Wednesday, May 10, 2017

And then my computer languished for three days

So, malware got passed my security and promptly did what I always figured malware should do (for a value of "should" that comes from the perspective of the malware maker, not common decency or such) but have never previously seen malware do.  It put the kibosh on anything that could possibly get rid of it.

I mean, if the shit actually makes it where it's going then it bypassed the current security, so the current security is unprepared for it or the user gave it permission to ignore the current security pretty much by definition.  In either case the logical thing to do would be to take steps to keep it safe from the current security and prevent the installation or running of any different security programs.

That's where whoever made it was smart.

Where they were annoyingly unsubtle was in completely fucking over any attempt to run the internet by making the fact that there was malware installed completely unmissable.  If they'd limited it to those self embedding link-ads it might have been a while before I knew it was there because lots of pages do have links and links generally look like links, if they'd limited it to quietly stealing my information while giving no overt indications of existence I might not have noticed until the next time I tried to install computer security software which could have been a long time indeed.

Anyway: unmissable.

So I knew not to do important shit with the computer until it was dealt with, which because of the anti-anti-malware stuff took a while.

I think the end process took three separate antivirus programs, which it was hard to verify were real and not just what the malware wanted me to do what with it hijacking the fucking internet.

First I had to get a special stripped-down just-for-this-purpose thing that the malware wouldn't notice was an anti-malware thing because that was the only such thing that could be installed and run at that stage.

That, by the way, is what took the longest damned time to verify was bona fide.  Part of making it slip under the malware's radar was ripping out the things usually used to certifiably demonstrate "yes, this is really anti-malware, not malware disguised as anti-malware."

And the internet wasn't working right, and kept on getting hijacked and redirected and . . . it was god damned hard to make sure that wouldn't make things worse.

That only did enough work to let likewise stripped down to slip under the radar, but not as stripped down as the previous thing because the previous thing opened up additional possibilities, software be installed and run.

Which in turn made more things possible so at that point I had enough freedom to install any damn security I felt like.  And then I had to scan the full computer.

And then I had to realize that certain programs were internally borked to the point of needing to be reinstalled, and the fact things were still wrong wasn't actually an indication that there was independent malware still on the system but instead because they'd been borked.

That last bit took me way too long to realize, and involved trying multiple full system scans with a menagerie of programs before I did.  Full system scans take for-fucking-ever.

Honestly it was probably less than 48 hours, but it started one day, went through the next day, and was resolved the day after that (today), which was enough for people to say Jesus was dead for three days, so I figure it counts as three days of computer fucked-up-ness.

So for those days my computer has been sitting doing nothing but staring at its figurative navel going, "Is that an infection?  Can I think these thoughts?  How can I think these thoughts?  Why am I thinking those thoughts that I don't want to think?"

Thus: languishing.

So, yeah, that happened.

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