Thursday, September 4, 2008

McAfee = McALeak

Last night, the computer here at Casa de Rising Sol crashed. It didn't just crash, it rolled itself in a puddle of gasoline and lit a match. Five hours with the Geek Squad tech support, and several system clean ups later, the fire was put up, and the computer is working again. (Bless you Geek Squad!) Somehow our computer had been infected with over 6 trojan viruses andwith over 200 infected files.

We* discovered this when a nasty pop-up for "AntiSpyware 2008 XP" wouldn't go away. This horrible program was one of the viruses. It pops up several windows telling you that you have spyware on your computer and no matter what button you press in those windows it redirects you to a website trying to sell you an "anti-spyware" program. This program is an even worse virus than the first one, and what's even more horrible, is that if you fall for it, you've just paid for total computer failure.

I didn't fall for that. But I did fall for something else. When Mr J and I first noticed AntiSpyware 2008 XP on the computer, we immediately searched it on Google. Once we knew what we were dealing with, we found a trusted spyware & trojan scan to fix our problem. To be sure that it was a trusted scan, and not just another virus, we went straight to the Microsoft website for advice. Downloaded the suggested fix and figured we'd be fine.......

It didn't work. So we gave in and called Best Buy's Geek Squad tech support for help. Not only did the Microsoft recommended spyware remover do nothing, but it also contained one of the trojans we had to remove. What the hell Microsoft?!

And why didn't McAfee catch this? Because despite how popular it is, and how recommended it is, it's actually mediocre. If you want real protection, try Webroot.

Hopefully some of this story will be useful for you, if so, please feel free to send me money to show your appreciation as fixing our computer cost us about $300 US/dollars. If this story wasn't, and/or you don't want to send me money, I promise I'll resume blogging about my regular insanity later this week.
*By the way, everytime I used the word "we", what I really meant was Mr J was doing it, while I hid out in the bedroom watching America's Next Top Model.
**I also am not entirely convinced that my arch nemesis Don Tolman is not behind this.

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