Yesterday I lost half my workday to the Win 7 Total Security virus—the first time I’ve ever gotten a computer virus. I still don’t know where I picked it up (I’m not going to go looking for the site!), but it went right through my McAfee protection suite and shut down all my Internet access via browser; except, of course, the “Activate Now” link that would have really screwed me over.McAfee was no help at all. The scanner couldn’t find it, and phone technical support “helpfully” (is there an emoticon for acid sarcasm?) emailed me a link to download their browser-based scanner. Real useful.
Finally, it occurred to me to restore the system to a restore point earlier in the day. No more virus, but then I couldn’t reinstall the Adobe Reader X software I’d installed after the restore point, because there was still some another malicious process running that I hadn’t noticed, which had disguised itself as part of Windows 7 Desktop Search. I don’t know why it didn’t interfere the first time around.
Well, Spybot Search and Destroy to the rescue. This wonderful bit of “freeware” cleaned up my computer very quickly—I hadn’t realized how slow my browser had gotten—and now stands guard against future malware that McAfee apparently can’t see. Its registry-watching function makes installing new software a bit more time consuming, but it’s worth it.
Well, done, Safer Networking! I’m sending off a PayPal contribution today.