CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
the full story
Ok here's what happened with my computer and then we think this is how the ebay hijacker got my info.

When the Geek Squad guy was here yesterday he scanned my PC with really high powered spybot and spyware programs and he found two trojans hiding on our PC sending out all our passwords and info without our knowledge.

YIPES!!!

My head just about exploded when he showed me what he found. I literally left the room right away and went and took an Imitrex to head off the migraine which was already on its way.

I thought I would never have something like that happen. We don't do stupid things on the internet and I am one of those people that is an anitvirus nut, I have the Norton Security Suite with all the bells and whistles and I update it every few days and I run it every day to scan the PC. Norton NEVER found any of the spyware.

I even ran a full system scan right after I found out about the ebay thing and Norton found nothing.

So Frankie the Geek Squad guy tells me all about how Norton and McAfee miss these types of trojans all the time. Which just blows my mind. I thought they would be the most reliable because they are the biggest companies.

So now I have
Spy Sweeper. I even installed it on my laptop and it found a whole bunch of things that McAfee didn't find. (I had Norton on my desktop and McAfee on my laptop). Fortunately no trojans, just spy cookies and adware. whew.

So Frankie ended up being here for about 7 hours, we had to clear off the whole operating system and start from scratch. I was up until 1am last night putting programs back on the computer. We also went through and changed all of our passwords to everything we could think of. What a nightmare.

Now when I look at my computer I am distrustful of it. Like it's out to get me even though I know everything is cleaned off. I keep thinking of that movie from '84
Electric Dreams where the PC goes crazy and ruins this guy's life. Remember that movie? 80's classic.

OK back to work for me. I am in major catchup mode after losing so much time to fixing the computer.
COMMENTS:
Oh, that's more than scarey! i have AVG which is free. My computer guy put it on there, wonder if it gets those spies/viruses/trojans. sorry for the follow-up bummer to the first bummer and all the lost work time.
 
Oh, that's just wrong. Definitely do a credit check in the coming weeks to be sure they didn't do anything crazy. You poor thing.

I dl'ed the trial version of the Sweeper and came up with, fortunately, nothing but some cookies which my Norton will likely clear out later today anyway when it does it's regularly scheduled sweep. But, I am going out to Office Depot to pick up the SpySweeper kit.

Wrong. Just wrong. I can imagine how your head nearly exploded. I broke a sweat just reading your post.
 
Thank you for sharing. My paypal account was hacked into last week and even though it's all resolved, I'm jittery about using paypal. I think I'll be giving Geek Squad a call just to make sure everything on my end is safe.

Glad it all worked out.

Thanks again for sharing!
 
Claudine,

My mom, Renee of Liberty Star Designs, just sent me the link to your blog and told me to read this posting.

It is a VERY scary thing to think that spyware applications/trojans/malware and what not exist and can actually make it to a computer that you think is "safe". What makes it even worse is that it is very easy for this kind of thing to go un-noticed!

Worst part of it all is that different safety programs (All the Anti-Virus applications, Ad-aware, Spy Bot Search and Destroy, etc) all report these things differently, some don't even report a security breech! I highly recommend using a variety of these applications to make sure that your computer is as safe as possible.


My summarized personal list goes something like this:
1. Norton or McAfee for virus protection
2. Daily Updates to the Virus Scan definitions
3. Ad-aware - set to update automatically (It asks you to go out to the internet to actually do the update when you run it)
4. Spy Bot Search and Destroy - this program is very powerful once it is fully configured, even out of the box it does a good job at finding problems.
5. Being very careful about clicking on links to websites that are sent via email. I've seen a bundle of emails that claim to be from eBay/PayPal/My Bank/etc. that request that I login to update my customer information. Instead of clicking on the link provided in the email, you should open you web browser of choice, and browse to eBay/PayPal/My Bank/etc. and then login there, if they really need you to update your information then they force you to do so when you login into the site.
6. Make sure that your computer is set to automatically update. Just about all operating systems can be configured this way.
7. Weekly: Make sure that your computer is actually getting the automatic updates. In Windows XP, open Internet Explorer and point your browser to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/, then follow the on screen instructions from there.


There are more things you can do to ensure that your computer is safe, but by doing these 7 things you will minimize your risks.


Jacob

I just started a blog that I plan to use to help teach computer users of all skill levels. I'm hoping to cover topics such as basic computer maintenance, computer security, tips and tricks, and any topics that I have submitted by readers.
If this sounds interesting please stop by:
http://teachmetechnology.blogspot.com/
 
Claudine,

My mom, Renee of Liberty Star Designs, just sent me the link to your blog and told me to read this posting.

It is a VERY scary thing to think that spyware applications/trojans/malware and what not exist and can actually make it to a computer that you think is "safe". What makes it even worse is that it is very easy for this kind of thing to go un-noticed!

Worst part of it all is that different safety programs (All the Anti-Virus applications, Ad-aware, Spy Bot Search and Destroy, etc) all report these things differently, some don't even report a security breech! I highly recommend using a variety of these applications to make sure that your computer is as safe as possible.


My summarized personal list goes something like this:
1. Norton or McAfee for virus protection
2. Daily Updates to the Virus Scan definitions
3. Ad-aware - set to update automatically (It asks you to go out to the internet to actually do the update when you run it)
4. Spy Bot Search and Destroy - this program is very powerful once it is fully configured, even out of the box it does a good job at finding problems.
5. Being very careful about clicking on links to websites that are sent via email. I've seen a bundle of emails that claim to be from eBay/PayPal/My Bank/etc. that request that I login to update my customer information. Instead of clicking on the link provided in the email, you should open you web browser of choice, and browse to eBay/PayPal/My Bank/etc. and then login there, if they really need you to update your information then they force you to do so when you login into the site.
6. Make sure that your computer is set to automatically update. Just about all operating systems can be configured this way.
7. Weekly: Make sure that your computer is actually getting the automatic updates. In Windows XP, open Internet Explorer and point your browser to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/, then follow the on screen instructions from there.


There are more things you can do to ensure that your computer is safe, but by doing these 7 things you will minimize your risks.


Jacob

I just started a blog that I plan to use to help teach computer users of all skill levels. I'm hoping to cover topics such as basic computer maintenance, computer security, tips and tricks, and any topics that I have submitted by readers.
If this sounds interesting please stop by:
http://teachmetechnology.blogspot.com/
 
Thanks for the info Claudine!!! Looks like I might need to get some of this. I hate the thought of someone hacking into my PC. BTW, do you still run Norton A-V with this new software?
 
geeez!! how scary. I'm glad you got it all sorted out!
 
norton definitely doesnt find trojans i recently discovered. very upsetting. thanks for the info on the spysweeper!
 
Hi Claudine,

even though my husband is ITB, his friend who is a super computer nut and ITB also had to go through our stuff and found all this stuff hidden deep inside the programing that my husband couldn't even find. Very scary. But, unfortunately there is always someone one step ahead of the current progam. It is a real sham that there are people out there that do that kind of crap to everyone else. Sorry you had such a nightmare. What about that woman who stole your id? Did you "catch" her?

Debbie in Ft Lauderdale :)
 
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