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Another Close Call with a Virus

January 8th, 2008 · No Comments

Another Close Call with a Virus

or

“What’s wrong with my password?”

Recently I was working at the PC when my Outlook Email came up with an error. It wanted me to reenter my User Name and Password. This can happen if the connection from my home office to the Internet fails, or if there is a problem at my internet host’s server. However, I was in the midst of a complicated, er… task, not really a game, more of a mental sharpening exercise. So I cancelled the email, but it came back 15 minutes later.

This time I took a look at the message and thought about it for a while. I remembered that my machine was slow so I thought I’d do a little checking. A long story short, I had a virus. This one was particularly nasty because it was designed to steal passwords. It can’t break the encryption that passwords are stored on your PC with, so it adds a letter and makes you need to reenter them. Later it will send them to a website on the internet.

How did this get past my anti virus protection? I wasn’t practicing safe computing. I had gone to some of the dark seedy corners of the internet looking for free things that aren’t really free. In the process I had disabled my anti-virus and forgotten to turn it back on.

Another problem was that this virus was doubly smart because it was able to hide itself from my anti-virus after it was turned back on. How did I find this virus? I used a free online virus checker from Trend Micro that you can use too. I use that as a second line of defense whenever I am not 100% confident that I don’t have a virus.

Tags: Ancient Reasons

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