Monday, July 31, 2006

It's meeeeeeeee!

This is me – limping back on stage left – battered, bruised and bloody, but ultimately triumphant!

So who was it I’ve been locked in combat with this last couple of weeks? A Trojan horse name of Haxdoor, that’s who. And how did I get it? Nothing obvious – I thought I was already taking so many precautions, but these things are bloody clever … and then once they’re in, they hide, mutate, disguise, block and generally do all they can to evade detection and repair.

I’ve spent endless precious hours (8+ a day wasn’t unusual) downloading different anti-virus, anti-trojan and anti-spyware software (they’re all different!) and running scans.

Warning
Of the dozen or so I ran, only AVG and Panda detected the Trojan, though they were unable to heal or move it.

The others all congratulated me on having a clean pooter! Meanwhile, the scumbag who got me was collecting all my passwords and logon info …

The lessons
• I’ll now delete any emails from anyone I don’t know. That may sound obvious, but I was concerned I might inadvertently delete a genuine attempt to contact me – which was the whole point of having a website and blog …
• I’ll run regular scans with several different systems. Time consuming but the price has to be paid …
• I’ll never again assume the playground is benign and safe. I know it never was, but …
In many ways that loss of innocence is the highest price of all …
Naivete, thy name is Debi …

The heartfelt gratitude bit
I could never have won this battle alone.
So massive thanks to:
• The mighty Ab for email links, support and encouragement
• Big Mac for phone support and suggestions
Minx for daring to stay in touch by email and others of the bloggerati who posted positive vibes
• The AVG forum – especially their advice on how to clean an infected computer. Try it out. You might think you’re safe, but I bet you’ll be in for a shock! Am I scaring you? Sorry, but if it makes you follow the steps they advise, it will be worth it.
SWI forum. This was the biggie. These guys are simply the best. If you ever have a problem, this is the first place to go. Their instructions are clear enough for even the dumbest non-techy (that’s me, folks) to follow. And the specific replies and hand-holding are the ultimate weapon. (Just be sure to read and act on their guidelines before posting.)

If there are cowardly Scum Geeks lurking in the ether, there are an equal number of Good People working tirelessly to stay one step ahead, designing new weapons all the time and, if they don’t work, taking the scum geeks on in one-to-one combat. These people are all volunteers! They give their time, energy and expertise freely and anonymously because they believe in keeping this space safe for us to work and play in.

I/we owe them a huge debt of gratitude! May the goodness these guys put out into the world come back to them a thousand-fold! And may the Scum Geeks likewise reap an appropriate reward for their actions …

So what Real Life have you missed?
• Well, there was First Born’s last days at his primary school (achey breaky heart stuff)
• A weekend on a campsite in Kent (colourful stories about aggressive fellow-campers)
• And then there was my uncle’s 95th birthday party (my 91 yr old dad heckled the speeches)

These and no doubt more would all have been separate posts. But as I said to FB, you can’t go back in this life, only forward, and I’ve already spent too much time glued to pooter.

Sorry I haven’t been able to check all your blogs. I’ve missed you all and now we’ll be going away soon, so time is still very restricted.

But at least Poots and I have had our loving relationship restored …

14 comments:

Minx said...

Hi Scrumpot, glad you're back and disease free, you were missed!

Thanks for all the links, I hope they will never have to be useful but I have to say I can't imagine how you felt. Twould be like cutting me off from my Pimms supplier - there but for the grace of the Goddess go I.

Looking forward to our meet now, not long, best hurry, judging by the roads Cornwall is filling up and approaching maximum capacity!
Think we should also arrange a BIG MEET - scarey eh!

crimeficreader said...

Good to see you back Debi.
Are you ok for email now too? (After Harrogate there's another couple of publishers I feel I ought to draw your attention to...)

Maxine said...

Great that you have cracked it, Debi, how empowering.
Will bookmark your useful links (lifesaving more like!) in case it ever happens to me -- it is so easy for anyone to fall into this pit. I just hope you did not lose anything from your computer. I am bad at backing up, so you have taught me that I really should do it.
It is very sad being away from one's blog, I've just discovered having been away for 5 days. Welcome back!
(And are you and Minx having a little meet and a big meet? What's the difference?!)
Will phone you later.
All best
Maxine.

Lee said...

Welcome back! You were missed.

Minx said...

Maxine - I meant a BIG MEET for all of us - I'll bring the drink and a few tasty morsels, no meat though, I don't do flesh!

And I really think that some of the technical credit should go to me. I did bring in the Domestos when everyone else was running for the hills!

Poot, can't even read the the word ver - are the spammerbots getting more literate?

roger said...

I'm glad you got it sorted Debi, though it sounds like a major pain in the bum. I'm very scared I might have something now!

Nice to have you back in the blogosphere.

roger said...

Oh and thanks for all those links for sorting out pooters.

Marie said...

Great to have you back Debi. Such a shame you had to go through all that, but thanks for the links.

Hope you and Minx have a nice time. It would be great if we could all meet up one day.

Sharon J said...

Great to have you back, babes! Just wish I could come back properly myself. Bloody computers are more trouble than they're worth half the time! My income has gone drastically downhill because I can't send attachments and have to keep waiting for R to get off his own computer so that I can send them through his, so if this carries on, a visit to the DSS could be imminent!

If we don't 'speak' again before the weekend, have a lovely holiday and do all the things I wouldn't, couldn't or don't dare to do.

Debi said...

Thanks, guys.

I might not have made myself clear enough:

IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS AT ALL ABOUT YOUR POOT (OR EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU'RE FINE) I WOULD STILL TAKE THE TIME TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE LINK TO AVG'S POST RE HOW TO CLEAN YOUR COMPUTER. IT'S VERY LIKELY YOU'LL BE SURPRISED AT WHAT'S LURKING IN THERE.

HONESTLY, IT'S WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT ...

crimeficreader said...

Thanks for that Debi. I'll do it before the week is out!
I may be paranoid, but I still retain a "faith" element, perhaps erroneously.
Best,
crimefic

Amy said...

Thanks for the links, Debi. I'm so sorry you had to go through the experience, and I'm glad you surfaced triumphant.

Anonymous said...

Oh what a shame you got frightened away from your own blog! Didn't anyone tell you that you can't get infected by posting on your own blog? It sounds like you really went through the wringer, I know what it feels like because I have too. One virus I picked up years ago destroyed every single graphic image I had stored on my computer!

Wait, I wanted to ask you -- "pooter" is Britbonics for "computer"? Or am I horribly mixed up? Just trying to figure out what you mean.

Anyway, I hope you come back...

Debi said...

Hi anonymous - wish I knew who you are! This post is nearly a year old and I've been a very busy blogger since then. In fact I wonder how you came across this old post ...

Hope to see you more soon.