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Antivirus2008 or 2009, spreading like the plague

by Mark Nolan - 14:21 on 21 October 2008

Further to my experiments with an unprotected laptop, I did come very close to getting infected. It was actually very useful because it's the first time I've seen this virus/spyware for myself. First I got this popup:

xp/vista antivirus 2008, click for larger image

So I took a screenshot using Print Screen and pasted the result into a graphics program. (If you want to try Print Screen you can paste into Word at a push.) Then I tried hitting the red X, which either activated or pretended to activate a scan or a download. At this point I held the off button until the laptop died. Then I restarted, installed AVG, scanned it, found nothing, as I suspected, and took AVG off again! But it was interesting to finally see one of the popups that are catching out so many people. Notice the 'with with' grammatical error. But I have to admit, it does look realistic.

One thing I would like to know is how did it get there? It's the only popup I've ever had. I was researching motorbikes at the time. I think it came from an innocent web site which had been infected.

Would I have been any better off with anti-virus software? Judging by the number of infections on 'protected' machines, I doubt it. Fixing this takes a couple of hours, although I recommend a backup and complete re-install of XP, which most people need by now anyway.

If you want more info see this article from The Register.

Take care out there!  

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