Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

Tech Bits: virus and iphone

I just got a virus on my computer. It was very annoying since it slipped through Zone Alarm and apparently slips through Norton also. Not sure of the name of it (I think it's gadcom.exe), but what it does is continually open browser pages to, which then opens some page for one ad or another.

I ran my antivirus (Zone), it didnt correct it. Ran the Zone anti-spyware, didnt help. So I did some searching for this. This is where I found the damn trojan to be insidious. There are some programs out there that can fix it, but something in the virus knows the download sites for them and doesnt let you download it. One is called malwarebytes (v1.3), the other is called Combofix. The dang virus wouldn't let me download either one.

However, what worked for me, was to open another browser (I normally use firefox, so I tried to open IE) and download it from there. This miraculously worked. I used ComboFix. It cleared it out. If this happens to you, well I hope this works for you as well as it did for me.

OK, maybe I'm just stupid for not reading the instruction. Its an Apple product, you shouldn't have to read the instructions! But it took me months to realize that there is a button inside the microphone (the part in focus) of the headphones.

One day I was trying to talk on the phone when I went to the bathroom (what? like you haven't done that!). As I flushed, I covered the microphone with my hand so the other person could not hear. When I squeezed the microphone it hung up the phone and the music came back on. I pressed it twice more and the song skipped to the next song. Later I pressed it when the person called me back and it answered the call!

Well if you didnt know about that feature, your iPhone life will be much easier now.


On 1/5/09, 11:19 AM , carnifex said...

Good lord man, you use Windows? The tragedy of it all.

Anyway, I always suggest a good hardware firewall, removing all the crap, I mean "handy anti-hacker/anti-virus" programs that clot most systems, and, if you insist on having an anti-virus, just go with something reasonably light. Perhaps AVG, though it's getting heavier with each release. None of these things are good at catching the majority of crapware though. Usually, for my clients, I'm stuck digging them (the crapware) out after the fact. My tool of choice, for the initial pass, is MalwareBytes. Highly recommend that one. Of course, I also highly recommend linux, but a lot of people seem to enjoy watching Windows convulse every few months, like a pet with epilepsy.

On 1/5/09, 8:59 PM , Techskeptic said...

Well I tried linux. Never became a fan. I like macs. but alas, all my CAD software and circuit layout tools are only for PCs as are most of the software I own. So there probably wont be a switch any time soon.

I have AVG on a couple of my computers, but not on my main one. I have not had many issues with Windows XP in terms of crash and burning, so I'm pretty cool with it. Works well enough for me.

Now that I have rid myself of that little nasty, I may use the malware program.

On 1/6/09, 10:50 AM , carnifex said...

If it's been a while since you last tried linux, I suggest taking another look. It's come so far in the last few years. Especially Ubuntu, Fedora, and, so I hear anyway, Sabayon. If you have the drive space I'd suggest installing VirtualBox and checking it out that way. Test drive some of your software under wine, and check out any open source alternatives for giggles.

AVG is kind of terrible for a server environment, because it isn't very flexible, but on workstations I typically find it to have a much lower disk I/O footprint and general pain the assitude. I usually turn off scanning outbound email, and in the pay version link scanning, I think it's called, which had the tendency to muck up network responsiveness.