How I Downloaded a Virus: And You Can too

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Then gullible, gullible, gullible. Then awestruck, awestruck, awestruck. Then it struck me: Bill Gates is a Prick. It was revenge of the Gates.

Today, I’m just glad I know enough about navigating around the web to realize I downloaded a virus and apparently got away with it.

Nancy was poking around last evening looking for a pattern to knit a baby blanket. She was searching on the term “free baby blanket knitting pattern” and then visited a bunch of websites.

She came me and said that something popped up on the screen indicating we had a virus.

Yeah! Trojans, and dialers, and bots and rogues and spyware had taken over our computer and threatened to do all the things we computer users read about.

437 infections. Worse than any crack-whore!

Yeah, I freaked a little. But I had this nagging question: since I used another anti-virus and have the Windows firewall disabled, why was XP sending me this?

Since the other anti-virus was quietly just sitting there, I figured better safe than sorry and clicked the “remove” button.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. In hindsight, I realize that downloaded a bunch of crap onto my drive. As it was supposedly cleaning things up, I was poking around and clicked on the help. Look at the URL that popped up.

1. it wasn’t a secure server (no https://)

2. who the hell is

3. Holy CRAP – I just downloaded a virus.

Gullible. Gullible. Gullible.

Notice the little official drop down window saying that I was in deep doo-doo.

It was all to instill just another level of panic. It worked.

Luckily, a friend had told me about and I have been running this regularly. I immediately launched it and scanned everything.

We have two drives: one built in, and one external where Nancy puts all her patterns – embroidery and knitting and such.

After 2 hours of scanning over 350,000 files, the anti-spyware had isolated 8 threats from XPProtect (along with some harmless tracking cookies.) Normally when these items are isolated, the program will recommend quarantine.

Not this time. The program recommended “removal.”

I did and then ran the scan again. All clear this morning. I will run it again tonight and probably every night for a few evenings just to make sure there isn’t a trojan horse lingering.

Eventually I became awestruck at the beauty of the whole deal.

  • it was a knitting site, how innocent!
  • who frequents knitting sites? Perhaps the not-so-suspicious web surfers
  • who follows directions perfectly? knitters!
  • who would freak the most if one of the infections was from a porn site? Anybody!
  • who wouldn’t think XP was looking out for their best interest? ME!

Bill Gates is a Prick.

How about another sneaky way? Download an airline ticket and get a virus? It’s being done!

I was more than a little impressed with the ingenuity of it all.

But if you start getting baby blanket knitting spam, you know where it came from.

UPDATE: I am not alone! This malware is being tracked by experts. Yay for them!

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How I Downloaded a Virus: And You Can too — 3 Comments

  1. If you can’t trust a knitting site who can you trust for Pete’s sakes? I have been trying to find free crochet patterns and hope I haven’t done a bad thing to our computer.

  2. @Edna: the scary part is the website may not know they are launching these infections.
    Just keep your anti-virus updated and don’t trust popups!