I was attacked!

@RawBill1 (8542)
Gold Coast, Australia
July 18, 2012 3:03am CST
By Spyware! Some low life scammers managed to get through my computer defence and totally disabled my computer yesterday. I was happily working away, checking out websites of customers and Firefox flickered. It went away very briefly but then came back. I thought nothing of it until about ten minutes later I noticed my computer was working as if it was doing it's weekly scan. Which it should not have been doing! I then came back to see all these warnings all over my screen saying that my system was in extreme danger. These all looked like legitimate Windows messages so I was immediately worried. It seemed as though my computer had deleted all my files too. Luckily I rang my IT guy straight away who said it was a scam. He said that this thing infects your computer giving all these warnings and then when you follow the links attempting to repair, it then tells you that your subscription is not up to date. After that it apparently takes you to a page where you can pay to update your warranty or whatever and it will get rid of the problem! He has had a few customers fall for it sadly. So I took my computer into his shop, he fixed it while I used my laptop for a day and I got it back today right as rain! I was fortunate enough not to lose anything. So, be prepared and never pay for anything that seems like it may be in the least bit suspicious. Especially never give out any details to anyone if they contact you and you do not know them or have not previously made contact with them. Have you ever had anything like this happen to your computer?
3 people like this
13 responses
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
20 Jul 12
Wow! Not yet, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I won't. I had this one thing one time where a window would pop up and say that the computer was infected and it wanted to scan it...not my virus program so I wouldn't allow it. I installed Spybot and Malwarebytes..they got rid of the issue.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
21 Jul 12
So are Spybot and Malwarebytes free programs that are safe to install that work in addition to a regular anti virus security program? My anti virus software scans every week at the same time and rarely picks up any issues, but this week it picked up two cookies that it deleted.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
21 Jul 12
They were in addition to a virus program and they are free. They were referred to me by someone I know and they worked for me. I suppose I was a bit extreme using them both, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing something.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 Jul 12
It is always best to be over protected than under protected I guess.
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
18 Jul 12
OMGOSH!!! Sorry this happened but glad u caught it when u did.It takes a sorry good for nothing to pull stunts like this. Semms there is alot of them around. I have never had anyhing like this to happen & hope it doesn't. I am not computer savy so i would have probably set here like a knot & not even realized what was happening. Glad u are such a smart guy.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
19 Jul 12
HaHa1 I am glad that you are calling me a smart guy in a nice way and not the way that most people get called a smart guy! I am sure that you would not fall for a trick like this, especially now that you have heard of it happening. There are lots of scams out there, so it just pays to be vigilant and check anything out that seems out of the ordinary and unusual.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
19 Jul 12
u ARE A SMART GUY IN MY OPINION.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
19 Jul 12
Thanks.
• China
19 Jul 12
Fortunately, it has never happened to me.If it were me,I should be taken in,because I am bad at playing computer.You seem to know a thing or two about it,so it came to no harm when your computer was attacked.I am sure to bear in mind that never give out any details to anyone if I come across such a question next time.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
20 Jul 12
Yes it always pays to be extra careful online with anything that we are not familiar with, If there is any doubt at all, it is best to avoid it.
• China
20 Jul 12
What you said about computer does me a power of good.Thank you!
@katie0 (5212)
• Japan
27 Jul 12
I'm so sorry. Try to use not only a spyware but a firewall and antivirus as well. Where do you think you were found and then followed so they got into your computer? Maybe one way out is to format it, it closes all doors or how they call it.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
27 Jul 12
I am not really sure how they got access to my computer. I should have asked my tech guy if he knew from the work that he did. He did not have to reformat it luckily, but did spend quite a few hours removing things and doing multiple scans.
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
23 Jul 12
I guess it would be an understatement to say that must have been a shock to the system...actually, yours and the computers... I'm glad you were able to have it all fixed and thanks for the warning. Was your guy able to tell you how they got in?
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 Jul 12
I am not sure if he knows how they got in to my computer. I was in a rush when I picked it up so we did not really speak about it. I will have to ask him. It certainly was a bit of a shock. Computers do weird things from time to time, but I had never had this happen before!
@artemeis (4070)
• China
23 Jul 12
Having read what you had just posted, I'd just like to add that we need to be careful with whatever recommended websites even when THEY sent from your best friends and family members. Hackers are already using a new tactic which taint websites including legitimate ones (seemingly) where visitors will be infected with the malicious codes in the background. So as you can see, even the hosts can be careless at times with their mandatory periodic checks of their websites that they are publishing. It is important that we stay vigilant and updated not only with our computers' protection programs but with whatever is happening around the cyber world.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
23 Jul 12
It definitely is very important to stay vigilant as these cyber criminals are keeping up with technology in order to scam those who are not. So we have to be on the ball and keeping pace with the technology as well. It is very annoying that they are out there doing this sort of thing.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
19 Jul 12
In a word "no", I use Apple computers and whilst they can be infected they don't seem to respond well to the disease. Famous last words of course! I can imagine how annoying your enforced down time must have been. Glad that you are up and running again.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
20 Jul 12
Yeah it seems that most of these things are designed for Microsoft PC's but as Apples become more an more popular (as they are rapidly becoming) then no doubt hackers will come up with more coding targeted towards them too. Same with Linux systems like I used to use. Overall though I think that Apple and Linux users are more tech savvy too which means that they are less likely to fall victim to a scam, so these scammers prey on the more vulnerable Microsoft users. Luckily I had the laptop to fall back on. Plus the wife had her computer too, so not much interruption occurred.
