Monday, June 19, 2006

And Now, For Something Completely Different: Virtumonde

I've just concluded an episode that has left me angry, confused, and having wasted thirty bucks and about six hours.

It has to do with a nasty bit of spyware called Virtumonde.

I'm usually pretty careful where I drop anchor in the murky water of the internet, so how this one got on board my hard drive is unknown. The episode started with periodic popup ads for software I did not want and cannot use. In addition the Dell desktop was running as if it was up to the knees in corn syrup.

One thing about this sort of problem (and yes, I know a Mac is supposed ot be immune from this sort of thing, Klaus) is that finding the fix gets a lot easier when you put Google on the case.

It was a matter of locating the proper fix. One product, "Spyhunter" offers you an allegedly free version of their product, then tells you that you have to shell out $30 to buy the product and make it work, after it's scanned and identified your spyware issues. Well, I did that.

Between Spyhunter and a freeware application called Vundofix (highly recommended) I was able to do away with the hated Virtumonde files and registry keys. What makes such things difficult is that mucking with your registry keys on a PC can cause fatal problems, and that's where this stuff often takes up residence like a tapeworm. the folks at Spyhunter-you twisted my arm and did me out of thirty bucks, and I'm not sure it helped. We shall see if it is useful. To the folks who cooked up Vundofix, my thanks.

And to the people who put together Virtumonde, you have my contempt. There's a special circle of hell for you all.


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