Viruses Before Nano

Red Alert! Red Alert! Battle stations everyone!

While doing Nano prep on Saturday, I got an email from The Writer’s Store. Now, this is a place I’ve done business with before. They were promo-ing a piece of character creation software called Persona. I didn’t see a free trial, so I went over to Cnet to see if it was available over there. I’ve gotten trials over there before, and they were all clean and nice and functional.

Not so here. This free trial was positively RIDDLED with malware. Part of it had something to do with the word “Sweet” and installed a new tool bar and tried to collect information and lots of other nasty stuff. After uninstalling everything I’d installed that day (that was the only piece, but my program list had seven items for the 26th) it still didn’t get rid of it. I had to run Malwarebytes, which found about 25 pieces of malware, then I ran AVG, which found another 14. Everything under both programs was quarantined, and theoretically out of my system.

Nope. When I turned my machine off and then rebooted a few minutes later, that bloody, buggering piece of software was still there. I had to go to Google and find a way to get rid of it manually. I did, and it worked. But I wasted a good half-day on that crap.

Now, I know better than to download stuff – I really do. I think I was temporarily insane because I thought I could get a better handle on character conflict and the best way to optimize it. Never again.

So, I came in to work today, and what did I find in my inbox? A notice from our IT department telling us about a new virus called RansomWare. Apparently it encrypts everything on your hard drive and starts a time clock. If you don’t fork over $300 dollars by a certain date, your data will remain encrypted forever.

So, don’t be like me – don’t be seduced by the glitter of pre-Nano prep. 

Today, I serve as a bad example.

See y’all next week!


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