FML, Or How I Fought Malware And Still Lost

First off, I have to admit that I haven’t taken on any malware on my computer since I was using Windows XP, and yes I have had Vista and Windows 7 since then, so that makes it a long time. It struck me as odd that I would get hit with something that I haven’t dealt with in years, much less know how to deal with it. Go ahead and say your jokes. No, I didn’t catch it while surfing the darkest corners of the internet nor did I catch it from an ad saying to catch this celebrity naked. In fact, I’m not too sure how I got it.

As I have running this site, I have always talked about practicing safe browsing and I have always done that. I have never strayed off the beaten path and hit my usual sites that I normally do, but yet my computer had suffered the one thing that I haven’t suffered from in a long time. No, I don’t download sketchy things from sketchy places, but yet I still ended up with a malware. I could blame Yahoo since their spam filter has been getting a little lazy as of late, or maybe it was from someone that I knew. Who knows but the end result is the same – I got infected.

In some instance, you would rather be fighting for life and death from a real-life zombie attack rather than trying to clear your computer from a malware. This one was rough though. I had been noticing that my internet was running slower and slower since the weekend, which is the first sign that you have a problem. Everything came to a head late last night and early this morning. I was stuck with a frozen browser, so I decided to run my Malwarebytes program and then it got progressively worse.

Stop me if you heard this one, I was getting an error message about my antivirus program was encountering some problems. My Malwarebyte program would freeze two-thirds of the way through and every other program that I brought on would fall the same way. Oh, just so you know I was using AVG paid antivirus so the free stuff was no match for it. After some careful consideration and the fact that it was four in the morning, I decided to go nuclear. I went for the clean install.

My internet got so bad on my laptop that I was forced to look up remedies on my phone, which is the sign of a good time. Now, just about ten minutes to ten in the morning, my computer is bare bones right now. So I will spend the remainder of the day reinstalling some of the programs that I need to make my life easier. I am not completely sure how I got the malware and I never fought one that wouldn’t let me find it.

Before I use to be able to detect it with Norton, but since it was in the registry keys I wasn’t able to get at it unless I went into safe mode. Now, this little bad boy wouldn’t let any of the scans complete. It just goes to show that you can encounter any problem even if you are safe. I have done clean installs before since I demo a lot of programs for the sight and uninstall them, so the excess tends to slow you down. Fortunately for me, most of my important stuff I have on my external hard drive, like documents, music and videos.

I usually don’t recommend doing a clean install off the bat, and I agree with a commenter on a particular forum that equated a clean install on a malware like using a nuke on an ant. However, some times you come across an aggressive malware that won’t be taken down by professional means. Since most malware is contained in the registry keys, it’s a good idea to back your files onto a external source like a DVD, external hard drive or flash drive. Even you have a System Restore, try using that unless you don’t know when you got it.

In the end, it happens to every one of us that surfs the internet. I don’t particular feel make just annoyed that I had to go through this when I wasn’t expecting to. Not to mention that I spent most of the overnight hours trying to battle this bad boy only to have to do a clean install. I am not mad or anything really at this point, I am sort of numb. Could be the lack of sleep or the fact that I can get in the internet without an issue now. In any case, keep your antivirus up-to-date and make sure you know where you are going out there on those darn internets.

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