|Carved from a Watermelon|
Torture, A Computer Virus and What I've Learned
Let's be perfectly clear, the virus which found its way onto my computer was not a malicious virus. In other words, it wasn't a virus that was going to wipe off my hard drive and blow up New York.
It was the PING virus, for those who might care, and it was a malicious adware virus. IE, it was a virus meant to sell product and the intriguing thing is that some of the merchants selling their wares in such a mean and evil way were well-known, respected merchandisers.
The damage and pain caused by this virus were geometric.
First thing I noticed, the computer slowed down to a crawl. I'd be typing along and suddenly each letter typed took double the time to appear on the screen. Accessing web sites or calling up email seemed to take a lifetime . At around the same time these really oddball "commercials" began showing up whenever I accessed the Internet.
I'd double-click on the Internet Explorer and most times it would go to my home page per normal. At various times as I surfed the net a separate window would open up and a "commercial" would appear on screen.
Now pop-up type things aren't all that odd despite my computer's constant assertion that's it's blocked a pop-up but never does. I thought, at first, that these commercials, selling everything from over the counter pharmaceuticals to an advertisement trying to convince that some lady in Delaware (right down the street from me in fact!) made $2,000 a day doing something or other. Sometimes these "pop-up" windows would have sound , usually a human voice pitching the product in case I am not sitting in front of the computer.
It was just so odd.
My other computer, in my kitchen, never had this sort of thing happen and dawn began to break over my marble head.
There had to be something on my bedroom computer causing those annoying commercials to pop up and slowing down the computer.
I called up the Task Manager and clicked on the Resource Manager to see what process was bogging things down. I noticed a program called PING, which did not show up on the Task Manager as an "application", was taking up to 60-70% of my computer's CPU and an equally large amount of its memory. What the hell?
I did a search on PING and learned quite a bit about it.
As best as I've learned, this PING virus is how evil adware gets into our computers. I think more of a nerdy adolescent trying to blow up my computer than the nastiness of taking over someone's private property like this PING virus did, just to advertise a product. The origin of this virus is Russia. Seems a lot of evil comes from Russia.
The command "ping" is a legal Microsoft command. This virus sneaks in using that command in order to hide.
And hide it did. The best of computer virus malware sniffers could not get rid of this thing. Well hell, you're designing such an evil thing you need to make it so it's not easy to eliminate, no?
There was a way to stop it from hogging the CPU but after fifteen minutes it would re-spawn. This was an evil piece of work yon ladies and gems, determined that you will learn about Kraft Macaroni and Cheese DAMN IT, you will have it forced in front of your eyes and your computer will not do much of anything but show you all about Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and all programs running on your computer that get in the way of showing you the beauty of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will be dealt with no matter what effect this has on your computing life.
So JAVA evidently, as the latest version was configured, didn't allow Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to download to your computer, sometimes in mid of night, so the program put in a different version of Java. So my computer games on POGO would not work but hey, I got to know about Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Delaware women making fortunes and how this over the counter drug product would help me sleep.
How on earth did legitimate companies like Kraft get involved with advertising in such a malicious, evil way? There were plenty of others.
I lived with this virus for a while. Said virus obtained via a radio show stream I am quite sure. Be very careful when watching TV or listening to radio online is all I can say as this is how the virus seems to be transmitted. Various virus malware detector programs might catch the virus but as I queried week after week there was never a program that could get rid of it. The best I heard was something called Kaspersky, a Russian virus malware eliminator, but just dealing with anything Russian turned me off.
Another thing this nasty thing did, whenever I did a search online, it never worked. The search results obtained were always some list that the program determined was best for me. If I clicked on a search result link it NEVER took me to that site, but instead to some alternative site, no doubt some advertiser that paid to have this nasty help promote their cause.
Finally, after months of dealing with this, desperately searching for some way to get rid of it, I did what had to be done.
I wiped my entire computer drive.
Now there might be other ways to deal with this thing. There are plenty of computer techs down this way that would take virus infected computers and rid it of the nasty.
But it was just as easy for me to backup my files and clear the drive. Way cheaper too, as I figure.
Always put your computer to sleep when not in use. I learned this to be effective as opposed to leaving your drive open to any cheating criminal wanting to force you to learn about their product.
Get a virus program, of course, though, ladies and gems, I find those virus programs to be huge drags on the computer and every time I've had a virus it seems though, goodness, THIS one we can't get rid of it.
Take my cynicism with a grain of salt, I forewarn.
One time, in the middle of the night, I put my computer on "hibernate". The thing would not be deterred. How dare you "hibernate" your computer when I'm trying to sell you stuff! Hibernate is one step before completely turning the computer off but the programmers working on this evil would have none of it. It actually loaded a "mini operating system" that would allow the malware commercials to work and NOTHING ELSE!
Well dag, PING didn't need Excel or Word to shove its product in front of your face, goodness, so it fixed your computer so it would only run THEIR commercials….there, that'll do.
Like I said, this thing is more evil to me than nerdy adolescents wanting to blow up your hard drive. THIS malicious adware involves supposedly decent companies that effectively stand in front of my right to pursue my happiness and they do so by absconding with my private property.
I've become quite an expert with backing up my files, re-installing my legally purchased programs, getting updates.
That virus made me a more aware computer user and I'll not be a victim to their awful scam ever again.
And I shall never purchase another Kraft product in my lifetime.
Some Handy Hints
A Video You Will Find Amusing
Ending With a Smile