02 April 2011

vista internet security, fake a/v removal

On my Internet travels I picked up a pernicious virus. Vista Internet Security 2011 is a rogue virus posing as anti-virus software. Immediately following infection a fake Vista Security window appears and a "scan" appears to be taking place. In no time a list of Trojans, Worms and other wicked infections appears.

Instinctively you try to close the window when you twig that it's fake but it won't close. The infection results in no Internet connectivity. Whatever programmes you try to open fail to run and instead the fake scan starts up again.

I tried to open System Restore but got the message the 'execute' file for System Restore could not be found. Heck this is serious. I held down the power switch and turned the laptop off.

Fortunately I found a back door. Michelle has a profile set up on my laptop so I rebooted and logged on as her. I found the infection had only hit my own profile so I was able to use System Restore and roll the laptop back to the previous day. I logged on as me again and found my profile clear and unaffected.

This virus has apparently been doing the rounds for a couple of years and has a number of names, all referencing Internet security and all directing you ultimately to a site where you can buy software guaranteed to remove the infection. There is no removal software and there is no genuine infection in the first place. The whole thing is a dirty scam. Many 'tech' websites are listing umpteen adjustments you can make to your Registry to eliminate the infection but none mentions System Restore, presumably because the virus itself disables it.

It's worth bearing in mind my backdoor method. A second profile on the same hard drive will be unaffected allowing access to System Restore, certainly a safer method than fiddling with Registry Keys.


Russell 'C.J.' Duffy said...

The bottom line might well be this; buy a Mac. I am not one of those advovates who promote Mac's as being THE CREATIVES work tool and thereby dismissing Microsoft as being the admin ipotion. However, when it comes to viruses Mac's have na inbuilt system that seems to be invicible. I work with a host of creative types who never ever have any problems.
Trouble is a standard PC costs from £400 to £600 whereas a Mac starts at £700!

Perfect Virgo said...

Yes I've heard about the fortress-like nature of Macs. I have so much Windows based software and so many documents and spreadsheets that to switch now would be a formidable task.

Never say never though!

Tristan Ohmacht said...

One word: Malwarebytes.

Malwarebytes will make mincemeat of that fake A/V thing. I got hit with that thing twice, and in terms of evil, you have to admit that that thing is brilliant.

But Malwarebytes gets rid of it...among other things. And it's free.