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Woodythepecker

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I am what you would call a novice when it comes to computers and in the world of virus's or intruders i know zilch. So i hope that someone can help me.

The other day i ran the AOL spyware protection software and it came back and told me that i had something called a "Key Logger" which i have since found out is a program that copies every key stroke that you make and sends them to some ars--hole who can then use details of my credit cards etc. I don't know how long this program was on my laptop or if they got any details that i would not want them too have, but i removed it with the spyware tool and i am now hoping for the best.

Now i do not know if this was anything to do with the keylogger or not, but yesterday for no reason i can find (and i still do not know why it happened) my laptop suddenly crashed and i could not get it to boot up again. I phoned Packard Bell and because my machine (my son's really) was out of warranty they charged me £1.50 a minute to talk me though the recovery program, which put the computer back as it was when it was new. At first they tried something called a "Non-Destructive Recovery" but a message said something about:

An Error during extraction process. "Error detail Automatic error the file or directory is corrupted"

In the end we had to do a Destructive Recovery where we lost all of our files, photos etc. Their final word of wisdom after charging me £20+ was that i should make backups of files.

Anyway ever since i came back on the internet yesterday i keep on getting something called a "MESSENGER SERVICE" popping up. This is not like the Security Alert Details that Norton Internet Security sends me when something is trying to get into my computer. Who or what ever is sending these massages keeps on changing the wording. For instance it states that my computer is infected and that if i am using"x operating system", and then it goes onto mention all the operating systems that it will effect, which is all of them except M E.
It then goes on to state that my system resources are being used for illegal activity like sending spam, committing fraud and flooding the internet with Dos attacks!
After this it points you to a web site where you can learn to remove these malicious programs for FREE!

They seem to pop up every 30 minutes or so and they are always a different message with a different web site address. Do you think that these are genuine or are they bad? Also do you think that they had anything to do with my computer crashing?

Finally i have Norton Internet Security so how did that keylogger get into my computer?

Regards

Woody
 

blurk99

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Hi Woody,

that program 'messenger' is explained here, along with a removal tool, check out this guys website aswell, he has some nicely made, very small stuff for free!

Just out of interest do the websites seem to be adding themselves into the favourites list of IE? i've had a few bugs that did that with Norton IS, so i ditched it and got 'Computer Associates EZ Armour' and i've not a 1 single problem with viruses etc.. even with 2 teenagers downloading everything imaginable...

Jim
 

Mcluma

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Yeah those teenagers and computers, don't start me about that.

Have constanatly the misses having a go at me about those p*rn things poping up, and me saying I duno know how that come here

So that CA programm is ok then :?:
 

Noel

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Woody, messenger pop up are more of a pain than anything else. You can disable them this way:
Open Control Panel from start menu
Switch to Category Mode (top left)
Click on Performance and Maintenance
Click on Administrative Tools
Double click on Services

Scroll down list until you see the "Messenger" entry and highlight
Click the Stop button
Select "Disable" on the drop down Start up menu
Click OK to apply

I used Norton for a few years, cumbersome, memory hungary, rubbish support. have been using AVG this year. You can use the free version for ever but the pro version is only $33 per TWO years. Happy so far with it.
www.grisoft.com You can also try the trial version of AVG Pro for 30 days. Direct email support 24/7.

Noel
 
A

Anonymous

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Jim

I think you intended to add this link

http://www.grc.com/freepopular.htm

Steve Gibson is a top bloke and one hell of a programmer!!! He knows all about the messenger issue.

Woody

Download the 'Shoot the Messenger' application and run it and your problem will be resolved.

By the way, the messenger popping up is not a real problem but Steve's site explains about it.
 

RogerS

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I second what Noely says. I think the weblink is wrong...BTW..it's www.grisoft.com...but AVG is excellent.

You should also think about running Zone Alarm (which is an excellent firewall) and this should prevent any further dodgy programs accessing the internet without your approval.

If you have kids using the computer then the best thing I can think of is to get a copy of XP, set up an admin account to which only you have the password. Then set them up an account and then lock their account down to prevent them downloading .exe's etc. For example, many porn sites (not that I am suggesting anyone on this..ahem..forum would visit them) may ask you to download a program in order to watch their 'free' trailer. DON'T DO THIS! Locking down the computer should stop them doing this.

If I had teenagers I'd disable the floppy drive, password protect the CD drive, password protect the BIOS and put epoxy in the USB slot!

Do not use Explorer but download Firefox which is free and much faster. You still need to keep Explorer patched regularly as it still runs in the background. Firefox is very effective at blocking pop-ups.

Use AdAware from lavasoft. This is a spyware removal tool. There is a free version. There is some debate at the moment that you need to run several different anti-spyware programs to clean all of the little blighters out...as they were not (allegedly) picked up by any one program in a recent test (see Windows Secrets newsletter). However, I ran a test on one of my PCs recently and the two anti-spyware programs recommended by them did not discover anything more after I had run a sweep with AdAware.

Keep up-to-date (which in itself is a full time job...so thank you Bill gates...) with all the latest Microsoft patches.