• Philippines
18 Jul 12
Hello rawbill, that was definitely a close call and a glad that you get the chance to have some one else fix it. sad to know some one is planning to plague on your computer. so sad indeed.people like to cheat using technology, hackers proves that we aren't ready to advance ourselves in technology
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
20 Jul 12
Technology is one of those tricky areas that most of us normal people know very little about. Therefore, it is an area that is open for all sorts of scams by those who do know about technology. Sometime I think it would be easy to go back to the old horse and cart days where people grew their own food for a living. Less chance of scammers back then and when they were around, it was more simple to pick them. Yep, I was very lucky to not lose any data at all. I am very grateful for that.
@asheets88 (125)
• United States
18 Jul 12
Anytime a browser window appeart out of no where i do not let it finish scanning, i close it out immedaitely. And when i get a weird looking box that appears on my desktop i take my computer back to factory default. The reason i do it is because my momma got scammed by some kind of virus back in 2010 and if it happened 2 years ago i know the scammers, hackers, etc... has got extremely smarter on how to accomplish what they are wanting to do.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
20 Jul 12
Yes they are always evolving and finding more ways to get money out of innocent people aren't they. That is why we need to be very careful as you are being with anything that is out of the ordinary.
@derek_a (10902)
18 Jul 12
Wow.. That's sounds like a major attack on your machine. I haven't had anything happen like that, but did once have my hard drive totally destroyed. A virus wiped it and I thought that I could just reformat and reinstall everything, but not happy about losing all my files. However, the drive could not be salvaged no matter what I did, so I just bought a new one, and since then have always used a paid-for anti-virus and firewall.. Before I had a free one, but it didn't do the job at all. That was many years ago now and I don't think that web security programs were as good as they are now. I hope now that you have no more problems... _Derek
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
19 Jul 12
I have a pretty reputable paid for security program on my computer which is always regularly checking so I was surprised that this go through it. I normally get some sort of warning about sites that may cause issues, but this one must have been extra sneaky! I am not sure how it came to be on my computer as I was checking out reputable websites beforehand. I warned a customer whose website I had only just opened just in case her site had been infected somehow without her knowing. Scary stuff really!
@GardenGerty (102473)
• United States
18 Jul 12
There was something similar we used to get. My son fixed it for us. However, that very old desktop crashed. We had one that had been my dad's, and were using it, but it now has a trojan that my son cannot fix. It says the FBI caught you downloading things you should not have done, and you need to send it a money pack payment of $200. I have wanted a new computer for hubby for quite a while, so we are now looking. Nothing major lost on it though. My dad had a bad habit of opening everything, and so does hubby, and that is how we get those.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
18 Jul 12
The FBI hey....hmmm, sounds very suspicious to me! Hopefully most people would realise that the FBI would not contact you in that way, but I guess there are plenty of people out there online who are intimidated easily by computers and might freak out and pay something like that. The sad thing about these scams is that they most always happen to people that cannot afford it like pensioners. Yes, my kids had to be educated (and still need reminding) on what to open and what not to open. I remember the first time my daughter saw a flashing banner that said she was the 999,999,999th visitor to the site and that she had won a prize. She was so excited but I had to let her down.
18 Jul 12
Glad you did not lose any of your info I had this quite a few times worked out if it comes on to shut off pc and restart it. I encountered this just a couple of days ago so know its still doing its rounds. I have lost so much info and had to reformat my drive and re-install windows about three times due this antivirus program. Those that own this should of been shutdown a while back and it worries me that it is out there doing it all over again.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
18 Jul 12
There are certainly a lot of nasty people out there who are creating all these things to take advantage of the masses who use the internet these days. As so many people are quite lacking in knowledge, it makes it easy for the scammers to prey on them. I hope that they catch these people, but I think they are pretty smart and hide their tracks pretty well.
@squallming (1776)
• Malaysia
18 Jul 12
As a matter of fact, I did encounter similar problem with spyware and malware. When I was surfing websites which should not be harmful to my laptop. The website would automatically help me install antivirus software into my laptop and then I would not be able to open most of the application in my laptop. Luckily I found some way to delete the file and my laptop works fine again.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
18 Jul 12
You were very lucky there that you could remove the program without it doing too much damage. I could not access anything other than the pop ups that were part of this scam.