Let me just say it is an orgasmic experience to work on a computer that has been brought back from the brink of WinFixer.
In case you are wondering just who is responsible for these hijacking software programs, turns out one of the developers ( not the creator of WinFixer, but there are hundreds of spyware softwares to be wary of) evidently lives in a suburb of Minneapolis.
In fact, the Geek Squad Double Agent who spent three hours on Saturday bringing my computer back from the brink has actually repaired the computer of one of those spyware software developers.
Turns out the software developer uses his own computer to "test new software". Evidently,when it works, the stuff destroys his computer.
So, he calls Geek Squad to get them to remove it from his computer. I guess after that happens he can market it knowing that the spyware will do exactly what his customers want it to do.
This brings a whole new definition to product testing.
My double agent made four house calls to the developer before deciding "no mas."
"I couldn't reconcile repairing a computer that I believe is being used to create software that destroys other computers."
That's not the only thing I learned during his three hour visit. The word of the day is Spy Sweeper.
Prior to my encounter with WinFixer I had ignorantly thought that Symantec's Norton protected me against both viruses and software. Their advertising says the software will protect my computer against viruses, worms and spyware.
Evidently in the war against computer terrorists you need to have a frigging arsenal of protection.No one product can do it all anymore.
Double Agent Paul's advice -Get Spy Sweeper.
As my fingers are waltzing along the keyboard, I activated SpySweeper to do sweep of my computer. It indicates that the "sweep will take 18 minutes." With 8 minutes to go it has found one pesky piece of spyware.
At 13 minutes the sweep was completed and SpySweeper had detected that the starware toolbar was attempting to hijack my computer.
Not today you sucker. Spy Sweeper crushed you into oblivion. Makes a girl sleep better at night knowing her computer is armed and protected. Happiness is....
I mentioned to Double Agent Paul that I had originally contacted the Norton tech support line about WinFixer and was told, " they were working on a patch and should have a solution in 24-48 hours. "
That was 288 hours ago. Make a note: Don't wait around for Norton to solve this one.
"They won't be able to create a patch because WinFixer Morphs,"said the Double Agent.
As he explained," the name of the infected file changes every time you try to remove it, making it almost impossible for a company like Norton to develop a patch."
So unless you are very adept at computers-- removing this bugger is a job for the professionals. WinFixer is one of the nastiest things this double agent has already seen.
So what is a computer user supposed to do?
If you don't have spyware protection and the WinFixer faux ad.pops up on your computer..don't close it. ( closing it actually creates the hijacking) Instead,
Click CTRL, ALT, Delete. However, this only works for the very first time you see the WinFixer message. If it continues to pop up, you've been hijacked.
In that event, run don't walk to a professional tech person who can get it removed.
This public service announcement has been brought to you by a computer user who unfortunately learned the hard way.