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Have the "your computer is sending errors" spammers graduated to using viruses?

#1KalirionPosted 4/16/2014 7:53:10 AM
So early this morning my father received one of those calls. He told them to send him an email, and they hung up.

And then when he turned on his computer, it wouldn't work. The desktop would load, but anything he tried to do - even opening a photo, caused it to freeze.

I booted into safe mode (which worked) and tried a couple system restore checkpoints - with each of them, the desktop wouldn't even load outside of safe mode. The background would come up, but that's it.

So it seems too much of a coincidence that this would happen right after that call. I haven't heard of those people infecting your computer before calling, but is this what happened? Maybe they used Heartbleed to load malware on one of the sites my father visits, then it infected his PC and found his phone number there for the "support" people to call?

Also, do external USB backup drives work in Safe mode? Even if the drive's backup utility doesn't work, I'd like to be able to manually back up all my father's documents / photos / etc to an external drive so I can do a clean Windows install.
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#2PokenubPosted 4/16/2014 7:55:45 AM
Is "Used Heartbleed" the new internet novice excuse now?

If you don't understand how something works, don't blame it without at least learning a tiny bit about it.

In any case, get a usb/cd with malwarebytes and Avast on it, boot it in safe mode, install both, scan with both and report your findings.
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Damn it.. I swear I had something for this..
#3ATARIJAWAPosted 4/16/2014 7:55:59 AM
It's most likely coincidence. I'm not saying it's impossible but pretty unlikely.
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#4Kalirion(Topic Creator)Posted 4/16/2014 8:02:47 AM
Pokenub posted...
Is "Used Heartbleed" the new internet novice excuse now?

If you don't understand how something works, don't blame it without at least learning a tiny bit about it.


I know what Heartbleed is. If a web server is not properly configured & patched, Heartbleed could be used to get its admin password and then you can do whatever the hell you want with it - like load malware.
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#5PokenubPosted 4/16/2014 8:11:25 AM(edited)
Ironically it's the most up-to date sites that have the recent issue, however loading malware onto a site isn't as easy as you make it seem. Considering there'd still need to be some download prompt, which the majority of browsers would warn you about first, unless your father purposely installed a foreign file, it's unlikely. The point about the malware/virus is moot however, just load the two programs onto the computer, scan and then it should sort out any possibility of malware or viruses.

If that fails, check for dust, defrag, scan disk and do other standard maintenance things.

In any case, I doubt it's the same people who are using viruses if anyone is using heartbleed for those purposes.

Most of the people doing those error scams are just following a script who have no knowledge.

Edit: I seriously hate this new wireless keyboard..
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Damn it.. I swear I had something for this..
#6Kalirion(Topic Creator)Posted 4/16/2014 9:02:40 AM(edited)
Pokenub posted...
In any case, get a usb/cd with malwarebytes and Avast on it, boot it in safe mode, install both, scan with both and report your findings.


Hmm, can you actually install programs in safe mode? If they can be run off the usb/cd without installation that's fine of course.
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Don't be scared of nightmares; make them be scared of you.
#7ClouddxPosted 4/16/2014 9:05:16 AM
Kalirion posted...
Pokenub posted...
In any case, get a usb/cd with malwarebytes and Avast on it, boot it in safe mode, install both, scan with both and report your findings.


Hmm, can you actually install programs in safe mode? If they can be run off the usb/cd without installation that's fine of course.


Of course you can install programs in safe mode. Make sure you boot into safe mode without networking.
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#8HydroCannabinolPosted 4/16/2014 9:26:16 AM
Lolcloud. Have you tried it? By default you cannot install programs. If you edit the registry, you can though. At least in the windows versions that I know of
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#9Sora_AnbuPosted 4/16/2014 9:27:14 AM
Make a Linux live USB, load up clamAV, boot from USB, then scan away.
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#10Kalirion(Topic Creator)Posted 4/16/2014 9:40:17 AM
At this point, might as well just backup files (assuming USB backup drive works), wipe the HDD and do a clean Win 7 install maybe? About time to replace XP on that PC anyway...
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Don't be scared of nightmares; make them be scared of you.