

While I was searching for the old SciFiction site, I noticed my drive crunching along as I downloaded the virus, and soon I was unable to launch Task Manager. I hurriedly disconnected from the internet (the hard way, by killing the router, because I couldn't stop any programs), then ran msconfig to see what had added itself to the startup programs, where I found the file(s) and that they had downloaded during the time I suspected. After deleting them and forcing a hard shutdown (it wouldn't restart as usual, of course), that was it for booting the OS.

Great timing: I was working on several files that need to be done ASAP, so of course I hadn't backed them up yet.

Now I need to figure out how to grab those files off the laptop hard drive. Anyone know if a laptop drive can be daisy-chained to a desktop drive array? Or if that's a smart idea? Should I instead try reloading Windows?

Well, I'm not too pissed, because this is the first virus I've gotten since Windows 98....

Don't know if I've mentioned lately, but Hell hath a special spot for malicious hackers, where they have to go line-by-line through the operating systems they've infected, and make those OSes inpenetrable. While Satan himself randomly hacks the machines they're using. They're told they get to leave as soon as they're done, giving them hope. Which of course is an impossible task.

PS: Oh, and on Saturday, I discovered that someone hacked my credit card and tried to order from the Apple Store and Skype. US Bank noticed right away and blocked those transactions. Wow, modern banking AI is incredible.

Chris