Monday, August 18, 2008

Free Anti Virus Software

The virus that attacked my system yesterday had been around for at least a month, so I'm surprised it got past the virus scan software that is always running on my PC. I don't know what to call the thing, but it starts out with a pop-up window that resembles an official Microsoft window. The pop-up contains a warning that your system is infected and you need to clean it up. Eventually there is an offer to sell you some anti-virus software to help you out.

If you ignore the issue, it doesn't go away - it gets worse. In a few days, there will be virtual roaches crawling across your screen. I believe it is also responsible for icons appearing on your desktop - icons with interesting labels like "illegal porn site". I believe this is the progression because I've seen others struggle to rid their systems of this monster and these were the symptoms that appeared over time. The infected PCs were all running live-scan software (names you'd recognize). In June, when I first saw this monster, I assumed it was new and the various anti-virus software houses would soon produce updates to combat it. So I was more than a little disappointed when the thing got past my software in the middle of August. I was not looking forward to days of research. I also did not want to return my system to its state on a pre-infection date (a solution that appears to have worked for another victim).

I got lucky. A friend of a friend suggested I try two freeware packages:

One of these fixed the problem - for free.

I'll be returning to these web sites today to show my appreciation. ClamWin offers a way for users to make financial donations to keep their freeware effort going. Housecall has a button for donations to charity. There is also a fee-based version of the Housecall software.

I hope you will never need the services offered by these two sites, but I'm glad they exist.


zhadi said...

I have an iBook, so I'm hoping I'll never see this virus. What a pain that must have been!!

Morgan Mandel said...

Glad you got rid of the pesky critter!
Morgan Mandel

Anonymous said...

Woa, and wow! Glad you escaped cyber-doom, and thanks for the links - saved 'em.

Helen said...

Thanks for sharing those sites. And I'm really glad you were able to get rid of the scum!