Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Neverending Story

It's already more than 4 years that I clean severly infected computers.
In most of the cases, when I review the logs, I see more malware present than anything else.
Also, in most cases, many don't even have an Antivirus Scanner + Firewall installed and their Windows hasn't been updated for years.
Hence, they don't even know why the updates are needed for. Also, many of them don't have a genuine version of Windows installed anyway.
Some don't even know what an Antivirus Scanner or Firewall is.
For example, yesterday, I analysed a log from a severly infected computer and asked the guy why he didn't have an Antivirus and Firewall installed.

He: "Huh? I have an Antivirus and Firewall installed though"
Me: "Ok, can you tell me which one, because I can't see an Antivirus and Firewall present in your log"
He: "I have mailwasher!"

Mailwasher is a spam filter software - so not sure where he has read it was an Antivirus/Firewall.

And that's why we should "teach" these people about security. Why they need an Antivirus and Firewall and how to prevent malware. This is my main goal here... teach about prevention, how to keep their computer(s) clean/secure.

Unfortunately, many do know how to prevent malware, how to keep their computer(s) secure, but they just won't listen, mainly because they just don't care.
They also know how they got infected in the first place.. because they were warned many times before. But still, they just can't resist the use of illegal software/cracks/hacks whatever, even though they know that 80% of it is bundled with malware.
One single click on one of these "popular" crack sites may already download and install a huge malware bundle... and yes, they are also aware of this.
Oh well, not a big deal for them - They just post their problem at one of the forums/sites where they receive help for free. Once their system is "clean", they can hunt for more cracks/keygens again.
Yes! I've seen it too many times before.

"Hi, I visited a cracksite, downloaded and installed a crack - can you check if my computer is still clean?"
"Help! I downloaded and installed a crack from a torrent/P2P again and now my computer is acting weird.... again"
"I need help asap!! Keygen infected my computer again!"

Yes, in 80% of the cases, people get infected because of the use of illegal software/cracks/keygens/hacks... etc.
So I clean their computers and most important part, I tell them that they should stay away from illegal software, cracks, keygens etc, because they will get reinfected anyway if they don't change their surfing habits.
I also explain that there are many free alternatives and give them extra prevention tips.
I'm glad that many learn a lesson here, listen to my advise and make sure this won't happen again.

However, there are still a lot of others who don't listen and proceed with what they were doing before, even though they were warned.
Result.. 2 weeks later, they are back, asking for help to get rid of another infection, because they installed another crack which downloaded/installed malware again. Then they receive free help once again and one month later, they are back again. And this goes on and on and on...
I'm sorry, but I gave up on them. It's a waste of my time.
If they don't want to listen, they should take care of their own problems. In such cases, I recommend that they format and reinstall Windows (even though the malware can be cleaned easily).
Or I ask them to go to the local computer shop to get it fixed. It will cost them a lot of money and in most cases, they will just format and reinstall Windows anyway.
Maybe that will learn them since they have to pay for it - or since they have to start from scratch again.

"Was it really worth it??"
"Wanna use cracks/keygens again and go through the same scenario again?"
"Are you sure??"
- If there was an "Yes" button here, I'm sure some would click it - Ooh, they love to click Yes!

What I hear many times is:

"It's my computer - if I want to visit illegal sites/use cracks etc, it's my problem if I get infected."

Ok, so why are you asking for help in the first place? If it's your problem, you should take care of it.
And it isn't your problem ALONE. Your computer is responsible for infecting A LOT of other computers as well (depends on what malware is present).

"I blame my Antivirus because it didn't detect the malware".

You are the only one to blame!!!

Also, all their passwords and other sensitive data may be known... But do they really care???

Some will never learn, so this is a neverending story and unfortunately I can't help them anymore.
Oh well... maybe they will learn some day (when it's too late).

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