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Computer Virus a Surprise!

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Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
My computer was hit with a virus......in October, they tell me. I have Norton Anti-Virus and Zone Alarm installed. Just thought I'd fill you in on my recent experience. My limited knowledge of a computer virus was that if you had a virus, some of your files were scrambled, letters on documents were scrambled and in general, nothing appeared normal. Those things didn't happen here. Three nights ago, while filling in the URAR, my computer shut down, by itself. O.K. ...I thought an electrical surge, car hit a tree/telephone pole, or something of that nature. But it kept repeating itself while I sat and watched. It shut down, started up, message on screen said "installing windows". The desktop came up, icons popped in place, then it shut down again. Finally, after 6 restarts, I manually shut the machine down. I waited a few minutes and started it again...same thing happened. I had no idea what was wrong and didn't even think of a computer virus. The next morning I was lucky enough to catch my tech person and, his place of business is just down the street. He came right over...checked it out and took it back to the shop for a diagnostic. Two hours later, the verdict: The virus hit in October and was carried with a document sent in an e-mail. My e-mail itself, was not affected. In other words, anything I sent out did not spread the virus, pdf files were not affected, and only my work files were affected, so far 100 files. Three hours later the tech guy called and said there were "thousands" of files affected and they were thoroughly being cleaned of the virus, but it would probably take all night.

There were no symptoms of a problem. But now that I look back, my sound went in October...no big deal and too busy to worry about that. Since October, there have been a couple little glitches...nothing out of the norm, I thought. My appraisal software would kick me out once in awhile and a couple of times I couldn't access the internet (their fault, I thought) and sometimes the machine was slow. I've been told that "the worm" was gradually eating away at my files and was running out of food. Thus, the last straw...the computer wouldn't stay on, I noticed an X pop up on my Norton icon and the Zone Alarm icon was missing. I guess that was the dessert and the belch! How did the virus get by? Probably a lapse in my anti-virus software. Maybe I missed an update, if only by a minute. Even though I had automatic updates, somehow, this one got through. Who knows?

After, 30 hours, the tech angel has me back in business! I forgot how quick this IBM machine is....the worm worked so gradually I didn't even notice. I was lucky to have a fantastic tech person, 3 blocks from my office and the invoice was WAY less than $200 to set me back up in business, which included: coming to my office within 1/2 hour of calling, checking the machine at my office (15 minutes), taking it back to his office and running a diagnostic (3 hours), calling me with the first verdict, calling me back 3 hours later with the second verdict and monitoring the clean-up until 6 p.m. (it cleaned all night), calling me the next morning with an update, bringing the machine back to me, explaining the worm's diet, installing a new Zone Alarm and Norton Anti-Virus with updates....and all this with ease, calmness and a smile. How lucky I was! No files were lost or corrupted!
 

Bobby Bucks

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
North Dakota
Charlotte consider yourself lucky. A similar thing happened to a friend, but he lost his computer for 2 days and lost 4 years of files.....he never believed in backing up files or anti-virus protection. Are you on dial up or a cable? I have Norton, a router and try to watch for anything new, but I suppose the only truly safe computer is one powered by batteries, no cable, no modem and sitting in the middle of a room. :)
 

xmrdfghap

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Charlotte....three things

First, congratulations for having such a good tech.

Second, can I get his name and number, and

Third, does he service Oklahoma?
 

Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Wow Charlotte - that is really scary! Just when you think you have covered all of the bases. I don't back up enough. I have a CD burner but have never learned how to use it. Believe me I'm going to learn this week! It has slowed down a bit and I have been doing office maintenance - putting away all of last year's files, counting them all to make sure they are there, doing my IRS stuff. Learning backup is definitely going to be another duty this week! Thanks for the info!
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Are you on dial up or a cable?

Bobby.....Cable

Greg.......Trip charge to Oklahoma :D
This guy was a dream come true! Never, have I experienced such quick and efficient service with a smile! and not under $200, but under $175 (correction on that). On the other topic, Greg....I've been pre-occupied with this problem, thus my disinterest in the other topic, for the last couple days. :wink: I'll be back.
 

Carol

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Charlotte, can you give us any more information about this virus. Did your tech say which virus it was? Do you know what program he used to catch it and what program he used to clean it up?
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Thanks for the information. Was a story on one of the radio stations the other day about a Techie who was sending virus' to his clients in an email just so he could get their business cleaning them up.

This latest thing (last week) knocked several major corporations off line for two days here in Colorado Springs and they supposedly had very good protection. I think it is disgruntled laid off employees getting even.

Had to off load Zone Alarm a month or so ago, was corrupted from the git go and kept locking up my computer. Built in virus program is so old probably misses most of the new stuff. What to do, what to do?????
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Charlotte, can you give us any more information about this virus. Did your tech say which virus it was? Do you know what program he used to catch it and what program he used to clean it up?

Sorry, Carol....don't know. He said it was one of 2 different viruses, either ________ or________ (old viruses) or a combination of both.

Didn't ask what he used to clean it up.
 

Carol

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Okay, thanks. I was just wondering. The other day, my computer just rebooted for no reason. This was the first time it had ever done that. Also, it has been so slow lately, it is driving me crazy. I update automatically with Norton and scanned my computer just to be safe. It shows no virus. Just wondered if I had it and didn't know.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
The tech guy told me that sometimes it doesn't show up until the professional diagnostic test is done. I did a scan disk last week before this happened, and it said everything was fine. Whether or not it would have told me if there was a virus, I don't know. My daughter gave me a disk which she downloaded off of the internet. It was supposed to check for a virus. My problem was, my machine wouldn't stay on long enough for me to do any kind of test. Good luck, Carol.
 
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