But really ...the best way to avoid ALL this hassle is to sell your PC on eBay and go out and buy one of those new low cost Macs! :wink:
 

Noel

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You sayin' I canny spell? You're right.....
And Zone Alarm, stick it in too. Great firewall.

Noel
 

Les Mahon

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Just a word of warning following rsinden's post, beware of downloading spyware killing applications, some are in themselves spyware!

AdAware and spybot are two that I know for a certainty do the job, can't vouch for any others.
 
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rsinden":b737ytew said:
But really ...the best way to avoid ALL this hassle is to sell your PC on eBay and go out and buy one of those new low cost Macs! :wink:
Couldn't agree less with this :lol:

Macs are very much overpriced and no less prone to security threats etc., it is just that there are less of them in the market place which means the actual number of attacks/viruses etc. aimed at them is less - proportionally it is about the same :wink:

Simple really, more PCs means numerically more attacks!

Oh, there is much less software available for Macs too :wink:

Les

interestingly Spybot flags up adaware on the PC as a threat :?
 

Taffy Turner

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I use Spyware Blaster and Adaware.

Spyware Blaster is good as it stops a lot of spyware being installed on your computer.

Adaware removes the ones that it misses.
 

Les Mahon

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Risden,

No slur intended - I've just spent many hours "fixing" friends computers after they have failed to fix them themselves!

I actually now refer anyone who asks me to another friend who does this sort of thing for a living - I'd rather fix friends woodwork problems in my own time then their PC's!
 

RogerS

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Tony":130jn9n8 said:
rsinden":130jn9n8 said:
But really ...the best way to avoid ALL this hassle is to sell your PC on eBay and go out and buy one of those new low cost Macs! :wink:
Couldn't agree less with this :lol:

Macs are very much overpriced and no less prone to security threats etc., it is just that there are less of them in the market place which means the actual number of attacks/viruses etc. aimed at them is less - proportionally it is about the same :wink:

Simple really, more PCs means numerically more attacks!

Oh, there is much less software available for Macs too :wink:

Roger

Les

interestingly Spybot flags up adaware on the PC as a threat :?
Overpriced? Once upon a time, agreed but I think that the mac Mini at $499 goes a long way to redress the balance.

There is a lot of debate on Macs vs PC and security weaknesses but the bottom line from a users perspective is, IMHO, the amount of time they spend installing patches etc to keep the computer running sweetly. From my personal experience I really ought to have a fulltime techie just keeping ontop of the PCs.

Software availability..true..but if the programs that you want to use are available on the Mac.......

Now if you'd mentioned Corporate land then I agree that I wouldn't have a leg to stand on :wink:
 

blurk99

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Thanks for that Tony - stupid of me to leave the link out wasn't it?... but i like the way you knew who i meant!

McLuma - i've not had any grief ata all with CA E-Z armour, the firewall IS the ZoneAlarm Pro version that you's normally have to pay for, and then there is the AV program on top of that all bundled together

http://store.ca.com/dr/sat4/ec_MAIN.Ent ... _ID=181491

should take you to it...
 

chiba

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Tony":kclzbasc said:
Macs are very much overpriced and no less prone to security threats etc., it is just that there are less of them in the market place which means the actual number of attacks/viruses etc. aimed at them is less - proportionally it is about the same :wink:
And the most widely used webserver in the world? Apache. By far. And the one with the most exploits? Microsoft's IIS, aka the hacker romper room. Volume has nothing to do with it - MacOS is simply rock solid. Doesn't suit the gamer crowd is about all you can say against it.
 

colinc

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I would add weight to Chris/Waterheads suggestion about Microsoft's Anti Spyware offering. I have been using it at work (as a punishment for my sins in a past life I now run tech support for a CAD software developer). It has excelled in the dangerous (!) environment of the son's pc where previously every bit of spyware ever developed seemed to live.

It has done a sterling job to date and I've been recommending it to customers too. I also would recommend the AVG anti-virus products.
 

RogerS

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As an aside there does seem to me to be something immoral (if that's the right word) on Microsofts' stance regarding future updates including anti-spyware and anti-virus s/w that they are now starting to push.

First, if they had done their job properly in the first place and written decent code or to proper standards then it would have made the hackers job that much harder. And now no doubt they will be selling the software in time to counter the very problems that their own software created in the first place.
That is by the by and one can argue the pro's and con's on this one 'til the cows come home.

The far more important by-product is that they have stated that they will only be supplying updates etc to owners of kosher Microsoft OS's. This means that the future updates etc of their anti-virus/spyware software (which will get adopted out there by the millions) will no longer be applied to many non-kosher PCs. Now I don't condone illegal software/copyright theft etc but it does seem to me that the end result is that they (M'oft) will make things out there worse since the person who is running a pirated copy of XP will now longer have the latest patches for the anti-virus stuff. And so the number of PCs out there unprotected will rise very quickly.

Which means more spam in your inbox
 

Woodythepecker

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Thanks to you all for the advice, which i found to be extremely helpful. I have since found something on AOL which with a press of a button has stopped the messages.

I am going to get rid of Norton and i will let you know how i get on. luckily enough it runs out at the end of the month so i will not lose anything.
Thanks again for your help.

Regards

Woody
 
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