Over the couple weeks, I’ve had the (mis)fortune to have to deal with a number of machines used by people I know.
Their owners were quite different, ranging from middle-aged porn magnets to well, a little girl who had her new computer for a week.
They all had something in common, though. They all were seriously infected with spyware.
And they all were clueless.
Well, they knew something was wrong when browsers went to different home pages and started malfunctioning; they were at least conscious. But able or willing to try to figure out what might be wrong? Please.
What did I learn in the last couple weeks?
- These things are getting nasty. There are thousands and thousands of spyware programs out there. Some have advanced to the point where not only do they resist being removed, they’ll even block the websites where you can get the tools to remove them and even send their complaint mail to the sites.
Some websites specializing in spyware removal have been knocked off by DDOS attacks.
- Nothing removes everything Based on my own experiences and the comments of others, there just isn’t any all-purpose cleaner. It’s very frustrating to use one program to clear out lots of garbage, then use another and find that it identifies problems the first program didn’t even hint at.
Then again, a few of these $#$%#@## are very, very busy mutating their “goods,” and unless you practically devote your life to stopping them, it’s very easy to fall behind.
- There are some good guys out there Here’s a few sites run by the good guys:
These sites provide instructions, links to programs, and programs to get rid of these suckers, and forums.
Personally, I found that using a combo of Adaware, Spybot S&D and CWShredder (the last is essentially for the really nasty stuff) took care of the problems I ran into.
That doesn’t mean they’ll take care of all of yours, but at least now you have some tools with which to fight back.
Most of what is offered is free, so if they solve your problem, you (or better yet, the person whose machine you cleared up) ought to send some donations out.
Perhaps most importantly, if you have computer dependents, it is probably best to assume if you find yourself visiting their machines, problem or no problem, that they’re likely to be infected with something, so you ought to use these programs and instructions to clean those machines out.
Odds are, if you don’t do it now, you’ll have to do it later.
They Call This Freedom
Maybe it’s the schools, maybe it’s something else, but people on the Internet yell so much about “freedom” without having a clue as to what the word means.
Freedom is not “I can do anything I want.” That’s the retardo definition of the word. Freedom really means “I can do anything I want that doesn’t interfere with the rights of others.”
A lot of people can’t handle that. Maybe most. The human sewage responsible for these programs would probably tell you that they’re exercising their “freedom.”
Spam, spyware, viruses, P2Ping, warez, it all boils down the same thing; the refusal to understand what freedom really is.
And this is why eventually, this “freedom” will be crushed. Because it’s not freedom. It’s anarchy. And anarchy doesn’t work.