Ramblings of a Professional Computer Geek

December 10, 2008

A Night with WinWeb Security

Filed under: Linux,Malware,Security,Vista,Windows — Padma @ 1:11 pm
Tags: , , ,


I spent half the night, last night, cleaning my wife’s Vista Home desktop system.  Apparently, my eldest grandson downloaded a mod to a game he plays on it, and it brought along the Winweb Security trojan.  I didn’t know it, until I glanced at the screen as I walked by later, and saw a strange popup.  (I recognize most of the standard popups at a glance: Windows Update, HP Update, Adobe Update, etc,)

I suspected malware right from the start, because I hadn’t installed anything, and when I saw the “warnings” winweb security was giving me, I was positive: many of the ‘infected files’ I knew didn’t even exist!

So I began the standard routine: go online and find out what this is, and how to get rid of it.  Most of the sites I found had automated tools to locate and remove this, as well as other malware.  But virtually all of them, while detecting was free, required you to purchase their tool in order to remove the malware.

I just found that so helpful.  After all, I didn’t need the detection capability.  I knew had the thing: I was looking right at it!  Finally I found one site that gave instructions for manual removal,  Of course, they stressed that you should not use those steps, but buy their product because “if you make a mistake, you could destroy your whole system!”

Being not only educated, but also intelligent, I ignored their dire warnings, and proceeded to follow their manual instructions.  I was able to make appropriate changes, since the instructions were for WinXP, and this was Vista.  Finally, I was satisfied that I had removed it.

I then went back online and downloaded the latest version of Spybot – Search & Destroy, a totally free malware detection and removal tool, and one of the best around.  I ran this, and found three more trojans, and a bunch of other malware.  Spybot-S&D happily destroyed them on my command.

Now to try to convince my grandchildren that they are NOT to download anything without prior approval.

I would really like to convert that system to Linux, but my wife won’t hear of it.  Windows is her ‘comfort zone’, despite all its problems.  She is afraid that her various devices wouldn’t work correctly.  Plus, when the grandkids are over, they want to play online games that only run in Windows.  Maybe someday….


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